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Madison, Wisconsin
Powderkeg Web Design
May 6, 2014

What is a CMS and Why Do We Use One?

What is a CMS and Why Do We Use One?

A CMS, or Content Management System, is a system which allows developers to give non-developers a method for updating a site without having to write code. This allows non-developers to update images, menus, content and pretty much everything else on a site without ever having to write a single line of code.

The CMS we have chosen is called WordPress. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in the world with 1 out of every 6 websites in the world using it. WordPress is powerful, easy to develop, easy to update, and has a huge community of developers working to make WordPress the best CMS it can be.

So why use WordPress? Isn’t that just for blogs and personal sites? NO! WordPress is a fully functional CMS which is used by the likes of CNN and the New York Times to host much of their content.

Below are some of the reasons why we use WordPress:

  • Every site needs to have a certain level of security to prevent malicious attacks. WordPress handles much of this and abstracts it away from the development process so that we can get to developing the parts of the website specific to the client.

  • Many sites use the same general parts. WordPress allows us to share and reuse code among all of our projects to reduce development time.

  • WordPress provides a large variety of built in functions which allow us to make our clients pages as dynamic as possible.

  • There are a huge number of “plugins”, which are 3rd party pieces of code, that are tested and updated regularly to provide the best possible experience. Our use of these plugins helps to drastically reduce our development time while at the same time ensuring we are using the best available code and functionality of WordPress.

  • After we design and develop a website most clients will still need to add content over time. Having a CMS like WordPress allows us to pass off the site to a client and allow them to update the content whenever they like without having to wait for us. This gives our clients nearly full control over the content that appears on their site.

  • By using WordPress, and learning to develop using the WordPress methodology, we are able to keep up with the most modern web development techniques and standards.

  • WordPress has a clean and modern design which is constantly being updated and improved.

All that being said…is there any reason NOT to use a CMS? In general…no. Almost every modern site benefits by using some type of CMS. There are exceptions to this rule of course. Here is a short list of reasons why you might not use a CMS:

  • A small site that hosts mostly static content.

  • A web application which is less concerned about displaying content and more about providing a specific functionality.

  • An intranet or any site which must maintain the highest levels of security.

Although you may not need a CMS for the listed reasons you almost certainly could still use a CMS but it is up to the developers and project managers to decide if the advantages of a CMS outweigh the disadvantages.