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CMS – what it is and what it is used for

Virtually all of us can at this point create our own simple website, such as a blog. Neither proficiency in programming languages nor special hardware or software is needed for this. All you need to do is create an account in the so-called. content management system, or CMS, which opens up such possibilities. There, using the user panel, we can freely manage and modify the content displayed on our website.

What is a CMS?

CMS is a system equipped with an administration panel and appropriate tools, whose task is to build a website and allow free management of the displayed content. These types of tools first began to be developed around 1995, so it is not new. The acronym CMS itself refers to the English-language content management system. CMSs are used to create both simple, single-threaded websites and complex online stores or news portals. An important point is that in a CMS you can easily add new content, update or delete older threads, which is great for company blogs, the aforementioned stores or news feeds. CMS-type systems are freely available on the Internet in the form of open source, although it is possible to buy access to them in a SaaS service, or even to create a proprietary CMS.

Proprietary CMS, CMS SaaS and Open Source CMS.

Today’s online resources offer two basic types of CMS – open source and SaaS. The former refers to such systems whose source code is open and access to files, plug-ins and tools is free. The downside, however, is the security aspect – open code is an open door to cyber attacks unless you keep your software up to date. The second type of system – available as a System as a Service – means “buying space” in closed, secured code and ready-made templates. Template interference and personalization is only possible to a certain extent, so full CMS dedication to user needs can be forgotten. By going to a software house, we will gain access to a third solution – a proprietary CMS. Such a system is fully personalized, written from scratch for specific customer requirements and expectations. Is it a better solution? Not always – it depends on what we expect and whether a related effect could be achieved in an open source system. Is it an expensive solution? Certainly more expensive than buying SaaS access. It should come as no surprise that proprietary CMSs are not among the most popular.

How do you know a good CMS?

CMS systems on the Internet are plentiful, and – as you can easily guess – some will perform better and others worse than the competition. So it is worth knowing the features of a good CMS:

  • It is intuitive, easy to use, and no prior experience is needed;
  • It works quickly and responsively, information updates appear immediately;
  • Adding and editing content is possible without knowing languages, such as. HTML, CSS;
  • Add-ons are available to make things easier and improve the performance of the site;
  • It is possible to optimize the site for SEO (e.g. adding meta descriptions, editing meta tags, creating friendly URLs);
  • It is available to create accounts for a given site with different ranges of permissions;
  • It is possible to customize the site for desktop and mobile views;
  • A helpdesk or department is available to support the user in case of defects;
  • The system has an extensive community and an established position in the IT market.

Something different will matter to each user, but the security, responsiveness and intuitiveness of the CMS is an absolute must.

The most popular CMS systems

If you don’t know which CMS will be the best choice, you can follow the voice of the community. Check out the structure of the most popular CMS systems (data for 2022):

  • WordPress – the undisputed king of CMS, on which 2/3 of websites are based;
  • Wix – a tool that allows you to create pages in drag and drop;
  • SquareSpace – an intuitive CMS program for creating a professional website;
  • Joomla – a powerful, advanced tool that opens many options;
  • Drupal – an advanced framework that requires a minimum of coder knowledge;

Due to its specification, we separate CMS dedicated to the e-commerce sector from other CMS. The group of e-commerce-oriented tools includes:

  • Woocomerce – the most popular CMS for online stores;
  • Shopify – one of the first tools for complete e-shop management;
  • Presta Shop – one of the most popular solutions in Polish e-commerce;
  • Magento – an advanced CMS system currently being developed by the Adobe group;
  • Open Cart – one of the best choices for creating a simple online store;

At 4bsystems, we mostly use solutions based on WordPress and Presta Shop platforms. This is because these tools allow the relatively widest range of possibilities, a rich selection of plug-ins and add-on packages. As a result, each realization for our customers looks exactly as they expect.

CMS – on your own or in cooperation with an agency?

The essence of CMS systems is that virtually any person – regardless of his or her seniority in programming or experience at all – can create his or her website. So there’s nothing stopping you from starting your blog writing adventure this way, creating your online cookbook or preparing a creative presentation of your house for sale. However, if we don’t have programming experience, creating slightly more elaborate projects may prove too challenging. One can, of course, compromise and accept a result along the lines of “I did the best I could.” However, a much safer and more secure solution will be to use the services of a software house. The specialists employed there will comprehensively prepare your website, and the entire project will be carried out efficiently, according to the client’s guidelines. Price is also an advantage – it is much faster and cheaper to create something from scratch than to outsource revisions, which may not be profitable in the end.

4B Systems Software House Śląsk | Gliwice | Katowice | Warszawa. Kodowanie aplikacji webowych i mobilnych na zlecenie.

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