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7 Key Benefits of a Content Management System

content management system

You have options for building your business website. You can code it yourself, use a WYSIWYG editor, or hire a developer.

Despite all of these options, more than 50 percent of all websites use a content management system.

It’s pretty clear that these CMSs offer some serious benefits or they wouldn’t dominate the way they do. Before we jump into the rest of the benefits, let’s take a quick look at what a CMS actually is in practice.

What is a CMS?

Despite the name, a content management system allows users to both create and manage digital content.

Content creation and management happen in the back-end or content management application. It’s what most people think of as the admin area.

You typically create content in a basic text editor. You access pages, configuration features, and content control from a sidebar menu.

Most businesses use a web content management system, but there are several varieties of CMSs. For a brief breakdown of the different types, check out this article.

1. User-Friendly

No one likes dealing with software that they can’t intuitively navigate and use. You probably experience this from time-to-time when you buy a new computer or face new software in the workplace. In fact, there are probably some programs you wouldn’t use at all if you could avoid it.

One of the biggest selling points for using a CMS is that they’re relatively user-friendly. The biggest player in the content management system game, WordPress, thrives in large part because it’s easy to navigate.

CMSs also let you take a pass on building your own website or hiring a web developer for the job.

2. Customization

Most content management systems allow for a lot of customization.

You can generally adjust the overall look and feel by installing a new theme. These alter everything from basic colors to menu locations and how content displays.

Plugins and extensions let you expand the range of functions you get with the CMS software. For example, you can install plugins for:

  • shopping carts
  • contact forms
  • email list management syncing
  • spam protection
  • image compression
  • extra security

As a general rule, these themes, plugins, and extensions require no special knowledge for installation. You frequently see single-click install options.

3. Simplifies Collaboration and Team Content Building

In the early phases of your website, you’ll probably create most or all of the content. That’s not sustainable. You’ll want more content creators as your business scales up and the website starts pulling its financial weight.

A CMS makes it easy for multiple people to work on a single piece of content.

For example, a writer can input an blog post. Your graphics person can insert images. Then your content manager can review it for brand consistency and schedule it to go live.

By the same token, let’s say you have a writer working with a subject matter expert.

The subject matter expert can outline key topics in the CMS and select appropriate sources for linking. The writer can then develop the actual copy inside the CMS. Then the SME can review the content for factual errors.

4. Simplifies Content Scheduling

You’ll want an editorial calendar as your content creation starts including more people than yourself. The calendar ensures that you get the right mix of seasonal and evergreen content over time. The calendar also lets you build out content in advance.

Unfortunately, it’s easy for those blog posts and articles you commission in advance to get lost. You know you got someone to write it but can’t find it in the black hole of your inbox.

CMSs let you input content now and schedule it for later publication. Let’s say you buy some holiday-themed blog posts in late September. You can plug them into the CMS right now and schedule them to go live in November and December.

5. Security

The threat of a data breach hovers over businesses large and small. That makes security a critical consideration for your website.

The entire burden of security falls onto your shoulders with a custom-built site.

A CMS comes with security features baked right into the software. For example, you get login pages, user permission settings, and automatic updates to the software.

Those native security features and updates make a CMS more secure long-term than most custom-built sites.

6. Accessibility

Most CMS systems are cloud-based. That means you can access them from anywhere you can connect to the internet.

That accessibility makes it practical for you to work remotely. It also means you can develop an entire team of people that work remotely.

You can use a writer in Florida, a graphic artist in Hong Kong, and a content manager in the UK.

In fact, depending on your specific industry, you can potentially run your entire business from a WiFi-enabled coffee shop.

7. Mobile-Friendly

Here’s a fun fact for business owners. More than half of global internet traffic gets routed through mobile devices. The takeaway here is that your site better look and work great on phones and tablets.

You sacrifice potential sales if your site loads slowly or displays badly on mobile devices. Why? People leave sites that don’t work right on the device they’re using at the moment.

As a rule, a CMS comes mobile-friendly from the moment of install. Just make sure any themes you use are also mobile-friendly.

Parting Thoughts on Content Management System Advantages

A content management system offers your business a lot of benefits. They’re typically much more user-friendly than custom sites. That saves a lot of headaches.

They let you customize the look and functionality of your site with themes, plugins, and extensions. You get baked in security features that you can augment with plugins and extensions. CMS-based websites generally come mobile-friendly.

A CMS simplifies collaboration and facilitates working remotely. That opens up the possibility of going office-free. Plus, it makes scheduling content for future publication a breeze.

Some businesses might need custom-coded solutions. Most businesses find themselves well-served by checking out a CMS first.

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