The second installment in a series of posts explaining the different types of digital assets that are required to setup, support and fuel the online presence for your business or brand.
You have your website design, you have your content, but you don’t know how to bring the two together? Content Management Systems might be the right option for you. Gone are the times where a swanky website design was enough to draw in your audience. Competition in the online world is fierce, ranking high in search engines and remaining attractive to your audience is essential and that means you have to keep your content up to date. This is where content management systems come in.
What are Content Management Systems?
Essentially, Content Management Systems (CMSs) are powerful web development tools, enabling users to create, edit and store web content. For most CMSs, this can be done without much or any knowledge of how to code. Plugins or themes are available for many CMSs which increase the functionality and provide a variety of pre-coded design options. Content Management Systems give an end-user the flexibility of changing content with ease, whilst enabling developers to deliver quality products in a convenient and efficient way.
Which CMS is right for me?
There a numerous CMSs available, some are tailored to specific functionality, such as blogging or selling products/services online (e-commerce); whilst others can be customized to provide the function you require. In order to decide which Content Management System is right for you and your business, ask yourself the following question:
What kind of site do I need?
From a one page website with simple information, to blogs, to shopping sites, the options are endless and its vital for you to determine what it is that you want to achieve. To narrow it down, consider the following:
What functionality do I want to provide to the user?
- easy navigation through blog content
- sign up options to newsletters
- a shopping cart and payment options
- contact form
…..the list is endless. Determine everything that you want your site to do, how you want your user to interact with it and the features that make you stand out from your competitors.
Once you have established what it is that you want your online presence to look like you can dive further and explore the different CMSs available. In particular, explore their functionality and ease of use based on your knowledge of code, to ensure you choose the most effective system for your needs and your niche. When conducting your research consider the following:
- Is there a cost involved with the CMS?
- How are CMS updates managed? Are they easy to do myself? How do they affect plugins?
- What design and functionalities are available? Are there many options?
- How easy is it to implement your own code?
- Check out Demo sites – nothing beats first hand experience
Top 10 Content Management Systems*
Joomla is another free and open source CMS. Many extensions are available to help you create the website functionality you require, however the learning curve to become familiar with how this CMS works is a little steeper than WordPress.
Drupal is a popular free, open source CMS, used widely by individuals and companies. “Drupal Core” allows customization using a variety of modules to create your website. This CMS requires some development knowledge to get comfortable.
Shopify is an e-commerce website builder, allowing users to create an online store. It is designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Users can use the software to design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops
Squarespace is a drag and drop website builder. It has a great range of sophisticated themes to choose from and websites can be set up without coding knowledge. However the interface can be intimidating at first.
Wix is a website building platform, primarily using a drag and drop builder to help you bring your website to life. Wix can be used by complete novices, offering three different set ups depending on your level of expertise. Wix hosts your site for you and domains can be purchased as well, making the initial set up very easy.
Primarily, Magento is an ecommerce platform, designed to provide your audience with a great online shopping experience. An extension marketplace offers customization options to create the retail experience you desire.
PrestaShop offers a fully scalable open source ecommerce solution. You can build an online shop with PrestaShop Addon, a marketplace with a range of templates and modules that can be integrated into your site.
As the name suggests, Blogger is a tool for all those wanting to create a blog online. Features are limited, however if you just want to write and share your thoughts with the online world, this could be the CMS for you.
TYPO3 is an Enterprise Content Management System and a great solution for large corporate portals and e-commerce platforms. It is able to manage very large and complex websites required for big business & major organisations.
One to Watch
AEM is a component of the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It is a powerful website building tool and one of the fastest growing web platforms today. In fact, Adobe recently acquired aforementioned Magento, adding an e-commerce platform to it’s marketing suite. Unlike the most popular platforms listed above, AEM comes at a cost. However, with Adobe being a major computer software company with close ties to Microsoft, this CMS is definitely a tool to watch.
Adobe Dreamweaver CC used to be a big content management tool and is still heavily used by web professional for designing, publishing and managing websites. It can read WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal templates and includes a grid system to create responsive layouts for different screen sizes, making this a very efficient tool for web developers.
Wordpress is clearly the market leader, taking over 60% of the market, with hundrets of competor CMSs sharing the remaining 40%. However, as competitors gain momentum, it will be interesting to see how long Wordepress can sustain it’s lead.
*Market Share statistics as of March 2019 (source: w3techs, web technology surveys)
In conclusion, there are numerous options out there that cater for a variety of applications and skill levels. Another consideration when choosing a content management system is your web hosting provider, this is a topic that will be covered in a future post.
Next month we will dive deeper and look at a comparison of the CMSs listed above. Sign up below to join our mail list so you don’t miss out.
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