The digital world presents room for improvements, and venturing into them will keep a business on top of its competitors. Regularly improving a business website will give the business owner an upper hand in their industry.
A Guide to CMS or Website Technology Update in 2022
Managing regular website updates is crucial in the digital world that keeps on advancing. A content management system takes the stress out of managing websites.
Most websites today are built on a Content Management System (CMS). CMS updates are a vital aspect of website maintenance, and CMS platforms continually release updates.
Together, let’s learn about content management systems or website technology and why updating them is essential.
What Is a Content Management System?
A Content Management System (CMS) allows one to edit, maintain, and manage website pages in a single interface. It is an intuitive system that enables easy website information updates without the need for specialized technical knowledge. Content management systems serve as a simple, non-technical means to archive, create, publish, or update the website content without being technically savvy.
A content management system ensures the success of any website. It is responsible for the creation, distribution, management, and publishing of digital content. A CMS includes certain core features like format management, indexing, revision control, search and retrieval, and other complex functions.
A content management system helps streamline the ever-evolving demands of businesses. It improves overall business operations, creates greater customer relationships, and generates more leads.
Here are some of the many benefits of resorting to a CMS platform for designing and building websites:
Improved Work Efficiency
With a CMS, creating website pages will only take half the time it takes to do one from scratch. This is especially true when the website design needs custom coding. What’s more, a smart content management system allows focusing on specific areas of the website that need improvement.
Content management systems add more functionality to websites. One of the most helpful features of CMS platforms is their ability to create a template.
Website and graphic designers can now worry less about ensuring all design elements stay uniform within a website page. There will be no need to inspect them closely on each website page. With a uniform website page look, website visitors can easily distinguish which page they are browsing.
Easy Access and Collaboration
A content management system allows multiple people access to a website and easy collaboration on different projects. It stores all online content in one place that is available to anyone with access. This gets rid of the need for sending multiple files to different people. With a CMS, you can share access to the same content. Using individual accounts, multiple people can add, delete, edit, or update the website content right from their own devices.
The Core Parts of a Content Management System
On a more technical level, two core parts make up a content management system.
Content Management Application (CMA)
This part allows businesses to actually add and manage content on their website.
Content Delivery Application (CDA)
This is the backend, behind-the-scenes process that takes the content website owner’s input in the CMA. It stores the content properly and makes it visible to website visitors.
Together, CMA and CDA make it easy to maintain a website.
The Different Types of Content Management Systems
Most businesses already have a content management system in place on their websites. A CMS platform may fall under any of these types:
Web Content Management System (WCMS)
WCMS is a CMS software that controls website content, mostly HTML content, over several digital channels. Website developers use WCMS to control and manage an extensive, dynamic collection of website material. A web content management system has three types. They are open-source CMS, commercial CMS, and custom CMS.
1. Open-Source Content Management System
Open-source CMS is a perfect choice for minimal integration with an enterprise system. The top open-source CMS platforms include Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress.
2. Commercial Content Management System
A commercial CMS software is mostly ready-built for business needs. The top commercial CMS platforms include Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Kentico, and Sitecore.
3. Custom Content Management System
A custom CMS is an exclusive and branded solution to specific business needs. A customizable CMS platform is suited for large companies with complex website requirements.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) System
Digital assets are the foundation of customer experience. Accurate, controlled, and timely access to digital assets is critical for any business. This enables finding the right asset to deliver the right customer experience through the right channel. Inability to access, archive, manage, modify, organize, and source content from a single source results in a bad user experience. A DAM system serves as a tool to centralize digital assets, website content, workflows, and operations across multiple users.
Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS)
An ECMS is a content management system that helps collect, deliver, manage, and store a business’ structured data. The data may include email, scanned documents, reports, etc. To ensure that no unnecessary content takes up space, ECMS archive files after a specific retention period.
An enterprise content management system enables businesses to deliver the right website content to their target audience. It gives easy access to website content to complete any project on time.
Component Content Management System (CCMS)
CCMS is a content management system that focuses on organizing website content at a component or granular level. It enables businesses to manage, store, and track website content in components— paragraphs, photos, phrases, or words.
A component content management system is an ideal CMS for media publishing businesses.
Comparing Content Management System Platforms
The most popular content management systems with user-friendly backend interfaces are Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress. Any of these systems are available for use by any website owner for free. They are open-source systems that provide users access to easy-to-use control panels that make the website building process convenient. Other than these CMS platforms, let’s also get acquainted with other CMS software.
