CMS-Content Management System

A content management system is for creating, managing, and optimizing your customers’ digital experience.

More specifically, a CMS is a software application that allows users to collaborate in the creation, editing, and production of digital content: web pages, blog posts, etc. The CMS (or WCM—web content management system) is evolving from just helping you launch digital content to a more robust system that is core to managing an overall digital experience across many different channels, such as email, mobile apps, social media, web sites, and more.

Any basic solution for web content management helps you upload or write content, format it, add headlines and images, and do a number of backstage things like SEO. But in a multi-device, user-centric world, that’s not enough. Digital marketing has evolved, focusing more deeply on customer experience while incorporating mobile apps, the Internet of Things, and more. All that depends on a web content management system that separates content management from content presentation.

cms content management system

With a CMS, you can create, manage, modify, and publish content in a user-friendly interface. You can customize the design and functionality of your site by downloading or purchasing templates and extensions, rather than coding. You can have multiple users working in the back-end of the same tool — and much more.

You might be wondering how one piece of software does all of this. To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at how a CMS works.

How a CMS Works

To understand how a CMS works, you first have to understand what it’s like to build a site from scratch.

You’d start with HTML to add text, images, navigation bars, and other building blocks of a site. Then you’d add CSS to style those elements to match the unique look and feel of your brand.

how a CMS works vs coding a website from scratch

You’d finish up by writing some JavaScript to add more advanced functionality to your site, like slide-in CTAs. Then you’d have to upload this HTML file to your server to be filed away in your database.

Whenever you want to make changes — even simple ones like updating content — you have to download files from the server, open them, and change the HTML code by hand. Then you’ll have to make sure you didn’t break any links or something else before uploading the files back to the server.