If you are an average internet user, you have probably never heard the term CMS before. If you are an occasional blogger, you’re using a CMS possibly without even knowing  it! So what does CMS mean?

What is a CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System. A Content Management System is a platform used to manage the content of a website. Typically, a CMS consists of two components: the Content Management Application (CMA) and the Content Delivery Application (CDA). The CMA allows the content manager of a website to control the creation, editing and removal of content in a website. This includes editng text and images. The CDA will utilize that information to update the website. Whats great about this is that you can do it all without knowing HTML!

Most CMS platforms include features such as web-based publishing and editing controls. They also do many things “behind the scenes” such as: automatically generating navigation elements, making content searchable and indexable and keeping track of users, their permissions and security settings.

What does this all mean to you? Well, if you have ever had an interest in starting a blog, or creating a website for your business then knowing what CMS to use is a great place to start.

Here are some examples of popular CMS platforms, including platforms geared towards eCommerce:

WordPress

WordPress is the most accessible and easy to use CMS. It is also possibly the most popular. There are a wide variety of free to use templates. Installation is quick and the large user community means that finding enhancements and troubleshooting problems is incredibly easy.

Check out WordPress or see examples of our WordPress Websites

Joomla

Joomla is another popular CMS. The reason for this is that it is very customizable. Joomla’s admin section is easy to use and has a large selection of options such as templates and styles.

Drupal

Drupal is a popular free and open source CMS.  Like the other CMS listed here, Drupal s suitable for personal blogs or large businesses. There are many enhacements that can be added to increase functionality.

The following are examples of CMS platforms used for eCommerce

Shopify

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce CMS platform that is very popular with designers and users alike.  Users can select from a wide variety of templates both free and paid. Since it is a hosted platform, Shopify takes care of the security so you don’t have to.

Magento

Magento (community edition) is a very popular open source eCommerce CMS platform. Magento is popular with users who want to create completely custom sites. Costs are kept low with Magento because it is fre and open source. As an end user, you will probably need to hire a web developer if you are using the community edition. Magento Go is the version more suited to a small business that wants to do it themselves.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is an award winning, free opensource CMS/platform. PrestaShop provides a wide variety of features. It is also backed by an active community of developers who create add-ons for adding to the functionality of Prestashop. PrestaShop can send payments directly to your bank account, or your PayPal account.

Now that you are acquainted with CMS, find the one most suitable to your needs and create your own online presence!

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