Written by Fernando Maciá
In the field of programming, a content manager system (CMS) is the application or software that allows us to create a website, as well as edit, modify and customize its content.
They are therefore very complete and versatile software programs that facilitate the creation, management and administration of a website, with an interface that includes numerous tools for content layout and presentation. In addition, some content managers also allow the installation of various plug-ins, extensions, modules and other add-ons that increase their management and customization possibilities.
User levels in content managers
Content managers often allow you to set up multiple user levels that delimit the permissions and access of the different entities collaborating on a website. They may vary from case to case, but the most common are usually:
- Administrator: the highest level, with full access to the content manager. The administrator can modify any aspect of the website, the structure, the content of its pages and how it is displayed to users.
- Editor: you can edit the content of the pages, but in a very selective way. Their access is usually limited to texts.
- Contributor: this type of user profile can normally only create draft entries and write their content, but publication is carried out by another type of user whose permissions are at a higher level.
Advantages of content management systems
Content management systems offer several advantages, but their benefit lies mainly in the fact that thanks to them we avoid the work of having to create a website “from scratch”, since we start building it from an already quite solid base. Therefore, this represents a considerable saving of time and resources.
Also noteworthy are:
- Ease of use. In general, it is not mandatory to have advanced programming knowledge to be able to create our own website using a content management system, since they are usually quite intuitive.
- Flexibility in the creation and elimination of pages and contents. Content managers allow us to create new pages and delete the ones we no longer need in a very simple way.
- Open-source. Although not all CMS are open source, those that are are usually really complete, with the added advantage of being supported by a community that does not stop generating all kinds of resources and features for you to customize your site down to the smallest detail.
- Plugins. Linked to the previous point, plugins introduce very interesting additional functionalities, and are very easy to configure and install (and equally easy to remove if we don’t need them). For example, WordPress has very complete plugins for search engine optimization, such as Yoast SEO or All in One SEO.
Although the advantages of content management systems undoubtedly outweigh the disadvantages of this type of software, it is also interesting to take them into account:
- They are more vulnerable to security problems. Especially when it comes to open source plugins, themes and add-on modules. It is important to always keep them duly updated to the latest version, to reduce the risk of our site going wrong.
- Flexibility in customization. While it is true that CMSs are usually highly customizable, we must take into account that we may encounter some dead ends at certain times. This is obviously not the case with proprietary and/or custom developments, where we can basically do whatever we want in terms of customization.
- Heavier source code. On many occasions content managers generate a lot of junk code, especially if we use many plugins whose operation we do not know well, or when our programming knowledge is very poor and we are not aware of all the elements that make up our website. This can lead to WPO deficiencies and worsen the user experience.
Some of the most popular content management systems
Depending on the purpose for which we are going to use it, we should choose one or the other. Some CMSs -such as PrestaShop or Shopify- focus on providing us with a faster way to build our own e-commerce, while WordPress or Joomla! are more generic and allow us to create all kinds of websites, both for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
- How to leverage your content management system to improve SEO – Fernando Maciá
- How to automate image optimization in WordPress – Juan Pedro Catalá
- Yoast SEO for WordPress – María Navarro
- Improve your WordPress SEO with a cache plugin – Juan Pedro Catalá