CMS systems - what are they and which one to choose?
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A CMS (content management system) is a tool that allows you to efficiently manage the content of your website.

21. 04. 2022

CMS systems - what are they and which one to choose?
CMS systems - what are they and which one to choose?

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What functions does the CMS system fulfil?

Thanks to easy access to the administration panel and many templates, the user doesn’t need to have extensive knowledge of programming languages to work on the website. A good CMS system allows you to quickly add new content, modify metadata, and adjust the site to customer requirements.

Changing the layout, adding modules (chat windows, contact forms etc.) and modifying the content (font size, structure, bolds, language etc.) are the most visible results of the CMS’s work from the customer’s point of view. In fact, these systems offer a much wider range of possibilities and functions, which also cover important technical issues. Through the control panel, the user is able to manage the URLs of websites in order to create a friendly space for visitors. The length of the address doesn’t have much effect on the performance of search engines, but a neat address looks much better when previewed, plus it also helps with management. Meta tags (title and description), which are responsible for high positioning of the website, are much more important for SEO.

Monolithic and headless - what types of CMS systems can we find on the market?

The traditional form for CMS is monolithic software. This type of software includes a complete set of functions that allow you to manage and share content. The monolithic CMS includes the front-end (used to present the content to the website visitors), the back-end (admin panel for managing the site) and a database for storing the content. The obvious advantage of this solution is that it provides a full suite of tools that can be operated by a person without programming knowledge. However, predefined functions may be an obstacle to the free management of the website.

Headless CMS is an alternative to the above model that offers software without a front-end and therefore “headless”. This gives you the ability to customize the way content is presented on any channel or site using a single set of tools that can be modified by the administrator. Separating the front-end also gives access to the technical aspects of the website without interfering with the appearance of the website. The disadvantage of this solution is the need to hire people who have knowledge of programming languages, to create an attractive front-end.

Open and closed source software - advantages and disadvantages

Another division among CMS concerns the accessibility to the code of specific software. The closed source system functions like a standard product. For a fee, the developer provides a system with specific functions and takes care of its updates. The advantage of this solution is security and support from the manufacturer, who is the only one with access to the code. The biggest drawbacks of this solution are the cost, the inability to change the software without manufacturer’s help and the need to wait for updates from the person responsible.

On the other hand, CMS open source is free software that can be described as decentralized. The code is publicly available and can be modified by any user, which offers unlimited versatility and easy access to the developer community to improve the performance of the program. Despite its high mobility, open source also has disadvantages. These include security - potential intruders also have access to the source code, which allows you to find vulnerabilities and use them for their own purposes. If the software doesn’t support a certain function, customizing an open CMS to your specific needs generates more expenses due to the need tohire a skilled developer, although this is usually a one-time fee, and in practice it often allows you to avoid the commission charged with Shopify software, so in the long run it may turn out to be more profitable.

Examples of CMS systems

Wordpress is one of the most important open source CMS. This free software has been used to build nearly 40% of the 10 million most popular and frequently visited sites in the world, and the brand value is over 60% of the entire CMS sector. Easy access to the code, a huge number of plugins and add-ons make Wordpress the best in its category.

Joomla is a bit more specialized tool compared to the previous one, because it offers solid support for regular users and developers as well. The ability to use software to support an e-commerce platform makes Joomla a tempting - and also free of charge - choice for demanding users.

Shopify is a CMS designed for the professional operation of shop windows. Ease of use and numerous front-end templates provide the ability to quickly prepare an e-commerce platform for operation. Shopify works on a closed-code basis, but quick technical support allows you to fix problems efficiently.

Netlify is a headless CMS that offers extensive support when building a website. Thanks to the open code, the software is extremely intuitive and allows you to set up the page in no time. Additional analytical features and plugins make Netlify a great choice when building Jamstack sites using the highest market standards such as React.js and GraphQL.

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