A pre-configured environment
A CMS comes with a set of tools which are already configured:
- an admin backend for your settings, configurations and content management
- many features for managing your content and more
- email sending system
- security optimizations
All of these tools are up once the CMS is installed. You save a lot, not to say a fortune, by using a CMS rather than developing all of these features by yourself. Why reinventing the wheel?
An always up-to-date environment
Most of the time a CMS is maintained by the company or organization behind the system. Our environment is always evolving: programmation languages, browsers, server operating systems are constantly improved and so your software needs to be improved to keep being compatible with the latest users’ softwares. Imagine that your website cannot be displayed correctly in your clients’ browsers anymore! And I’m not talking about the security aspects. If you have developed your system by yourself you would have to constantly work on your website system to keep it up to date.
With a CMS you just have to download and install the latest update available. Most of the time, in a modern CMS, you just have to click on a button to update it, and so the process of updating is very very easy.
A list of additional features
A CMS is often, but not always, under an open-source license. That means its code is open and developers around the world may develop on this CMS if they find it attractive. Sometimes, these developers will also create some additional features, often called plugins, add-ons or modules, and offer these ones as paid or free features on the web.
So, depending on the CMS and its age, there may be a large community of developers behind and tons of available features to extend your CMS capabilities, and, moreover, create the tool you really need.
Imagine you want to add an affiliate program to your website built with WordPress, you just have to search for “wordpress affiliate plugin” in your favorite search engine, or directly search in the WordPress plugins directory: https://wordpress.org/plugins/search.php?q=affiliation
As you can see there are many affiliate plugins and you may find one that suits you the best!
Customize it your own way
The large majority of the CMS are delivered with their source code. This allows you to put your hands in the code, and, even if you don’t have strong technical knowledge, to customize it a little bit to adapt it to your needs. I’m sure this customization aspect will be an easy thing after having ended these lessons!
Let’s imagine you want to change the order of some blocks on a particular page, that’s something you can do quite easily by modifying directly in the code the file that manages this page. I would say sometimes the hardest thing would be to find which file manages which page, but we will see later how to do that easily.
Create your own features
The outcome of all of this is that you can create your own features. When I say “you” I don’t mean you will create the features by yourself if you don’t know how to code, but you have the option to hire a developer so that he can develop it for you.
These customization and “create your own features” aspects are the main advantages of CMS compared to other solutions which don’t offer the source code: you are not stuck with a solution that doesn’t cover all your needs.