Content Management System (CMS)
This is the software system on which you will manage all your content. Content covers a wide range of materials. These can be articles or blog posts that you have written. But they also cover your images and videos. Content can also cover all the interactive elements of your website like links and buttons. For e-Commerce, it also covers all the product details such as descriptions, prices, tax and delivery charges.
If you’ve started with WordPress or Wix blogging, both of these sites will be able to upgrade you to more sophisticated versions of their CMS. This will add more features at an additional cost. So you will be able to have more control over the design and layout for example. And you’ll be able to more easily manage the technical set-up and integration with other software systems like Google Analytics or add a Facebook pixel.
This site for example is built with WordPress CMS. WordPress is the world’s most commonly used CMS and brings with it a number of advantages. It is relatively easy to learn without the need for a lot of technical or coding expertise. And it comes with access to a large catalogue of plug-ins. These are small pieces of software that you can ‘plug-in’ to add extra functionality to your website and make them more interactive. For example, you can plug in something like ‘WooCommerce” to a WordPress website to turn it from a publishing website to an e-Commerce website. You can add quizzes as we have done on many of out content pages.
With WordPress, you should note that there are two slightly different versions. It is important to understand the differences. There is a version called WordPress.org which is a free CMS. It’s normally an option that comes with your website server agreement to install a version of wordpress.org.
But there’s also a wordpress.com option where wordpress themselves become your server hosting provider. In this case, you pay for the CMS and server together. and you do benefit from more direct support from WordPress themselves. But you do lose some of the flexibility that you have when you run wordpress.org on your own server.
WordPress and Wix do have a wide range of applications and they are popular for a reason, especially with smaller business who do not have technical expertise.
But beyond WordPress though, there are hundreds of other CMS systems to choose from.
There are more advanced CMS systems which offer great flexibility and options, especially if you need to allow multiple people access to the system.
But these more advanced CMS systems also tend to come with more cost and complexity.
For most businesses, we have found WordPress and Wix to be solid performers unless there is a specific use case that they cannot meet.
For these more advanced cases, normally you would work with the CMS provider directly, and the CMS would be part of a wider marketing technology stack such as we cover in our guide to marketing technology.