As the world of digital marketing continues to expand, so do the options available that impact the way companies grow and capture their customers. New digital marketing software options, tactics, and algorithms pop up every month. They beg you to give them a try to optimize your digital marketing activities and attract that valuable customer base. One tool that you’ve probably heard mentioned quite a bit in recent years is regarding the implementation of a content management system or CMS.
Back to Basics: What is a Content Management System?
Think about this fact - it’s believed that there are nearly two billion websites online today. That means that there’s approximately one website for every four people in the world. That number is even more impressive considering that roughly only half of the world’s population has internet access.
In the past, the process of managing a website’s content was tedious and technical. Allocated employees took on a load of tasks such as loading the project, identifying the code, rewriting the code, committing changes to a repository, and deploying the updates to the website. However, thanks to Content Management Systems (CMS), this process has been simplified significantly.
So what is a CMS? In the simplest of terms, a CMS is a computer application or set of similar programs that can be used to create or manage digital content. This is done by adding, editing, or deleting content that is to be published on a website. Many CMS programs include web-based publishing, format management, history editing, and version control, indexing, search, and retrieval. From one central location, a CMS is capable of creating and editing content and allows you to administer users and assign different permissions to each.
Due in part to the functionality and ease of a CMS, many business owners are migrating from traditional static web pages to this new option. There are numerous CMS options available to consumers, with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento among the most popular.
WordPress is the most commonly used, controlling upwards of 60% of the market share. Of all active websites on the internet, approximately 30% are controlled using WordPress - probably because WordPress development and maintenance are simplified processes compared to coding your own site. You’ll hear more about WordPress later on, but let’s take a deeper look at CMS systems and the value it can bring to your digital marketing goals.
Benefits of a CMS
There are several benefits to using a CMS. One main advantage is that installing a CMS is significantly faster than coding a website from scratch. Many CMS platforms come with standard bundled features so that you can get up and running with the bare basics very quickly. You can always upgrade or add additional features after you are operational and evaluate what else you need. Content management systems also have support teams behind the scenes that are continually working on updates and new features that aim to do even more to help digital marketing activities.
In today’s technologically-advanced era, online security is a big issue for companies. It’s common to hear news stories about hacks and security breaches to some of the biggest brands and their websites. Whether you're a global company or a small startup; having a secure website where your customers feel safe is of utmost importance. Many businesses that have implemented a CMS note that potential security vulnerabilities that pop up are handled quickly. This means it’s always easy to ensure that your website is up to date and secure, and your customers feel safe and confident whenever they visit your site.
Let’s look at a few other features of a CMS that have been identified as most valuable to users such as:
- No web development proficiency required,
- Access from anywhere,
- Complete control of the site,
- Blog functionality,
- Extensive plugin ecosystem
Web Development Proficiency Not Required
To be fair, someone with absolutely no web development experience whatsoever might have a difficult time creating a website using a CMS. But the good thing is that learning how to use a CMS is relatively easy and many “technologically-challenged” employees have picked up how to use the system quite quickly and with very little training. Once the website is built, updating content, graphics, etc. are as simple as operating a Word document.
Many companies are seeing some cost-savings thanks to using a CMS. The days of hiring a web developer who is primarily responsible for making changes to the website - like, for example, your company’s operating hours or updating a few keywords for SEO - are a thing of the past. With the proper training and guidance, your existing staff can make changes whenever they are needed instead of waiting and relying on someone who knows how to code.
Access From Anywhere
We are a mobile society. No longer do we sit at the office from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., 5 days a week working on our desktops. Companies need digital marketing solutions that are mobile and accessible anytime, from anywhere. CMS platforms are giving organizations that much-needed flexibility to change their websites as their business changes. That could be hourly, daily, weekly – whatever is needed explicitly by the company and its customers.
CMS platforms like WordPress allow users to log in to their site from any device with internet access. With a traditional static site, you would need to remote into your server or be at a computer connected to the server to make any revisions. That’s not the case with a CMS. They offer ease of access which makes it much more appealing for users as the entire process is simplified into an anywhere access portal for the site’s administrators.
Additionally, you can assign any number of users a role to make revisions on the site, instead of having one dedicated developer. You can customize those roles and permissions, ensuring that contributors only have access to what they need and prevents them from accidentally altering something that they shouldn’t.
Complete Control of the Site
Business owners want to ensure they have complete control over their website at all times. That can be challenging if the site is running multiple programs or software platforms at once in order to be operational. With a CMS, all of the site’s content, graphics, scripts, plugins, etc. will be available in the control panel or dashboard. There aren’t multiple libraries storing files that you need to dig through to revise, add content, etc. Everything that a user needs to make his/her updates can be edited from one central, simple-to-use platform. This in itself is proving to be of significant value to users in regards to time savings.
Blogs are prevalent these days. There are many different types of blogs covering a wide range of topics, interests, and audiences. Blogging as a business is a great way to increase the number of searches your site appears for, which means it has inherent SEO value. In fact, businesses that have a blog generate 434% more indexed pages in search engines like Google. The more pages you have indexed, the more likely your site is to show up when someone searches for a relevant term.
While they sound simple to create in theory – write your blog, attach some photos, post it and get thousands of followers -- building a blog page is a lot more difficult. Creating a blog is essentially the equivalent of building a custom CMS platform. Even for an experienced developer, building a successful blog site could take days, or even weeks to accomplish. Thankfully, many CMS platforms, such as WordPress, come with blog functionality already built in. They offer step-by-step instructions to get your blog up and operational, and come with a variety of themes, plugins, and options to give you the look that fits your business.
Extensive Plugin Ecosystem
In keeping with the blog topic and how they work within a CMS, we keep referring to WordPress because, as mentioned earlier, they control nearly 30% of all websites on the internet. WordPress also has a massive plugin environment. *(Just as a refresher, a plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on to a web browser and gives the browser additional functionality.)
From SEO tools, to contact forms, site security and e-commerce functionality, there is an endless number of plugins that can very easily be downloaded and installed on your site, helping you become more SEO-friendly to those who may not know you yet, and appealing to current and potential customers who want to learn more about your business and what you offer.
As you can see, switching to a CMS from a traditional static website makes sense for many reasons. The simplicity, functionality, and cost of development are virtually unmatched by any other option currently available. This is precisely why so many users are now switching to this type of platform. Building your website with a CMS will help your team streamline workflows and work more efficiently.
If you’re serious about getting ahead of the pack when it comes to digital marketing, you need Code Authority. Our in-house team has the knowledge to help guide you with what digital marketing services, media channels, and analytics tools you need in order to communicate to your audience. We strive to understand your specific marketing needs and will develop a comprehensive plan for achieving those goals. Contact us today to learn more about what Code Authority can do for you.