At its most basic, a content management system (CMS) is a software program that makes building and maintaining Web sites faster and easier. Let’s say you’re using a Web site without a CMS—if you want to post an event and have that event show up in five different places on the site, you have to perform the same activity five separate times on five separate pages and probably have to know some tricky HTML and CSS programming language to make it happen. With a CMS, you only have to post the event once—and any staff member can do it, regardless of their technical expertise.
How does a CMS work?
Content management systems store the actual content (text and images) in a database. The system can then automatically pull the content out and show it on the appropriate pages based on rules that you set up in advance. The ways you can organize it, and the types of rules you can use, depend on how structurally flexible the CMS is. This setup makes it easy for all your content administrators—the staff members who are writing and publishing the actual information on the site—to create content without worrying about technical issues, or even knowing all the places the content should go.
What CMS platforms do we work with?
WordPress – an amazingly powerful open source content management system that is FREE. WordPress has a lot of power under the hood for any business looking for an easy way to manage their website. WordPress has grown over the past 5 years into the world’s most used content management system (CMS) , and it’s the CMS we program the most frequently in for 3 very key reasons:
- WordPress is the world’s most popular and reliable CMS
- The user interface and publishing controls of WordPress are simple and intuitive
- WordPress is powerful and flexible enough to handle just about any website you want to build
We have found in developing in WordPress over the years that WordPress is an extremely powerful CMS solution. It powers the ClassicsToday.com website we launched in early 2012 that get traffic in the 100,000 plus range per month all the way down to the local restaurant looking to get the word out about their menu. WordPress is by far the easiest system to pick up and learn and there are limitless ways that we can customize and deliver very extensive functionality for an affordable cost. View our WordPress development and design work portfolio.
Joomla is another good choice for your CMS. Joomla is FREE just like WordPress, and has simple to use content editing and management tools. Joomla’s hierarchal content organizational structure keeps your online content organized and easy to work with. New functionality can be implemented easily and rapidly using extensions and modules. Joomla allows non-techie’s to easily update and add content with WYSIWYG content editing tools. And Joomla’s biggest advantage over other CMS platforms is its highly customizable permission structures. This allows multiple people and even groups of people to access and manage different parts of the website both from the front end and the back end of the website.
Take the Mass-ALFA website we built using Joomla. We rebuilt their entire association management database directly into the Joomla CMS platform. This means that now any activities that happen within their organization (adding new members, editing member information, deactivating members, sponsorships, etc) are all directly effected and reflected on the front end of their website simply by managing their organization data through the Joomla CMS database tools we built for them. Joomla is a great way to build efficicency into your day to day data management processes and to make communicating and serving your customers online a breeze. View our full Joomla design and development portfolio.
Kentico is an affordable content management solution that provides a complete and total set of features for building web sites, intranets ,community sites and also on-line stores on the Microsoft ASP.NET platform. Kentico supports WYSIWYG editing, work-flows, many different languages, full-text search, search engine optimization, on-line forms, image galleries, forums, groups, blogs, polls, media libraries and is provided with over two hundred configurable web parts. This CMS is currently used by thousands of web sites worldwide. Microsoft, McDonald’s, Vodafone, O2, Orange, Brussels Airlines, Audi, Mazda, Subaru, Samsung, Gibson, Bayer, ESPN, Guinness, DKNY, Abbott Labs and Medibank are just a few of the names in the Kentico client list.
The Kentico CMS platform is reserved for our larger organization development projects that require a solution that will run in a Microsoft environment. The reasons we would recommend a Kentico CMS platform website would be a combination of the following:
- You have a large group of people who will be supporting the website with content
- You require specific and detailed work flows to manage access, creation, approval and publishing of your content
- You require multiple custom templates and designs through out your site
- You are looking to integrate a blog, calendar, ecommerce, email marketing, and data management into your new site right out of the gate
- You need to operate your site in a strict Windows based hosting environment and run code in ASP.net.
The above factors are things that the Kentico CMS does right out of the box, which for the base price of a Kentico licence at a mere $1999 makes the package a steal. Where the FirstTracks development crew comes in, is to help you organize, design, customize, implement and train your staff on all the elements we activate and use for your organiztion. It is a POWERFUL solution that will support your organization for a long time. Take a peek at the Kentico CMS project with did with Northeast Delta Dental.
What kind of website do you need?
Please if you have any questions about what we can do for your company online call our offices at 603-924-1978 and ask to speak to our Interactive Media Director. Or you can simply fill our our website development request form. We will respond to you immediately with follow up information and some ideas on how to get your project moving and accomplished.