What is a Content Management System?
A content management system (CMS) is software designed to create, edit, organize and publish digital content. If you’re a small business, you can gain a lot from using CMS technology to create and manage content without much technical know-how or a hefty budget.

Take a look at what exactly a content management system is, what the benefits are, and which one is right for your business.

What is a Content Management System?

A CMS takes care of the backend coding of a website. By creating templates, CMSs allow multiple users to manage the content, information and data of a website, project or internet application. By using a control panel or administration, a CMS enables businesses to create, edit, publish, archive content and then distribute such content, data and information quickly and efficiently.

Through an easy-to-use CMS, businesses can create, edit, publish and archive web pages, as well as blogs, articles, press releases and events. They can also add and edit product and services descriptions, product specifications, prices, photos, videos and more by using the CMS.

Website statistics can also be viewed and reported through a CMS. Businesses can also create and edit different users for the system, which have various permission and administration levels.

Why Small Businesses Need to Know About CMS

Having an online presence is essential for small business success. Websites have become the ‘shop windows’ of many small businesses, allowing them to promote and sell their products and services to a global audience without the expense of having a bricks and mortar store.

Having a website allows small businesses to remain competitive. Such are the benefits having an online presence brings to small businesses, it comes as little surprise that research shows an increasing percentage of small businesses are building websites and investing in digital marketing.

As not all small business owners are comfortable with technology, the beauty of a CMS is that it allows small businesses to build and manage a website in an easy and cost-effective way.

When only using the basic functions of a CMS, little time needs to go into training teams on how to use and manage a small business website and digital content. Subsequently, a small business with little money or time to invest in digital marketing can compete with competitors which are active online and reach out to a global audience without a hefty budget.

Benefits of Content Management Systems

The cost-effectivity and ease-of-use are the principle benefits of small businesses using content management systems. CMSs allow your business to streamline the digital content and authoring process. You can customize the website, so it meets the precise needs of your business and ensure consistency in the appearance of the site.

With having to rely on web developers or webmasters to make content updates and changes, a CMS reduces website maintenance costs

CMSs can also be integrated into other business applications, such as asset management and customer relationship systems. You can also optimize your website and content so that it is mobile-friendly and performs well on the search engines.

Through these dynamic and easy-to-implement digital marketing achievements, CMSs can help your business broaden its customer appeal and reach, improve sales and be an effective strategy to increase your bottom line.

What Type of CMS is Right for your Business?

There are effectively two types of content management systems for your business to consider — open source platforms and proprietary platforms.

Open source CMSs, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, are the most popular types of CMS, as they are easy to use and can be customized based on your business’s requirements. These platforms are updated and improved regularly by coders and are free to download and use.

The affordability of open source CMSs make them an attractive option for small businesses. However, security and the risk of hacking continues to be a pressing concern of these types of content management systems.

Proprietary CMS platforms are developed and updated by one company. These CMSs are tailored to meet the individual needs of a business. However, proprietary CMSs comes with a licensing fee and are therefore a costlier type of CMS for a business to run.

Which type of CMS you opt for is dependent on your marketing budget and the individual circumstances and needs of your business.

If you are wanting to improve the online presence of your business without having to invest heavily in website management, getting to grips with a CMS could be the perfect tool in helping your business optimize its digital presence.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “What is a Content Management System and How Can it Help Your Business?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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