What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

Since the beginning of the web, content has reigned supreme, and as such, the Content Management System has emerged as the backbone of online content and presentation. What does CMS stand for in marketing and media development? Content management system, a key tool helping businesses develop and maintain digital content. 

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A content management system (CMS) is an application that is used to manage content, allowing multiple contributors to create, edit and publish. Content in a CMS is typically stored in a database and displayed in a presentation layer based on a set of templates like a website.

The following are common functions of a CMS:

  • Content creation allows users to easily create and format content
  • Content storage stores content in one place, in a consistent fashion
  • Workflows assign permissions for managing content based on roles such as authors, editors, and admins
  • Publishing tells the software when and where the content should go live
  • Optimization helps you improve your digital experience and learn from your content

content management system

How does a CMS work?

A CMS provides a graphical user interface with tools to create websites and to edit and publish web content without the need to write code from scratch.

A CMS has two components: a content management application (CMA) and a content delivery application (CDA).

  • The CMA is a graphical user interface that lets users design, create, modify, and remove content from a website without the need for Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) knowledge.
  • The CDA component provides the back-end services that support the management and delivery of the content once a user creates it in the CMA.

Why is a Content Management System important?

The major advantage of a content management system is that it allows non-technical people who don’t know programming languages to easily create and manage their own web content. The visual content editors of a typical content management platform allow users to enter text and upload images without needing to know any HTML or CSS.

When a company uses a CMS to publish its pages, it reduces its reliance on front-end engineers to make changes to the website, making it quicker and easier to publish new content.

Benefits of using a CMS

There are several benefits of using a content management system, including the following:

  • Ease of use. A graphical user interface makes it easy for even those with limited technical knowledge to use the software.
  • Low cost of entry. Some CMS platforms are free while others charge a monthly fee, but all require little or no high-end IT skills to implement, lowering the cost of website deployment considerably.
  • Easy to search for information. A built-in search function lets users enter what they’re searching for and returns a list of items — much like a Google search engine.
  • Easy to manage content. Not only is creating content easy but so is removing content. A CMS makes it easy to unpublish content to keep websites current.
  • Accessible from anywhere. A content management system can be cloud-based or on-premises, but users can access content from anywhere with a device that’s connected to the internet.
  • Allows multiple users. A CMS makes it easy to manage publishing permissions.
  • Instant content updates. A CMS lets users manage and update content in real-time — without having to wait for a developer.
  • Easy to scale. A CMS makes it easy for organizations to add new web pages as their business grows without the need for a developer.
  • Easy to update. Development teams can roll out updates with just a few clicks.

content management system

Use a CMS to build your site

Using a content management system to build and manage your site can help you grow over time. Not only will a CMS store all of your web content in one place, but it will also support collaboration across teams, allow for quick and easy updates, and offer templates and extensions to customize your site.


Content management systems allow users to create and run websites or blogs without requiring any specialized programming skills. Before closing on a CMS vendor, carefully evaluate your business needs, use cases, budget, resource availability – both technical and non-technical, security, scalability, and other requirements.

Some of the largest brands use WordPress or Drupal for their websites. However, users with specific requirements or who prefer proprietary software can download and customize open-source CMS software or can even develop their own CMS architecture. Cloud deployment models have made the installation and management of CMS software an effortless exercise, allowing even the smallest organization to punch way above its weight with great-looking websites that offer delightful user experiences.


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