By rick | Fri, 09/23/2011 - 16:00
If you are looking to have a website developer these days, you will undoubtedly be asking yourself the question "Do I need a Content Management System?". Content Management Systems or CMS are complete web publishing systems that allow you to easily edit the content of your site. Wikipedia has a great explanation here Wikipedia - Content Management Systems. One thing that is for sure, is that CMS are exceedingly popular amongst web development companies these days, and there is a good reason for that.
A common approach to a website is to start small and slowly grow it as the business expands. While this is not impossible to do with a static website, it is much easier to scale with a CMS that stores your content in a database. There are many reasons for this but the easiest way to explain it is if you think about it like your cutlery drawer. Not many of us give much thought to cutlery, when we need a knife or a spoon we open a drawer grab a utensil from the allotted slot and move on. But, wait a minute, what would your cutlery drawer look like if your cutlery was not in an allotted slot? How easy would it be to find a knife or fork? Or how about grab all the knives or all the forks? Well, content is very similar and should be "stored" in such a way that it is easy to manipulate. Hence the database.
Scalability can be a huge concern for any site that has more than one author. Having a user hierarchy becomes really important, for instance, think about having authors, editor, and publishers on your site. Without a system in place to handle this type of structure, your website would quickly become a nightmare to manage.
When you build a static website, there is usually not much thought given to the security of the site. And to be honest, unless some measures are taken, your site is usually not that secure. The great thing about Content Management Systems is that they have already taken this into consideration. The developers are constantly updating the built in security and rolling out updates to stay two steps ahead of the bad guys.
This is where the real power of using a CMS comes into play. If you choose to use a popular one, like Drupal, Wordpress or Joomla, you will also be able to make use of the great add-ons. What can you do with an add-on? Well, how about add a store to your site? Or a forum? Or how about a simple ad management software? Really the sky is the limit for some of these, Wordpress, in particular, has an absolute plethora of add-ons, and here is the great thing... most of them are free.
I would think that having a website that is actually up and running is an important feature for any business. By using a CMS you have a much better chance of using the latest technology that is designed and developed to run the fastest and on the most devices. This may not seem as obvious, but websites can get out of date rather quickly. This may not seem like such a big deal to you, but what if I told you that not only does an out-dated system present a security risk, but it can also negatively effect your search engine rankings. That is why you will find that any good Content Management System will constantly be being worked on by professional developers to make sure that it is using the latest technology.
So does a CMS sound like a good idea to you? I sure hope so! At Cheeky Monkey Media we only develop websites using either Drupal or Wordpress these days, it is not because we can't develop sites without them, it is because we believe that by using them we can give our clients a better product at the end of the day. Interested in learning more? Contact us and one of our Monkeys will get right back to you.
Curious about CMS? Check out our CMS Battles series!
Or, check out one of our other blogs on CMS: