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What the heck is a CMS?

Content Management CMS
Grateful Web Services designs all websites using a CMS

You may have heard the term “CMS” as it’s gotten quite popular in the last fifteen plus years. Maybe you have never heard of it, but either way, we will help you understand it a bit more clearly. CMS stands for Content Management System. Here is the link for the official Wikipedia definition. In the early days, a website was built using code but was not editable by the site owner or a non- technical person, only your web developer could make edits. Even for your developer, it was more complex and required all files to be stored on their local computer, and all files then had to be uploaded using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. Back in the day, you had to know HTML (HyperText Markup Language), which is a programming language. Everything took longer and was way more complicated. Modern sites are usually built with a CMS so that it is easier to make changes for the average person or even for your web developer moving forward. Maybe you have a new phone number, a new employee, you want to add a picture to a photo gallery, it can all be done through the CMS, also known as the back-end of the site. It’s still wise to hold off on doing updates and more complicated changes on your own, but the simple things can be done once you learn the basics. We find that many people still rather have Grateful Web Services handle maintenance and that is totally okay since we do offer that service. It is still in the best interest to develop the site using a CMS since there are so many available tools and plugins that make it the best option when developing a new website. In short, the CMS allows users to create, edit and publish content from anywhere and at any time. Because content is added to the CMS server, the operational aspects of the CMS are not installed on the users’ personal computers so this allows for much easier editing.

A few advantages of using a CMS

  • Easy to edit through a browser-based admin panel
  • Tons of plugins to help build your site without pricey custom programming
  • SEO-friendly URLs
  • Tons of Integrated and online help
  • Group-based permissions
  • Content hierarchy with unlimited depth and size
  • Minimal server requirements
  • SEO tools
  • Revision features allow content to be updated and edited after the initial publication. Revision control also tracks any changes made to files

The most popular content management system is WordPress, used by more than 28% of all websites on the Internet, and by 59% of all websites using a known content management system., The choice for WordPress is followed by Wix and Squarespace, both of which are less robust. Here at Grateful Web Services, we use WordPress as it’s proven to be the CMS of choice!

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