A website CMS is software that is designed to manage the content of a web resource. After installing and configuring the system, users who do not have special knowledge in the field of web development can easily manage the content of the site: add new pages, upload texts and media files, edit menu blocks, etc.
The abbreviation is made up of English words content management system, transcript which sounds like a “content management system”. The main task of all CMS is to make it easier to work with the content of a web site. In a broad sense, this word can be used to describe any software that makes it possible to effectively manage large amounts of data and work with the content of news publications, online stores, etc.
Engine for the site represents an ordered configuration of internal and external elements, an integral program formed by professionals. It ensures the functioning of the product and comfortable interaction with it for an authorized user who does not have specialized knowledge and skills.
Control system allows you to implement the following functions:
- Creating a web platform from scratch, publishing it on the network, integrating with any services, expanding by installing add-ons.
- Design and layout, styles – selection of already created design templates and themes, their customization to precisely meet business requirements, selection of colors, fonts, styles and other components.
- Organizing content – creating and editing pages, menus, categories through the interface provided for this; the ability to upload, store and manage images, videos, audio files and other multimedia components.
- Administration – managing users and their rights using built-in tools, defining their roles and access rights.
- Monitoring and analytics – thanks to the presence of algorithms for tracking traffic, analyzing visitor behavior and other metrics for optimization.
- SEO optimization – almost all CMS have everything you need to configure meta tags, URL structure, web resource map and other parameters that help optimize it for search engines.
Trying to understand what there are CMS, what is it? However, it is important not to confuse them with constructors, which are significantly limited in functionality and range of capabilities, allowing you to create only the simplest projects based on layouts. While content management systems provide much more freedom and options, thanks to which large unique online platforms are successfully built on their basis.
How does the CMS work?
Understanding what is CMS, you need to pay attention to the features of its interaction with the user. Any system is equipped with a special multi-level panel with an easy-to-understand interface designed to make it easier for a person with no programming experience to perform various actions. The entire arsenal is accessible to a non-professional directly in the browser and provides a wide field for activity.
Key components of interaction include:
- Database – storing all information about content, visitors, settings, etc. Can be structured (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite) or other.
- The user interface is responsible for the convenience of creating, editing and managing content.
- The kernel is the central software component that is responsible for the basic functionality.
- Modules – expand options, add new features (image galleries, feedback forms, links to social networks, and others).
- Templates – define the external display and structure.
Content management systems – this is the basis of the site, designed to ensure that all components work and perform their tasks, and anyone can manage the array.
The main functions in interacting with data at any level:
- Adding content and copying – text, photos/videos, any other files.
- Editing and deleting – all content and elements to present them in the form required by the administrator.
- Processing and analysis – generation of graphs, reports, price lists, etc.
- Additional operations – preparing mailings, working with chat and others.
CMS is a system operating according to standard algorithms. The process of interaction with the admin looks like this: a request is sent through the web interface, the kernel processes it and determines the correct actions, accesses the database to save or change information, then all this is processed and passed to the template, which generates an HTML page for display. A response is then given to the administrator in the format of the modified content, which he can view or edit.
Types of CMS
When choosing a CMS, you may encounter a number of problems. The fact is that almost everything website engines allow you to create a resource of any level of complexity and type – from an online store or media to a travel blog and training courses.
Among programmers, there are those who consider WordPress to be the universal and only possible choice, while others find it easier to work with Drupal or Joomla!. Nevertheless, they all have a number of features and may involve a number of restrictions and unique solutions. Therefore, the issue must be approached very seriously, taking into account many parameters in the process.
CMS systems There are paid and shareware, which means that there are certain costs for purchased themes and additional elements, but there are no regular payments for using the solution itself. The code can be open with permission to make changes or closed. The CMS can be written from scratch without being tied to any standardized layout or installed out of the box.
Open source CMS
Open source allows literally anyone to add to the engine, modifying and improving it. Therefore, you can find many themes and layouts for them on the Internet, updates and extensions are regularly released, and vulnerabilities are quickly found and eliminated. By choosing this option, you can get a really large arsenal and a number of advantages – flexibility and customization, low price, independence from the supplier, an active community, a large package of resources.
