A CMS is user-friendly software that lets you input, format and upload content elements for a webpage, and then creates all the back-end HTML coding for you. So, if you are looking to launch and maintain a website with fresh, new content, using a CMS will help you do just that without having to understand any technical coding at all.
Even better, with the right content management system, you can stay focused on your content creation and strategy, rather than get caught up in development lags and coding snags.
Let's explore some key reasons you may need a content management system.
Your site will have multiple pages
If you plan to share frequent posts, or even periodic updates about your products and services, a content management system makes publishing new pages and editing existing ones a cinch. When choosing a CMS, you’ll want to go with one that is able to scale with you as your business website grows.
You want to stay in your digital comfort zone
CMS editing toolbars and features will feel familiar to anyone who’s used Microsoft Word or Google Docs. There are even simple tools for image editing, cropping and tagging. In other words, the learning curve for using a CMS is hardly a curve at all—you’ll be able to get up to speed fairly quickly. And there’s no reason to be afraid of messing things up. Not only can you preview your updates and new content before it goes live, a good CMS will also save previous versions of your site pages and its assets in case you need to revert back.
You want easy access to your content library to keep articles fresh and updated
Most content management systems are searchable, especially if you organize your content with tags and categories. That means you can easily go into the CMS and find a post you published a year ago within seconds. Then, you can easily update, repurpose or republish older items as new. You can also search for other digital assets like images or take an audit on your website by tags or keywords you’ve deemed important.
You want an easy way to change templated areas on your website
Let’s say you want to update a product logo or change the phone number in your footer. Even the areas of your website outside of the regular content publishing space (like dropdown menus or Contact Us boxes) should be simple to tweak if you use a CMS—no tech support tickets required.
You want to be able to schedule your new content
There may be certain types of content you want to go live on a specific date and time. Or you might upload a batch of new blog posts at once but want to space out their publication. A content management system lets you schedule posts to the minute.
You have a content team
If you’re not a one-person content show, having a CMS will help with collaboration—no more missed emails or overwriting files. You can set up different types of workflows, assign users with varying levels of permissions and publishing roles and take advantage of other types of granular control. Editors can also assign projects, track changes and leave comments for writers.
You want customers to find your content
Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media are important elements of your content strategy (since your website content is only effective if people can actually find it). A CMS can simplify SEO and social promotion. For SEO, content creators will be prompted to fill in basic metadata—what gets crawled by the search engines—for each newly published page. Social media tools also help ensure your content is shareable with social buttons, and some CMSs even let you automate social posts at the same time you publish your content.