Our clients like to ask us about the essential components of a website and one question that often gets raised is "What is a CMS and why do I need one?"
At Fat Heads, we like to keep things common sense and jargon-free so here we’ve outlined an overview of the basics of CMS.
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for Content Management System. A content management system is basically the software or platform that allows you to create, modify and manage your digital content. Your website and what your users see when they visit is sometimes referred to as the ‘front end’, whereas the CMS is sometimes referred to as the ‘back end’. Your website visitors don’t see the CMS, only website authorised administrators, as it is your platform to add and edit website pages, text and images.
There are a number of different content management systems and it will depend on the type of site you are looking to build and the agency you choose to build it as to which CMS your site will meet. The ones you are most likely to consider are:
- Magento (ecommerce)
Why do I need a CMS?
Your CMS is important because it is where you add, edit and publish content for your website and therefore puts you in control of your online content so you can keep it current and up to date. You want a website that will grow with you and your business. Even if you start out with a very simple website you will want to publish news, add new products or services, update information and imagery etc. Gone are the days of static websites that are created, launched and then left alone for years.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is another valuable reason to have a CMS that you use regularly to keep your website content current. Google is the most commonly used search engine and in order to make sure that people get directed to the most accurate and useful websites from their search Google has a number of things it looks for from a website. Amongst a host of other technical functionality, Google looks for sites with useful and updated content. Your CMS puts you in control of keeping your content updated.
What CMS functionality should I look out for?
There are a number of essentials you will need your CMS to do and it is helpful to map out what you want to be able to edit on your website and the type of content you’ll be posting to your site. Will you just be updating text or do you need the ability to add photos, videos and lots of different types of content?
- Page templates
- Taxonomy (e.g. categories, tags etc.)
- Meta data
- Media uploading
- Contact forms
- Multiple administrators with varying access levels
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- Online payment integration
Our tips for helping you plan what you need from your website’s content management system and some questions you can ask:
Think about what type of content you will regularly want to add to your site. Will it be mainly news and blogs? What images or other media will you be adding to your content? Are you looking to sell products online? Are you going to be adding lots of product pages?
Identify who is going to be keeping your website content up to date. Will it just be one person or a group of different users? Will some of the users need more access and rights to publish than others?
Frequency of updates
How regularly will you be using the CMS? It is worth understanding how frequently you will be using the CMS. Some organisations will only want to use it every so often and therefore want to keep a relatively simple process whereas those that will be using it daily might want more complex functionality.
How can Fat Heads help?
Fat Heads provide a customised CMS as standard for any website. We believe that our clients should have the ability to be self-sufficient in administrating their website and not have to pay costly fees to regularly update the content. Whether you’re planning a new website or looking to bring an existing site up to scratch, Fat Heads can help you work out what you need and the best approach for your business. To find out more or discuss any of the questions above contact us on 07901 758 190 or here using our contact form.