What is CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System. Normally, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor is a key component to a CMS, allowing the administrator to make edits and updates to their blog or website that is more similar to a Word document than an HTML text editor. Essentially, no markup or coding knowledge is needed, though it certainly helps and creates a better site! It makes editing much, much easier for a client.

Why do designers use CMS?

CMS is useful for developers, designers, and agencies alike because it saves time and caters a base to return to, rather than reinventing the wheel for every client. The platform provides an extensive set of files or frameworks that do not have to be recreated, and allows for a team to create core templates and plugins to then design and customize for each unique client. Plugins provide added functionality to a site for everything from contact forms, to integrating social media buttons, to creating custom fields.

For new designers, a CMS allows a space to learn and develop small scale projects using free or paid themes without knowing too much about coding. The support forums are usually useful, and there tends to be an established general online help for open source platforms.

Why do clients choose CMS?

Clients love CMS because FIREANT can train and explain the basics, allowing them to perform little edits on their own. We walk through the backend with every client so they feel comfortable editing their customized site. They are even capable of running their own blog to keep the site current, optimized, and higher in search engine rankings.

Are there disadvantages?

Although incredibly useful, nothing is perfect or can suit every person’s needs. Here are a few disadvantages of using CMS:

  • Reliance. Setting up shop with a CMS creates a website reliant on the programmers running or contributing to that CMS. Choosing a popular CMS is valuable to ensure support and proper updates of that system.
  • Upgrades. CMS requires upgrades to their system, and if your site isn’t set up properly an upgrade can disrupt or break your site. Luckily, that is not an issue for FIREANT clients.
  • Other costs. Paid themes usually come with more customization than free themes, and are an added cost. This is still likely less expensive than having a designer create from scratch. Another extra cost might be for the CMS itself, as some require monthly or yearly payments (ie Adobe’s ColdFusion).
  • Freedom. As a client is free to make edits and updates to the site, it is possible to accidentally mess with something in the backend that creates issues with how the website displays or functions. FIREANT is always available to assist clients to correct issues.

Treehouse Blogs outlines a few more hidden costs associated with running a CMS.

The advantages for using a CMS depend on the client and purpose of their site. Contact FIREANT to find out if a CMS is right for your business.