January 19, 2019
7 min Read
January 19, 2019
7 min Read
Content Management System (CMS) is a software that runs in your browser and allows to create, manage and modify website and it’s content without knowing any programming knowledge. A content management system provides you with a graphical user interface where you can manage every aspect of your website. You can create and edit content, add images and videos, and set up the overall design of the site. WordPress, Magento, and Drupal are some of the most popular CMSs currently on the market.
If you use a CMS, there’s no need to write either front-end or back-end code. It’s a user-friendly application that runs in your web browser. A content management system allows you to use a content editor to create posts, pages, web shops, and push all your content online. You can also configure your settings with the help of drop-down menus, checkboxes, and other controls. For example, here’s how the content editor of WordPress looks like:
With a CMS, you don’t need to manually upload your content, as it manages the whole process for you. When your content is ready, you simply press the Publish button and it instantly appears on the site.
Most CMSs let you add extra functionalities to your site in the form of extensions or plugins and themes. By default, a CMS allows you to create posts and pages, and design the overall looks of your website. Additional features such as search engine optimization, security, newsletter and contact forms, or image galleries need to be installed separately. The idea behind this structure is that every website owner has different needs and wants only the features they really need.
You don’t need to have any programming knowledge to use plugins or extensions, either. You can usually install them right from the CMS, with just a few clicks. Better still, many plugins and extensions come for free, however more advanced ones may cost money.
For instance, WordPress has thousands of free plugins in their official plugin repo. Probably, you have already heard of the most popular WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, WooCommerce, or WordFence Security. There are also plugins with which you can integrate your site with external tools such as MailChimp, PayPal, Eventbrite, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
These days you can choose from many CMS. Each of them targets different user needs, so everyone can find the one that best suits their own needs. Here are the most popular content management systems currently on the market.
WordPress has been the number one CMS for a while. According to BuiltWith’s statistics, this open source CMS currently powers more than 30% of websites worldwide. It started as a blog publishing platform but now it’s used for all kinds of websites from artist portfolios to business sites to online shops. WordPress’ popularity stems from its incredible versatility and ease of use. There are literally thousands of themes and plugins you can choose from to customize your site according to your exact needs.
Note that in this section we are referring to WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. Wonder how these two are different? See our article on the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
Drupal is a professional CMS mainly used by the corporate world. NASA, Tesla, Sony Music, Nokia, and many other notable businesses chose Drupal as their content management system. Drupal sites have an excellent page load time and a strong security. Drupal comes with built-in modules that work out of the box and seamlessly integrates with many popular analytics, marketing, and eCommerce tools.
Want to create a website with Drupal? See our Drupal tutorial to get started.
PrestaShop is an increasingly popular content management system for running online shops. It’s currently used by around 270,000 merchants worldwide. PrestaShop is an excellent solution for small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses. It allows you to quickly set up your online store, customize its design, and upload products. PrestaShop puts a great emphasis on complying with the law. You can configure taxes depending on location, make your checkout process compliant with local laws, and more.
Magento is a popular eCommerce platform used by companies like Samsung, Nike, and Ford. It allows you to build a complex online shop with all kinds of eCommerce features. You can create professional product and delivery pages, manage inventories, orders, and shipping, and more. With Magento, you can also add coupons, landing pages, up-sell and cross-sell campaigns to your online store.
A content management system is an ideal choice for many website owners, however, it can also come with some downsides. Here are the most important pros and cons of using a CMS.
When choosing a CMS, you need to consider many things. A CMS that works excellently for one website might not perform that well for another one. It’s always useful to listen to the experience of others but you also need to assess your own needs before making a choice.
Here are the most important questions you need to answer:
Still not sure which one to choose? See our list of the best CMS platforms to start a website.
Before you start to use a CMS, there are a couple of other tasks you need to do. First, you will need a web hosting company that provides you with a web server. The web server stores all the content, files, and databases necessary for your website. Your CMS is in constant contact with the server, uploading and downloading files whenever you add new content or a user loads your website in the browser.
You need to choose a web hosting company that supports the CMS you want to use. For instance, Hostinger has different WordPress plans that allow you to easily set up a WordPress site on our servers.
After you have found the best web hosting company, you need to choose and register a domain. The domain is the name of your website that users enter into their browser. Usually, you need to purchase the domain separately from your hosting plan. Sometimes, you can also get a domain for free, such as with our Premium and Business hosting plans.
After you chose the hosting company and purchased the domain and a hosting plan, you can start to set up the CMS from your hosting account. These days most web hosts, including Hostinger, provide you with one-click CMS setups. So, the whole process is automated and only takes a few minutes. When the CMS is up and running, you can access your site under your domain name and start to add content and customize the design.
Need a step by step guide? See our tutorial on how to make a website with different CMS platforms.
A CMS makes it possible to create and run a modern website without any programming knowledge and at a minimal cost. Besides its ease of use, the main appeal of a CMS is its customizability. With pre-made themes, plugins, and extensions, you can pick the design and features that best suit your needs. Content management systems make a successful online presence possible for anyone, let it be an individual artist, a startup, or an established company.