Before we answer the question about the necessity of a content management system, let us first take a look at its definition and meaning.
Simply put, a content management system or CMS is one that allows a website owner to meddle with his or her own website with no technical skills or knowledge or HTML and so on. Thus, it can work for even the amateur website owner, who with a CMS can basically design and manage the content of his or her website.
Sounds good, doesn't it? It might even give web developers a run for their money in the near future.
However, before going online and looking for one, I believe that it is this article's task to outline to you the specific benefits of having a CMS, and as we all know, where there are advantages there are surely some disadvantages lurking around.
Advantages of a Content Management System
The first advantage of having a CMS installed is your site is that you have control over a lot of things in your site. For example, you have control over your website's design. You can choose which colors to use, how you want the pages to be labelled, and how the text is laid-out. You can also choose the images you want to use. Imagine being able to do all these without even learning web development.
Another advantage is that with the right resources, human and material, you can now edit and manage the content of your website. Even though there are hundreds of content to be published day after day, you can easily put them in order, thanks to the automated features of a content management system.
Both the first and second benefits bring us to the third and last advantage of CMS, and that is you don't have to pay for the services of a professional web developer. After all, why would you want to pay someone to do something you can do yourself, huh?
However, no matter how good having a CMS running in your site sounds, there are certain drawbacks to having it. Think about it, are the above mentioned benefits worth the disadvantages to be mentioned below?
Disadvantages of a Content Management System
The first disadvantage of a CMS is that it needs to be updated regularly. CMS developers and distributors will almost always require that you "purchase this update" because without it, your CMS will fail - and it will if you don't buy the update. Thus, is paying for the update cheaper than hiring a professional web developer? Hmm... Along with having to buy regular updates, CMS is also quite costly to host. A good CMS will require a great host - which includes a top notch server, a web host that offers a constant back up for your files, security and more. These things are all included in a promotional plan that you have to pay monthly.
Another disadvantage of having a CMS is that if you have a website that has hundreds and hundreds of pages, you will most certainly need a lot of people to manage and update them. A CMS is still a program, meaning you still need a person with a brain to make sure it runs smoothly. It may be okay if you have one hundred or less pages or sites, you can handle that. But what if you have more? You will need to hire people, which again, brings the question, is it cheaper than hiring a professional web developer?
Lastly, a third disadvantage is that CMS are prone to crashing. They are not bullet proof solutions, as you will soon find out when a CMS that you bought and had hosted for thousands of dollars crashes down. An example of this would be having an unknown symbol, popping out in your pages headlines and titles (imagine your page title looking like this "M∑ StĦΨe). You can try to fix it with your CMS, but there is that chance that you may end up doing more harm than good, causing irreparable damage to your site.
A Word of Caution
Ecommerce websites are great investments, and should be treated like one. As such, give it the best care and management that you can find, like those provided by professional web developers. They can keep your websites up and running in smooth condition, as well as put all the things you want in your site without any risk of damaging it.