How To Select A CMS For Your Website

A CMS, or content management system, is a software application that enables users to easily maintain a website without the need for any advanced knowledge. Most CMS's, for example, feature easy-to-use text-based editors which mimic the look and feel of Microsoft Word. And using this interface, users can manage all textual content on a website.

As a result, content management systems are very popular. Not only do they enable content to be easily updated, but they also help save on website maintenance costs. So if you don't have a content management system now, you might want to consider adding one to your website.

The 4 Types of Content Management Systems

There are four main types of content management systems. These include (1) website CMS, (2) eCommerce CMS, (3) blog CMS, and (4) forum CMS. To select the one which works best for you, you'll need to outline your desired features and find a system which best matches your list.

Website CMS

A website CMS manages the individual pages of a website. Some examples are Drupal, Mambo, and Joomla.

Store CMS

Like the website CMS, the store CMS can enable you to manage pages. In addition, you are able to manage any products that you may be selling online. Some examples are Zen Cart, OSCommerce, and Magento.

Blog CMS

Probably the most common type of CMS, a blog CMS enables you to have your own blog. And these days, most blog systems can double as a website CMS, such as WordPress and b2Evolution.

Forum CMS

Last but not least, a forum CMS will enable your to create an online forum or discussion board. Some examples are phpBB, vBulletin, and BBPress (which can run alongside WordPress).

Hybrid CMS Systems

Because so many websites contain all sorts of functionality, there are hybrid content management systems which have a robust set of features. For example, most of the systems listed above branch out into at least one other area. In addition, external pieces of code (usually termed MODs, plugins, or modules) can be used to add any other functionality that you are looking for.

Choose Your CMS

These days, our preferred content management systems are WordPress (for websites and blogs), Zen Cart (for eCommerce websites), and phpBB (for web forums).

Of course, the final decision for a CMS and ecommerce solution depends on what you want to accomplish. So when choosing, go the the websites for all of these systems and take a look at their core feature sets. Also, be sure that your chosen CMS is compatible with your web host.

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2 Responses to “How To Select A CMS For Your Website”

  • Allister Sinclair October 12, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    CMS is definitely the way to go. I hope to see new apps with greater capability soon.

  • Steve Karagioules November 11, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I only recently learned about Zen Cart and I love it. It is such a powerful and low cost option for many retail businesses allowing them to expand their sales online. Great article.


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