Content Management System (CMS) is a product installed on a web server that allows managing pages, blogs and articles online, without storing them on a desktop computer and uploading each time when you need to make changes. You simply login to your website, write or modify content, and your website is instantly updated, unless you set a specific schedule for your content to be visible to website visitors. CMS products also allow multiple administrators or editors to maintain online content without conflicting with each other. And most importantly, CMS products provide separation between articles and web design, thus allowing you to focus on writing content and not worry about copying the web design from page to page. CMS products can also automatically update menus and links between pages based on the list of articles you create, therefore you don’t need to worry about your website becoming broken when you rename pages.
Many CMS products have emerged over the last few years and sometimes it is difficult to choose the right one for your needs. In this article we’re going to talk about what you need to keep in mind when choosing a CMS. We will cover a few of the more popular CMS products used today.
Please note that some of the topics, pros and cons provided here are based on personal opinion and experiences of our staff. Other people may have a different opinion about CMS products based on their prior experience and comfort level with specific technologies. Therefore this guide is provided only as a general overview of popular CMS choices for those unfamiliar with CMS products or concepts.
There are 5 questions that you really need to keep in mind when choosing a CMS for your site.
#1 Does the CMS match your needs?
Your choice of CMS mostly depends on the kind of website you want to create. There are numerous types of websites: company, commercial, entertainment, news, blogs, forums, personal and educational, etc. Hybrid websites have also gained popularity. For example, a business website might have a dual purpose; one to promote its product as an e-commerce site, and another purpose to serve as an industry blog, providing additional useful information, such as analyst reviews, reports, etc.
Unless you know what you need your site to do, you’re going to have a hard time selecting the correct CMS. The first thing you should do is to sit down and list out what you need your website to do for you and what you might want it to do in the future. Then compare your list to the features of the CMS and the 3rd party plug-ins available for it. Who knows, in some cases, you might not need a CMS at all and be better off with just a static HTML site.
#2 Will it allow for growth and extensibility as your needs grow?
For this you will need to think ahead and envision what direction your site
might go in the future regarding functionality. You don’t want to start with a
CMS that you can’t extend later. So you want to check and see if plug-ins and add-ons exist that will let you extend the functionality of the CMS. In fact many people often choose their CMS just so they can use certain plug-ins.
#3 Is there a Support Community?
This is especially important if you are going with a free CMS platform and are doing it yourself. There is generally little to no support on most free products, so there needs to be a strong community that you can tap into when you need help and information.
#4 What is the learning curve?
This is very important if you are newbie. If the CMS is too complicated you might get overwhelmed and never get the site up and running. A simple CMS that suits your needs, that you can get up and running quickly, is better than a CMS with advanced features that you don’t need.
#5 How much does it cost?
How much is your budget for your site, or do you even have a budget? The good news is that there are many popular Free CMS platforms that will fit most needs, though you might have to spend a few bucks on a couple of plug-ins, or add-on tools to get the exact functionality you want.
THE CMS MARKET
There are literally hundreds of CMS out there that do pretty much anything you can think of and they range in price from free to thousands of dollars.
In this article we are going to take a look at the most popular CMS products that are free and supported by Sysstak.
As you can see over 70% of the web still uses no CMS at all, however, they may use custom developed programs to display content. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS used on the web holding 15.7% of CMS usage, with the others trailing behind.
The advantage of using a popular CMS such as those above is that there is a plethora of support communities, articles and forums to go to when you need help trying to figure something out and tons of plug-ins to add functionality to your site. Obviously the more popular the CMS is, the larger the community and selection of plug-ins.
A few years back using a CMS was more complicated than it is today as now most hosting companies have made it very easy to use the above popular CMS products by offering one-click installs through their hosting panels that sets up the basic CMS installation for you, including the database, in about 5 minutes. Then you only need to install your template, plug-ins, widgets and start adding your content.
Sysstak also supports all of the above CMS products, therefore no matter which of the above CMS products you choose, Sysstak can design templates for your CMS and if you choose to use none at all it can also create standalone HTML websites as well.
Depending on your needs choosing the right CMS can be very difficult or very easy. It’s our hope that this article has educated you about some of the different options available that Sysstak supports and help you choose the right CMS for your website.