What is a CMS?

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CMS Blog

CMS stands for Content Management System. A CMS is a way to control the content on your website (images, text, video etc.).

To understand what a CMS is, let’s look at what a very basic web page is made up of. In very simple terms, the page will be made up of: Page structure (templates), Styles, Content and Functions/Features

A basic website will have all these elements in one place. In technical terms, this is an example of a static website. In order to make changes to this website, you have to make changes to the code. In technical terms, content is hard coded.

With this setup, this means you either have to know how to code or to communicate with a developer to make any changes. Which presents itself with many problems. What if you want to make regular changes? What if you want to have control over certain elements over time, such as a gallery? What if you want to upload new events as they are released?

Here is where a CMS can help.

Content management system

A content management system proposes splitting the architecture of the website into 3 distinct sections:

Website: Frontend view (page structure, functions/features, styles)
Backend: Content management system (a way to control the content)
Database: Database (content)

A developer will code up a frontend view and hook certain parts of that template to a database. A CMS will normally be a webpage where you can login and enter content. The presentation of a CMS differs between different solutions but for example, to change the text on a homepage; you would change the text within a text field on the CMS labelled ‘homepage’. The CMS then stores that information to a database, which is then pushed onto the frontend view. Check out the diagram below:

Diagram for Blog

Examples of CMS

Customising the CMS

There are many different CMS’ available. WordPress is the one we use most here at HdK. We use it because it is open source, updated regularly and is the most widely used CMS. Open source means that we can have direct access to the code to customize it to bespoke solutions, and integrate 3rd party software solutions.

The possibilities are literally endless! A fun part of planning the development of the website is creating the ‘information architecture’, which basically means planning how to organise the data. And there are always new advances in technology that offer new exciting solutions. Some examples include:

  • Scheduling livestreams
  • Creating your own shop
  • Adding additional features onto existing blog posts (video galleries, animations, etc.)

Want to find out more? Get in touch with HdK’s web team!

Jannick - Web Support Developer