Drupal has a long list of features and add-ons that make the CMS manage even the most complex websites. Modularity is one of its core principles. Modules expand Drupal’s functionality.
Drupal is an open and scalable CMS software created by developers for developers. That is why it’s often said to be more complex than Joomla! and WordPress.
Joomla! is a mobile-friendly and user-friendly CMS software. It has a model-view-controller web application framework.
Joomla! is a great CMS platform for:
- Corporate websites or portals
- Church, community-based, and school websites or portals
- E-commerce and online reservations
- Government and non-profit organization websites
- Online magazines, newspapers, and publications
- Personal or family homepages
- Small business websites
WordPress is a very simple and easy-to-use CMS platform. It offers unsurpassed ease in creating engaging and professional website pages and managing websites. It is great for looking for feedback and interaction through the commenting system. Its flexibility and reliability offer an exceptional user experience.
Website owners can use WordPress to power:
- E-commerce stores
- Membership sites
- Online courses
- Social networks
- Static websites
Magento is a popular CMS platform for e-commerce websites. It grants access to unique features that help e-commerce businesses connect with their customers and sell their products.
Magento is built on open-source technology. This gives its users the ability to control the website’s look, functionality, and content without compromising their customers’ shopping experience.
Magento can cater to any store size.
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that empowers the next generation of creators and entrepreneurs. This platform provides all the tools for selling physical products, digital content, classes, appointments, reservations, and more. Its suite of fully integrated products enables business and project management through websites, domains, ecommerce, marketing tools, and scheduling.
Wix is a comprehensive platform that gives its users total creative freedom online. Businesses can create, design, manage, and develop their website presence exactly the way they want it with this website builder.
Wix uses a drag-and-drop editor that helps to easily create content without the need for any coding.
When choosing a CMS platform, a business entity must consider and evaluate its website needs. Because there are a number of CMS other than the platforms presented, deciding on what is best should depend on:
- How advanced a business needs the CMS
- What language (HTML, Java, Perl, etc.) it’s built with
- Who is going to use it
Content management systems come in different shapes and sizes. Each has its own set of features and benefits. Here are some guide questions when choosing the best CMS platform for a business:
What business operations do the CMS need to support?
Does a business need to publish several videos daily? Does it need to change prices frequently? Does it need to host images for blog posts?
Publishing a lot of changes and creating new content can be a lot of work. A content management system makes website management and content collaboration easier.
How easy is it to create and edit content?
An intuitive and user-friendly system backend is ideal to allow editors to edit the website content even without the knowledge of how to code.
How many groups of users are present?
One thing to consider when choosing a CMS platform is the levels of permissions needed in the CMS. Account for the different user roles and their permission levels in managing all or a section of the website content.
Is the CMS platform SEO-friendly?
Businesses should think about how their target market will get to their websites. SEO or Search Engine Optimization contributes to the promotion of a business’s online presence. To rank high on different search engines, a CMS with automation for basic on-page optimization tasks is best. Content management systems have plugins that help manage these tasks.
How well is the CMS platform supported by developers?
Some CMS platforms, such as Drupal and WordPress, come with large open-source developer communities. The advantage of these sizable communities is the amount of online help website owners can get on most optimizations. Keeping the CMS updated guarantees continued support from open-source communities.
CMS platforms power the backend of websites to grant users the access to adjust website pages as they wish. Like the website content, these systems require regular updates to acquire functionalities that cater to the website users.
CMS upgrades are a lengthy and often difficult process, discouraging many businesses from giving it a go for their websites. At the end of the day, it is a worthwhile investment. While sticking with the current and familiar CMS might seem more convenient, an outdated and unsupported CMS poses significant risks. Here’s what an updated CMS offers that businesses should not ignore:
Increased Website Security.
An outdated content management system is an unsecured CMS. Keeping the CMS up to date is one way to reduce a website’s vulnerability significantly. An outdated content management system only offers weak immunity against potential cyber-attacks. It serves as an easy target for hackers. This could impact a business’ online credibility severely if a breach happens. Such intrusions can cause the leak of sensitive data.
When CMS administrators send new updates, the changes are most likely to protect the website structure. These updates keep hackers from taking over the website. Security updates or releases help keep the CMS in good shape and protected from cyber-attacks. This goes to say that keeping your website secure is beyond important.
Most CMS platforms provide tools to keep website owners informed about platform security. These tools notify website owners when a vulnerability is found and a security patch is present.
