Websites have evolved from static to dynamic stage over the years. Dynamic website allows the site owner to change the structure and content of the site without help of the developer. Full website designing involves use CMS (Content Management System) for creating a dynamic site. Owner of a dynamic site can change pictures, videos, text and look of the style. Loading PDF and multimedia files and controlling activities of users without the help of developer are some unique features of dynamic sites created with CMS.
What is a CMS?
A system that allows users to post content on a site is basically a CMS. When you are posting a comment on Twitter or writing on the Wall of Facebook you are using a kind of CMS. Installation of CMS has been simplified with the development in technology and advent of server side scripting languages like PHP and ASP.NET. With a CMS in place there is no need to make changes in server side each time you change the content. This has transformed the way full website designing was planned few years ago.
What are the Types of a CMS
There are some standard CMS available in the market. Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, osCommerce and Magento are among the popular ones. These generic systems can be integrated with a website. Depending on the nature of website and business requirements a website owner can take help of experienced professionals for developing a customized CMS. This can be developed later or as a part of full website designing.
Who needs CMS?
Nowadays, virtually all sites ranging from ecommerce sites, blog sites, social networking sites and normal websites require CMS. The static sites are migrating to dynamic sites by integrating CMS in their site. Full website designing is not required by such static sites to get transformed into a dynamic site. The Graphic user interface (GUI) of CMS keeps off the technical part of implementation from the user. This means that necessary changes can be made without knowing technical aspect of the system.
With a CMS in place you are virtually in full control of your site. If you are willing to learn about the system and update it at regular interval there is no need to depend on the webmaster. Importance of CMS in contemporary web designing can be evident from a simple example. Imagine, you want to upload a profile picture on Facebook. If there was no CMS you should have mailed the picture to Facebook and an employee of Facebook would upload the picture for you. Now think of the number of Facebook members uploading their pictures everyday and number of employees required for this purpose! Without CMS most social networking sites would not have grown at this rate and offered free service.
Free or cheap
In earlier days CMS was an expensive proposition for medium and small businesses. With the spread of open source movement and technological developments CMS can be accessed and implemented by small and mid level companies. Full website designing service offered by different web designing services usually includes a free CMS or tailor made CMS. Popular open source and free CMS are very open and can be customized easily. As such, web developers can offer enterprise level backend without starting from scratch.
CMS has become integral part of majority websites thriving in web 2.0 world. It helps them to update their sites regularly with fresh content and look. Power of adding latest information has changed the way we used to interact over web. CMS has made websites more responsive and interactive. This has inspired may web designers, offering full website designing, to impress their clients with great functional aspects of CMS.
CMS ensures that visitors are fed with current information. From notice of a meeting to adding relevant business news CMS can greatly help to update your site. More advanced technologies like live feed demands that the content keeps changing to keep pace with live information. Since the webmasters need not dig into the code details every time, updating process is streamlined and smarter with CMS.
Including CMS in full website designing allows decentralized maintenance of a site. Since it is browser based, editing and modifications can be done from anywhere. This gives a site owner freedom to work. Access to CMS can be restricted to authorized person and templates are used for content management. This helps in standardizing the site and stops others from making any changes that are not compatible with the site. With a CMS in place, content of a site is stored in a database. As such, it can be reused in many places on the site and formatted for any device like web browser and mobile phones.
Full control over site, cost savings, convenience, improved interaction with business clients and smooth updating are few reasons that have inspired web designers and site owners for adapting CMS. It has become an integral part of full website designing. Small or mid sized companies can either select an open source CMS or develop a system according to their needs.
The above article has been written by RP, who is associated with many online blogs and sites as their freelance writer. She is currently involved with various number of projects based on template and web designing including a project of Template Kingdom.