Our social media apprentice, Luke Buss, spent his second week at Estio Training in Leeds as part of his apprenticeship Level 3 qualification. During this week he studied Content Management Systems (CMS) and how they are used by businesses. Based on his findings, Luke reviews the different options out there, and the recommended CMS to use to suit the size and demands of your business.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
It is a piece of software or an application that can be used to create, publish and manage digital content whereby multiple users can work in synergy. Features vary depending on which CMS offering you use, however, they will include indexing, search, format/layout management and publishing. A good CMS will allow you to create and customise URLs that are SEO friendly.
TWO OF THE MOST COMMONLY USED CMS PLATFORMS
TThere are quite a few different types of CMS out there but the most commonly used one is WordPress. It is free to use and open source based on PHP and MySQP (meaning you can easily modify). Paired with its hosting availability, it makes for an attractive offering to SMEs. For those who still consider themselves a novice with websites, WordPress has a user-friendly layout with a large number of themes, plug-ins and widgets available.
It’s clear to see why WordPress attracts many businesses and has become the most popular CMS for blogging. WordPress has over 75 million active websites, with around 37 million of these websites utilising its free hosting.
For the more advanced, Joomla is a complete CMS that is more suitable for those looking for more than your standard portfolio website. Similar to WordPress, you have access to a varying amount of extensions to build on your website; however, these are more likely to come at a cost.
I HAVE A CMS PLATFORM LINED UP, WHAT NEXT?
Once you have your website ready, you need to explore hosting options:
1. Shared Web Hosting
Pay a fixed monthly rate to a web services company and have them host your website on their servers. Your website could be on the same server as hundreds of other websites keeping costs fairly low, ranging from around £10 p/month to £200 p/month.
2. Cloud-Based Web Hosting
This technology allows hundreds of servers to work together as one super server. This is beneficial for the host as the more websites they have joining the server network, the more servers they will add to the cloud network. This also means your website can handle higher volumes of traffic as it can be moved around each server on the network.
3. Virtual Private Server
These share one physical server, however, it works like multiple separate servers. You avoid other sites slowing/bringing down your website while avoiding the cost of a dedicated server.
4. Self Service Web hosting
Host everything yourself; you buy the server, install the software and configure it. This is the most expensive option in terms of cost and time need up front to set this running.
I hope this brief overview of CMS platforms is useful. Look out for my next blog on SEO.