Chris Castiglione Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.

What is a Content Managment System (CMS)?

2 min read

CMS aka Content Management System. You hear that word, but what does it mean? What is a CMS?

A content management system is something you definitely want. Why? Because a content management system, or a CMS, helps you manage your website’s content without having to touch the code. That’s a good thing. It means you can make updates to your site without having to touch your code.

Content management systems make life easier for businesses by allowing them to control the content on their website without having to know how to mess with code. When you see the process that would have to go into making changes to the content of a website without a CMS, it begins to make a lot more sense why we have them, and the really important role that they play.

Before there was such a thing as a CMS, businesses would have to call their webmasters, tell them the changes to make, and the webmaster would then have to make those changes directly to the code. In the video, I showed you what that would look like. In order to get under the hood of a web site, you needed to open a text editor, do a lot of messing around with HTML and CSS files, and then push to the server.

Why was editing a website code a bad way to update your website’s content?

There’s two reasons if they’re not obvious. First, a webmaster having to get on the phone with the business owner, or read PDFs, or emails, and make these updates is a huge waste of time and opens the whole process to a lot of potential errors.

Second, making direct changes to the code leaves a lot of room open for damaging the whole web site. Imagine I’m making ten, twenty, thirty of these updates in one day. Imagine also that I’m having a really crazy day and I had a really crazy Thursday night and I just misplace something in the code’s syntax. That’s really bad. So keeping your code and your content so close together is not a great idea.

Which brings us to content management systems. What does a content management system do? It allow us to remove the content from the code. So instead of using the old system, what happens is I can make my updates in this back-end system that immediately updates our content.

The content management system shows you the visual of what you’re changing–it does this nice kind of Word document thing–but the code stays the same. If you want, you can still play with it (and I guess to break it if you want). But the CMS makes it so I don’t need to know how to code, and neither does my writing team.

So that’s the importance of a CMS. Now we’re in this world. Now we’re no longer– as you can see– no longer having to go into the code. Everything’s clean. So in the next video, I’m going to show you popular CMS solutions for your product. So check that out. Let’s go.

CMS Takeaways

  • A Content Management System or CMS is a service that allows you to make content changes to your web site without having to make changes to its code.
  • Using a CMS is a very smart idea for a business
  • It will save time and money and is safer than editing code

Popular CMS

There are many popular content management systems. Here are a few.

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Chris Castiglione Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.