What is a Content Management System?

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Tips for Content Management Last Updated: December 7, 2023
Author: Jason Herz
What is a Content Management System?

In today's digital age, having a concrete online presence is vital for businesses and organizations. This includes having a well-designed and organized website that effectively showcases your brand and offerings. However, managing and updating a website can be daunting, especially for a non-technical user. A Content Management System is a software platform that enables marketing users to easily create, manage, and publish digital content on a website without requiring coding skills or technical expertise. In this article, we'll dive into what a content management system is, its benefits, and some popular examples.

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system is a software application that allows users to create, manage, and publish digital content on a website, including text, images, videos, and other multimedia elements. A CMS serves as a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily manage content on their website without requiring coding or technical knowledge.

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How Does a Content Management System Work?

A CMS works by separating the content from the design and functionality of a website so editors can focus on creating and managing content without worrying about the technical aspects of website design and development. The CMS stores all the content in a database and uses templates to display the content on the website.

When users want to make website changes, they can log into the CMS and make the necessary updates. The CMS will then automatically update the website with the new content, making it easy for non-technical users to manage and update their websites without needing a web developer.

Types of Content Management Systems

There are three common types of content management systems: open-source CMS, Digital Experience Platforms (DXP), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Open-Source CMS

Open-source CMS platforms are free to use and can be modified and distributed by anyone. This ensures that users can access the source code and customize the CMS to fit their specific needs. Examples of open-source CMS platforms include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Digital Experience Platforms (DXP)

Digital experience platforms are becoming more popular in business as organizations seek ways to improve customer experiences and increase their competitive edge. Both CMS and Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) are used to create, edit, and manage website content, but they have some distinct differences. DXPs include additional features such as marketing automation, content personalization, personas, campaign tracking, and experimentation to provide website visitors with an enhanced digital experience. Examples of Digital Experience Platforms include Kentico, Optimizely, Adobe Experience Manager, and Sitecore.


SaaS CMS platforms are cloud-based and are accessed through a web browser. Users pay a subscription fee to use the CMS and cannot access the source code. Examples of SaaS CMS platforms include Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Benefits of Using a Content Management System

Using a content management system offers numerous benefits for businesses and organizations. Here are some of the critical advantages of using a CMS.

User-Friendly Interface

One of the major benefits of using a CMS is its user-friendly interface, making it easy for non-technical users to manage and update their websites without the need for coding or technical knowledge. With a CMS, users can easily add, edit, and delete content on their website with just a few clicks.

Saves Time and Resources

Managing and updating any website can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive task. With a CMS, users can save time and resources by quickly updating and changing their website without needing a web developer. This supports businesses to focus on other important tasks and initiatives.

Consistent Design and Branding

A CMS uses templates to display content on a website, ensuring a consistent design and branding across all pages. This consistency maintains a professional and cohesive look for the website, essential for building brand recognition and trust with visitors.


Search engine optimization (SEO) is imperative for improving a website's visibility and ranking on search engines. A CMS can help with SEO by providing features such as customizable URLs, meta descriptions, and title tags. This allows search engines to crawl and index the website easily, improving its ranking.

Collaboration and Workflow Management 

A CMS allows multiple users to collaborate on a website, making managing and updating content easier. This is useful for businesses and organizations with a team of content managers, creators, and editors. A CMS also enables workflow management, ensuring content is approved before publication.

Popular Content Management Systems and Digital Experience Platforms

Numerous content management systems and digital experience platforms are available, each with unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most popular CMS platforms businesses and organizations use.


Kentico Xperience is a digital experience platform (DXP) designed to help businesses build powerful digital experiences that drive engagement, sales, and loyalty. Kentico makes creating content, managing customer relationships, and analyzing data easy. It also provides advanced features such as email marketing, e-commerce, online forms, content personalization, experimentation, and campaign tracking. Kentico Xperience delivers the tools to help businesses build the perfect digital experience to drive results.


Optimizely is a DXP that helps businesses to optimize their website performance and increase conversions. It allows users to create A/B tests, multivariate tests, and personalization campaigns for their websites, mobile apps, and ads. With its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, users can easily create and launch experiments that will test different elements of their websites and mobile apps and measure the impact on user engagement. Users can also track and analyze the results to gain crucial insights into their website performance and optimize their user experience.


WordPress is by far, the most popular CMS platform, powering nearly 45% of all websites on the internet. It is an open-source platform that offers a user-friendly interface and numerous customizable themes and plugins. WordPress suits any website, from personal sites, blogs, and portfolios to e-commerce sites and corporate websites.


Drupal is another popular open-source CMS platform known for its flexibility and scalability. It offers many features and customization options, making it suitable for large and complex websites. Government agencies, educational institutions, and large corporations often use Drupal.


Joomla is an open-source CMS platform with a user-friendly interface with a wide collection of features and customization options. It is suitable for all types of websites, from small blogs to large e-commerce sites. Joomla is known for its strong community support and extensive documentation.


Wix is a popular SaaS CMS platform that offers a drag-and-drop website builder and a variety of customizable templates. It is suitable for small businesses and individuals looking to build a simple and visually appealing website without the need for technical knowledge.


Squarespace is another popular SaaS CMS platform offering a user-friendly interface and an extensive collection of customizable templates. It is suitable for small businesses and individuals looking to create a visually appealing website without the need for technical knowledge. Squarespace also offers e-commerce capabilities for firms looking to sell products online.


A content management system, or CMS, is a software platform that allows users to create, edit, manage, and publish digital content on a website without coding or technical knowledge. A digital experience platform (DXP) enables companies to manage and optimize digital experiences across all customer touchpoints. Using either a CMS or DXP offers numerous benefits, including a user-friendly interface, time and resource savings, consistent design and branding, and SEO-friendliness. Various CMS and DXP platforms are available, each with unique features and benefits. By choosing the suitable CMS or DXP for your business or organization, you can effectively manage and update your website and improve your online presence.

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