Modified closed-source proposals, changes to which are allowed (and can be made) only by official developers. CMSs offer pre-installed options and designs that are easy to unpack, launch and use. The number of additions is even less than in the case of open source, but for many cases this may not be critical. Especially if there is a request to quickly launch a small online store or landing page without working out every detail. Examples: Wix, Tilda, Shopify, SitePro.
It is a unique platform, hand-designed for specific needs. Guarantees complete control over functionality and design, a chance to implement any idea without any restrictions. This option requires deep knowledge from the contractor and serious financial costs from the customer, but gives high flexibility, originality, and uniqueness.
It is worth noting that even after the work is completed and launched, the project may require considerable investment. After all, for modifications or any slightest changes, you need to involve the creator or another expert who will have to understand the code from scratch. And this is long and expensive, so you should think about all the nuances before starting cooperation.
A framework is a kind of “blank”, a model with which you can quickly and conveniently create a platform for any task. We are talking about a set of libraries, integral tools that significantly speed up work. But they also complicate it, because here you have to create a separate admin panel, which in some cases may be equal to writing another product from scratch.
One of the advantages of this is worth mentioning: the absence of restrictions and the chance to implement any functionality. Suitable for non-standard technical requirements, where strict adherence to structural requirements, scalability and high performance are important.
Today you can find a variety of different engines for websites – the number reaches several hundred. Different categories have their own favorites, because while designing a large online store requires the same requirements, launching a personal blog requires completely different ones.
But there is one brand that has been at the top of the ratings for many years, becoming a leader in almost all areas and countries. Considering popular CMS One cannot help but recall WordPress, on the basis of which more than 850 million websites in the world have already been made, which is 43% of the total.
WordPress is used by 97% of bloggers, who publish 6 posts every second. CNN, Spotify and TED choose WordPress and every day about five thousand platforms are created on it. More than 60,000 free plugins have been created for CMS and a huge variety of paid and free themes are available. This is an undisputed leader, whose performance is unlikely to ever be matched by competitors.
Second place in the popular rating web content management system Shopify ranks with 5.5% of the market share. The popularity is due to ease of use, successful templates, integration with payment services, high security and cloud infrastructure. It’s ideal for e-commerce, providing everything you need to start and scale your online business.
Next come Wix, Squarespace, Joomla and custom engines.
CMS WordPress is the most popular choice all over the world. It has rich functionality for blogs, business cards and online stores. Supports thousands of plugins and themes. Easily managed via web interface. There are built-in SEO and security modules. Frequent updates ensure stability and eliminate vulnerabilities.
1C-Bitrix: Site Management
It has a significant arsenal for creating and supporting web projects: CMS, convenient designer, online store, integration with 1C. It promises flexibility, everything for SEO promotion, scalability, suitable for various tasks – from corporate portals to online supermarkets. The purchase and annual renewal of a license, without which it will not be possible to update, is required in all packages.
CMS OpenCart is free open-source platform for online trading. Easy to install and operate. It has a wide range of functions: management of goods, orders, payment and delivery, reporting. Supports many plugins and themes to organize the structure. SEO optimization, ease of integration and an active community make OpenCart the best choice for e-commerce.
CMS Tilda is product for landing pages and websites without programming. It has an intuitive editor, a rich library of blocks and animations. Provides mobile adaptation, optimal loading speed and SEO optimization. With Tilda, it is quite possible for even a beginner to quickly and effortlessly implement creative and effective online projects.
CMS Joomla is a universal platform on which you can implement any idea. Offers a set of basic algorithms and additional ones that are installed separately. Low hosting requirements, scalability and thousands of components are advantages that many developers value. At the same time, unlicensed extensions and the risk of hacking, not very logical internal architecture and difficulties in building online trading are significant disadvantages.
Excellent for e-commerce, providing a considerable arsenal of solutions. Adaptive templates, your own caching algorithm, serious requirements for hosting resources, the need to involve a highly qualified specialist in the work, the lack of a visual editor, difficulties in using the admin panel – points that should not be forgotten.
Very popular when designing corporate web products. There is no usual admin panel, but it is possible to implement any ideas both at the level of individual pages and the entire project, a ready-made package of tools for search engine optimization. There are many modules, so finding the correct one for your request will not be difficult. However, some users note difficulties in operation.
