Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 in Blog, Marketing Guy

So this is one internet acronym that we recommend all business owners get familiar with if you are not already. CMS stands for Content Management System and if you are not using one already and you make the switch, you will never go back to a standard coded website again.

Now that you know what the acronym represents, you should also have an understanding of what this can do for managing your website. A CMS provides a standardized platform which makes publishing pages, posts and pictures to your website a breeze. So many businesses are flocking to the CMS systems of the world for managing their websites. And if you know what you are doing it is a smart idea.

Some examples of CMS systems are: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, MODx, OpenCMS, etc… There are a ton of both open source and paid solutions available nowadays, but they all do the same thing – make your data easier to manage. The only difference is the interface you get to use to accomplish your tasks and what kind of database the data is stored within. Some are definitely easier to use than others and the purpose of this article is not to play favorites on systems, but rather to educate you on the benefits of using a CMS.

OK – so it will manage your content… what does that mean? Basically the benefits of using a CMS fall within the ideals of standardization, compliance, granular administrative access and optimization.

Standardization comes from page format templates – a photo gallery will always look like every other photo gallery on your site. Same goes for product pages, contact forms, blog posts, link structures, etc.

Compliance is a huge benefit – especially when you think about having to edit each page manually from scratch. A CMS will handle all of the page headers for you and keep it consistent, maintain all of the standards that we just mentioned and you don’t even have to think about it.

Granular Administrative Access – although an extremely useful tool, it isn’t used enough by small business owners. This function will allow you to grant other people access to make updates and changes that you don’t have to be involved with. And that is probably the biggest problem in why it isn’t utilized as well as it could be… Small business owners like to be involved in everything. (And rightfully so, since it is their “baby” so to speak.) Fortunately, most CMS systems will allow for checks and balances where others can do the work and you, as the business owner or manager, just get to approve it. Imagine that!

Optimization is the best benefit (in my opinion at least) of a CMS. Being able to set up your standard rules and formats and knowing that they will always be applied in exactly the same fashion is a webmasters dream come true. This is what makes present day SEO actually attainable without making it your life’s work.

Is it easy? Heck yeah… if you take the time to learn how to set it up properly. However, if you are like most business owners, you probably lack the interest or desire needed to learn how how to use a CMS properly – much less how to install it, maintain it and modify it so that it doesn’t look like every other website that uses the same CMS.

So this is where you, as a business owner, have to make the call… Do I spend a couple of weeks reading up on how to properly get the most out of my {insert CMS name} website, or do I call in a professional? That is a question that you will have to answer on your own, but hopefully we have given you enough information to make investigating a CMS worthwhile.