Resolved Website Bugs and Technical Issues
Old content management systems are prone to bugs and technical issues. Small website glitches may affect website performance. The release of later CMS versions fixes these. There is now a remedy for common problems like coding errors and plug-in incompatibility.
Saved Time and Cut Back on Unnecessary Expenses
Enlisting website design and creation services is already a sizable expenditure. For this reason, many businesses are reluctant to spend further on upgrades. However, not keeping the CMS up to date is actually more costly in the long run. CMS is a reliable platform that’ll be worth every penny. Website maintenance through CMS or website technology update is more cost-effective than waiting until something on the website goes wrong.
Falling behind CMS or website technology updates will require more time to get things done. This will cost you a considerable amount of time to take your website to full functionality. Waiting to update until website owners are forced to by security or compatibility issues will meet a less flexible deadline. This is not ideal for businesses.
Enhanced Website Functionalities
A content management system, like most software, is developed in conjunction with various technological advancements. CMS upgrades provide enhanced website functionalities and additional features.
Regularly updating the CMS boosts front-end capabilities and the efficiency of the back-end interface. Updated versions of CMS are often developed with a more efficient code for a more responsive and faster running website. Each version implements changes and improvements. By accommodating a faster running and more responsive website to its users, websites grow and expand in line with businesses.
Website Stability and Compatibility
The third-party systems integrated into websites also evolve. This means that CMS platforms need to catch up to this with upgrades. Older CMS versions eventually lose their technical support. Plugins and integrations that once worked perfectly fine will no longer be compatible with outdated CMS platforms. Businesses might start to see problems with their websites’ functionality when they neglect to update their CMS.
Proactively keeping up with system changes will help keep websites running smoothly and less complex.
Paving the Way to a Better User Experience
Not updating the CMS or website technology can result in a bad user experience. Businesses will also miss the chance to reach the maximum potential of their websites. Increased website security, fixed website bugs and technical issues, and enhanced website functionalities lead to a better user experience. Creating the right user experience can be difficult with an old version of a CMS. However, an upgraded CMS software that supports the most advanced website features can make this possible.
Updated Website Technology Improves SEO Ranking
Businesses should leverage their websites and CMS to boost their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking.
Many CMS systems allow the optimization of titles, content depth, keywords, and meta descriptions in a single text field. They also support adding calls to action. These are possible without the need for the website to install extra plugins or tools. Content management system platforms can add paragraph tags and make links clickable as well. This intuitive technology suggests the best SEO practices to the users on top of its featured functions.
Optimization of these three SEO factors is a plus with an updated website technology:
- Content marketing
Content will attract and educate a brand to prospects as it brings them to the website or a website page.
- Off-page SEO
Utilizing strategies such as social media will drive website traffic and convert potential clients to regulars.
- On-page SEO
Keyword optimization will allow a business’s target market to find their company and products and/or services.
A CMS organizes all website content for a clear structure, making its website visitors find what they’re looking for easily.
How Often Should CMS Be Updated?
Ideally, website owners should review their content management systems quarterly. A release of security updates is an exception to this. When the update is made for urgent security reasons, the CMS update should be done as soon as possible.
CMS updates might seem so frequent as there is a myriad of updates that’ll occur throughout the year. Businesses should not get themselves stuck with obsolete technology that no longer works.
Think of the following factors as trigger events. These are in order of urgency. If you have any of these pop-ups, it’s time for a CMS update:
- Security patches
- Release of new, desired functionality
- Stable release of major version
- Plan to implement new code on the website
An outdated content management system can mean lost opportunities. Today’s content management systems are expected to support multiple digital properties alongside keeping up with content management tasks. They are also expected to keep pace with the ever-evolving software policies like accessibility and privacy.
Costs of Delaying CMS Updates
Website issues can arise when website owners don’t upgrade their CMS. Here are some of them:
Older CMS versions are no longer supported in modern browsers. This results in a negative user experience.
A CMS issue can prevent certain content updates. Website owners might find out that a bug might be causing it. This makes troubleshooting more expensive that could have been avoided had the CMS or website technology been up to date.
Old CMS versions will not be able to support upgrading the tech stack for the web server for security reasons. A tech stack is a set of technologies that website developers use to build and run a website. This makes the server less secure longer because website owners have to wait on an unplanned CMS update.
Third-party software integrated with a website needs an upgrade to have the latest features. An old CMS version is not compatible with code libraries for integrating with the latest versions of third-party software. As a result, website owners have to wait for an unplanned CMS update to get the e-commerce software’s latest features.
Make Your Next Website Project a Success
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