A modern framework for web development in PHP. Known for its elegant syntax structure, Eloquent ORM, Composer integration and Blade templates. It promises good performance and development based on MVC principles, as well as many tools for comfortable work with the database, routing and testing.
Advantages and disadvantages
Among the main advantages are:
- You don’t need to have in-depth knowledge of programming languages.
- A set of pre-installed, thoughtful and designer-created solutions for the design of a web resource, taking into account adaptation for mobile devices and other settings.
- Logical organization of taxonomy (groups, headings, sections, categories).
- A lot of pre-installed components, extensions – for SEO promotion, chats for communication, applications to increase the level of security, social network widgets.
- Availability of a fully functional module for editing content and simple administration with multi-level access rights, which can be performed by any employee of the customer company.
- Minimum completion time, relatively low costs.
- Information support for the community, publication of freely available instructions, FAQs, and documentation.
The disadvantages include:
- A number of restrictions that cause difficulties if you want to create unique web projects with a “catchy” design and original “features”.
- Vulnerability – standardized algorithms always carry the risk of bot attacks and hacking. Hacking of one self-written CMS is less likely than mass infections of web resources through found flaws in free engines that were not updated in a timely manner.
- Bulky architecture – can negatively affect loading speed, performance, and resource consumption.
How to choose a CMS
First, it is advisable to think through and analyze everything. Basic aspects are the type of future web resource, the need to implement specific functions and design features, budget and administration plans (will the client independently update, develop, promote, etc.).
When choosing, the following factors are taken into account:
- Type of content (articles, images, videos, products, etc.).
- Level of technical complexity of administration.
- Flexibility and scalability for development, adding elements and functions, correct functioning in the event of an increase in traffic and content volume.
- Community and support are important in the process of troubleshooting problems and finding workable solutions.
- Security – The CMS must be regularly updated to close holes and correct vulnerabilities.
- Availability of SEO tools to increase visibility in search engines.
- Integration with other services (social networks, analytics, e-commerce, etc.).
- License type and cost, theme availability, reviews and recommendations.
Before making any decisions, it is advisable to consider each of the options, studying all the nuances. The more widespread the platform, the more specialists interact with it and the cheaper their services can cost (although this factor, of course, is subjective when calculating the budget). The larger the community, the faster the problems found are solved and the easier it is to find an answer to any question.
There are certain niches in which brands operate. Thus, corporate and large news portals are often made using Drupal, and OpenCart is popular in the field of e-commerce. WordPress, which was originally created for these needs, is well suited for a blog, landing page, or article book. Forums are made on vBulletin, phpBB, yaBB, stores for Europe and the USA are made on Magento. Joomla and Bitrix are suitable for web platforms with a serious amount of content.
How to find out the site’s CMS
To know, what website engine it is possible even without access to its administrative part. Often this need arises in the process of analyzing competitors, searching for good ideas for customer projects, citing ready-made stores or portals as examples.
First of all, it is worth mentioning special services – iTrack, 2ip.ru, BuiltWith, WhatCMS and similar add-ons for browsers. Sometimes information is indicated in the footer. If all this doesn’t work, understand which CMS site possible when viewing the page code. Just open the main page, press Ctrl+U, then search Ctrl+F and “generator” – most likely, the brand will appear next to this word. It is also inside the head tag.
Studying the morphology of URLs will help – each system has its own nuances of link formation, so in the absence of special CNC settings, you can easily understand the type of structure. Sometimes cookies and the parameters specified in them help. You can try to select the path to the admin panel by adding the appropriate ending to the website name. There is useful information in the robots.txt file – in the lines of pages that are prohibited from indexing.
Website development using CMS
This is a smart choice in cases where you need to create a digital product quickly and efficiently, investing a minimum of money in it and ensuring simple interaction in the future. Modern CMS are able to satisfy all the important requirements of any technical specifications – from personal blogs to multi-page supermarkets.
Provided a competent approach to development and regular updates, they can provide a high level of security, scalability and extensibility of functionality, adaptability, without requiring significant costs for administration and maintenance. Convenience, simplicity, efficiency, reliability and variability – this is why programmers and their clients love ready-made solutions.