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One major advantage of a CMS is its collaborative nature. Multiple users can log on and contribute, schedule or edit content to be published. Because the interface is usually browser-based, a CMS can be accessed from anywhere by any number of users.
The second major advantage of a CMS is that it allows non-technical people who don't know programming languages to easily create and manage their own web content. The WYSIWYG editors of a typical content management platform allows users to enter text and upload images without needing to know any HTML or CSS.
When a company uses a CMS to publish its pages, it reduces its reliance on front-end engineers to make changes to the website, making it quicker and easier to publish new content.
To give you an idea of how a content management system works, we're going to take a whirlwind tour of the WordPress interface (WordPress is a good example of a content management system).
Let's start with creating a piece of content. Without a content management system, you'd need to write a static HTML file and upload it to your server (sounds complicated, right?).
With a content management system like WordPress, you can just write your content in an interface that looks a good bit like Microsoft Word:
On a more technical level, a content management system is made up of two core parts:
Together, the two systems make it easy to maintain your website.
A content management application (CMA) is the front end component of a content management system (CMS). The CMA interface allows users to create and manage corporate or website content.
A CMA usually includes templates that automate many of the repetitive aspects of content creation and editing. Most current CMAs provide a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface, which makes it possible for users to create and work with content without using HTML.
A CMA for website content allows users to create, edit, and remove site content. Enterprise content management (ECM) applications typically have more complex requirements. ECM suites must have the following core components in addition to Web content management: document management, document imaging, records management, workflow and document-centric collaboration.
On the Internet, content delivery (sometimes called content distribution , content distribution delivery , or content caching ) is the service of copying the pages of a Web site to geographically dispersed server s and, when a page is requested, dynamically identifying and serving page content from the closest server to the user, enabling faster delivery. Typically, high-traffic Web site owners and Internet service providers ( ISP s) hire the services of the company that provides content delivery.
A common content delivery approach involves the placement of cache servers at major Internet access points around the world and the use of a special routing code that redirects a Web page request (technically, a Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP - request) to the closest server. When the Web user clicks on a URL that is content-delivery enabled, the content delivery network re-routes that user's request away from the site's originating server to a cache server closer to the user.
WordPress, which we showed you above, is the best example of a popular content management system. While there are certainly other content management systems in existence, WordPress maintains over a 60% market share on websites with a known content management system.
Note that when we mention "WordPress", we're not talking about WordPress.com. Instead, we're focused on WordPress.org, which is the website where the actual open-source WordPress content management system is stored.
Beyond the self-hosted WordPress software, other popular content management systems include:
There are also lots of other less well-known content management systems that target themselves to large enterprises (with an expensive price point to match).
Most content management systems are pretty flexible nowadays. While there are some that focus on a specific use – like Magento and eCommerce – most of the popular content management systems can be used to create essentially any type of website.
For example, you can use WordPress to power:
This is a little bit like asking, "what is the best flavor of ice cream?".
Sure, everyone's got their answer, but it's difficult to come up with a factual argument for one content management system being the best in 100% of situations.
What we can do, though, is return to the numbers and make a suggestion that there's a reason WordPress has such a dominant share of the content management system market:
For most types of websites, it provides the most user-friendly, flexible solution. It's not always the best option, but it is the best option most of the time.
For a deeper comparison of some of the popular content management systems, you can view our posts on:
Want to build your own website with a content management system? If so, the general process looks something like this:
It's actually surprisingly simple. And hosts like Kinsta can even help install the content management system for you (WordPress, in this case), so you can jump straight into building your site without any technical setup.