A CMS (Content Management System) is software that helps you manage digital content. More specifically, It is a web application that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, publishing, and controlling access to a website using a graphical user interface. Many modern content management systems use a database to store the content and a scripting language (e.g. PHP) to dynamically build the HTML needed to present the content to a web browser.
The foundation of every single website is code. However, with a CMS, you’re able to ignore the code and successfully build a professional website. Most CMS include drag-and-drop site builders, so designers only need to click and drag objects to build a webpage.
To make the best out of these tools, you need to cumulatively take note of what each CMS is technically upskilled to do. Some are ideally suited for blogging; others to eCommerce, Entreprises, Forums, etc. each with its own set of features and benefits.
The right CMS is not the most popular or well-liked, but the one that supports your business requirements.
There are 2 key categories of CMS: Hosted and Self-hosted
What is a Hosted CMS?
A hosted CMS is a software as a service (SAAS) platform that offers an all-in-one website solution, including hosting, domain registration, software, maintenance, and security.
But you’re limited to using the tools provided by the service: you cannot add extensions to improve the functionality of your website, and you have very limited access to the code for customization.
Another major drawback of hosted CMS is that you cannot move your website when necessary: if at any point you are not satisfied with the CMS hosting services, or if the CMS goes out of business, you have to abandon your site and build another one from scratch elsewhere.
A hosted CMS is a great solution for beginners and non-coders.
Examples of Hosted CMS: Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Blogger, WordPress.com, etc.
What is a Self-Hosted CMS?
A self-hosted CMS is open source, software, which means you can download it, install it anywhere, and then modify it as you wish by making any necessary code changes, and / or installing third party plugins and extensions.
You are not tied to a centralized service, so you’re free to choose your preferred hosting service, and you can also move your website if you find a better deal elsewhere or outgrow your provider. Most hosts can do this for free.
A self-hosted CMS is recommended for those who have a minimum of coding knowledge.
Examples of self-hosted CMS: WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, TYPO3, phpBB, etc.