CMS, Digital Library

What is a CMS (Content Management System)?

Written by Pratham Yogendra
Posted on - 5 min read

In the simplest of terms, a Content Management System (CMS) is a dashboard that helps to manage and distribute content on a website.

It runs in the back-end and allows you to manage the contents displayed on your website in the front-end.

You could manage the pages, publish/unpublish & schedule blogs. In addition,  it makes it easy to change the theme of your website.

Why does a CMS matter?

Think of it this way, you visit your favorite blog say . Here, the content you read on the website is published on a daily scale.

And, we schedule a few posts prior to their publishing time. 

Now, this scheduling is only possible due to the use of a CMS. 

And, speaking of the visual overhauls that you usually notice on a website, it would take us at least a year to individually change all the pages. But, with the CMS in play, all it takes us is to create a specific template for a specific purpose.

For instance, for a static-page, the developers need to develop a single static page template and it can be used for every static page created on the website.

And, for a dynamic page such as a blog, a single framework allows us to publish the multiple blog pages with the same format.

Thus, the use of a CMS is important as:

1.Reduces the workload by 10 folds.

2.Makes it easier to deploy and manage pages.

3.Allows us to specify a perfect framework for every type of page.

4.Post and schedule content as per the requirement.

How does a CMS work?

A Content Management works in the back-end. And in a few cases, integrates with your hosting service plan to directly manage and push visual content on your website.

To understand, how it integrates with your hosting service, we’d recommend for you to read/listen to Hosting plans for Brands: A definitive guide!

It works by allowing you to easily deliver and manage content  on your website. In addition, it allows you to test different aesthetic frameworks/templates for the content.

Technology vector created by freepik –

It works on two fronts:

1.Content delivery:

In this phase, it allows you to  specify a default template for a specific category of pages.

This default template will then be used every time a new page of the required category is published.

 For example, you could test & deploy a template for “your services” category on your website.

Now, everytime you expand your business and add a new service category,instead of rewriting the code for the page, the CMS would only ask you to type the necessary content. And it would use the template and do the work for you.

2.Content Management:

Now that the content has been published, it allows you to make changes to it in real-time.

A few content pages’ relevancy is time-bound. Meaning, the content (visual or text) ,on such pages, needs to be updated with time to be relevant.

 And, in case of such pages, a CMS allows you to make the change and updates the changes on the same template in the real time.

In addition, it allows you to manage the outreach of the content. Meaning, the SEO Tools and the analytics page in a content management allow you to optimize the page to rank on the search engine.

And, the analytics page will give you a brief description of how the page is performing. It gives an insight on the number of visits, bounce rate and user interactions to make informed decisions.

What are the types of CMS?

1.Headless CMS:

A headless Content Management System is a format-free content management system. Meaning, instead of pushing the content through a single-fixed front end template, it pushes down the content through a flexible API.

This flexible API adapts according to the device/platform and makes it easier for the user to consume the content,no matter what device they are on.

Medium and large companies pushing down content through mutliple channels use this form of CMS.

2.Coupled CMS:

It is the most traditional form of CMS. It used by brands who need a single-phase What you see is what you get or (WYSIWYG) Editor. It allows them to create content and edit it using a HTML (or) WYSIWYG Editor.

The content follows the CSS specifed for the layout in the real-time.

3.Decoupled CMS:

It is the opposite of a Coupled CMS. Here, the front-end and the back-end are two different operations. Meaning, it simply allows the content creators to publish content on a real time without worrying about how the website visually looks.

It is most useful for small and medium scale enterprises where the content team only handles the content and a dedicated web-development team handles web-development.