Content Management Systems - Is One Right for You?

By: Chad Clarke - Bayshore Solutions Systems Engineer

As web technology changes, so has the way websites are put together and managed. The first websites created were static pages that had to be modified with web editing software and then uploaded to a web server. Basic updates often required the owner of a website to contact their web development company and request the change. This was both inefficient and not cost effective.

As dynamic web programming languages came about, programmers started writing applications to help manage content for websites. Quite often a website would have multiple logins to different web applications managing different parts of the website (blog, forum, image gallery, store, etc.). The applications made it easier to manage the content, but it began to become difficult to integrate the different applications which each other and keep track of the different logins.

The solution that many people use today to consolidate the management of their website into a centralized location is a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is an application that has a basic framework that you can build your site around. Some common features of a CMS are:

  • Built in user management with login abilities
  • HTML content editing
  • Image and document management
  • Dynamic page creation
  • Dynamic menus
  • Module expandability – allows for additional functionality to be added to the site

There are many more features available, but each CMS has its own set of available features. At Bayshore Solutions, a number of different CMS’s are used depending upon each client’s requirements.  The following are a few CMS’s that have been used for Bayshore Solutions clients:

  • DotNetNuke
  • Joomla
  • Kentico
  • NopCommerce
  • Sitefinity
  • WebModules
  • WordPress

One thing to consider with a CMS is basic upkeep of the CMS and other 3rd party modules. Many development companies will create a website for a client based upon a CMS and after the client has gone live with the new site it is forgotten about. This is usually not an issue at first but over time, there may be some required updates that should be applied to the CMS.

The updates may be for the CMS itself or an installed 3rd party module. Some of these updates are mainly to fix functionality issues. If you are not experiencing any issues, you may disregard these updates. However, some are critical updates which help fix security related issues that could allow a remote attacker to exploit your site. These updates should be applied to help keep your site secure from attackers.

As a Systems Engineer, I recommend a CMS to most anyone that needs a website. It allows for quicker development times, increased functionality and the ability to grow your site as needed. Bayshore Solutions can help evaluate your requirements and determine if a CMS is right for your needs. Bayshore Solutions can also help you throughout the lifecycle of your site, including keeping it up to date and helping add additional functionality as needed. Contact us today to get started!