This week we are going to cover what is a CMS.

What’s up Fish Fans! My name is Marcus. You’re watching Marketing Madness, the Blue Fish vlog!

Imagine this. You have a website. It’s an okay website. It works, it gets traffic, maybe it even looks good. But you begin to think to yourself, “Hey! I’d like to add some content!” So, what do you do? If you have a support retainer with a web host and a developer you’d probably ask them to add those changes. But if you’re doing it yourself, what does that process look like? You need to get access to your files, download them, edit your change, upload it back, and hope you didn’t break anything. Sounds good, right?

In all seriousness, we know our way around that process and we don’t even want to do that. It is a horrible way to update content on a website. Also, if you’re wanting your website to be “dynamic,” and want to be able to add content without all that hassle, you need a content management system.

But we have a problem here at Blue Fish. You see, we work in a technical world and we often use vocabulary that we think everyone understands but they don’t. We’ve been talking about CMSs for years without really taking a minute to explain what they are and why you should have one. Well, CMS is short for Content Management System. And Content Management Systems are applications that enable you to update a website with little to no technical knowledge. They are used to simplify the process of publishing content to the internet. You’ll sometimes hear them called a website’s “back-end,” or “admin” section.

Using a CMS, your website will integrate with a database system that your website will read dynamically. That way, you’re not manually editing your web pages each time you want to make an edit. Instead, you’re focusing your time on something more important: making content.

The functionality of a CMS can take many different forms. For instance, here at Blue Fish we predominantly use a content management system called Craft as our CMS of choice. It is fast, lean, and it is super easy for our clients and as developers it gives us the flexibility we need to build everything from small brochure type websites to large scale platforms for internationally known publishing companies. We also use ExpressionEngine and, for a few websites, WordPress.

You may have heard of some content management solutions. There are tons of them out there. Wordpress, Craft, ExpressionEngine, Drupal, Blogger, Joomla, Magento, SquareSpace, and more. It can be quite overwhelming. We will discuss in another video how you might decide which one you should use?

OK, there are a lot of technical aspects of CMS’s I won’t bore you with, but essentially the idea of a CMS is a separation of content from layout. For example, say you want a blog on your site. Each entry of the blog is going to effectively look the same, just with different text and images in the middle. A CMS’s job, no matter which one you pick, is to let you have a whole bunch of content, like blog entries, and one layout they can all fit inside. That’s a lot easier to work with, don’t you think?

But we’re not just talking about blogs here. A CMS can be used to make a lot of content on the site easier to update. You might have a page dedicated to staff, those staff members can each have entries in the CMS that stores information about their email address, phone number, picture, bio, etc. With a CMS entering in that content should be as easy as editing a word document. Those entries can then be brought in dynamically. They can be reordered. They can be closed and not appear.

I do hope this makes it easier to understand what a Content Management System is and why you might want to use one for your website.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!