What Is a Content Management System (CMS) and How Does CMS Work?

Want to create a website from scratch but don’t know how? We’ve got three words for you, Content Management systems. We know what you’re thinking; what is it, and why does it matter? Don’t worry; this article will explain everything you need to know about CMS.

Back in the day, website creation was a time-consuming and challenging task that required expert skills in coding. There was simply no way for an average person without any coding skill to even attempt to create a website. So naturally, the task was delegated to coders and programmers who knew the job.

However, as time progressed, website creation became more and more simplified. This was done to make the process less specialized, allowing more and more people to participate.

Now in 2022, CMS is a term commonly known by most website creators. In fact, there are over 73 million websites that implement the content management system today. Considering this number, it’s safe to say that it has become the standard process for website creation.

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) is an effective tool that allows us to create professional websites and digital content. It simplifies the website creation process by removing the coding element, essentially simplifying the task at hand.

In other words, we no longer have to code a website from scratch but instead, make use of a CMS template. So, to answer the question, ‘what is CMS?’, we can say that CMS is essentially a website creator for non-techies.

How do we define Content Management System?

If you’re looking for a Content Management System definition, you’ll find plenty of them around the web. The Wikipedia definition of CMS is a computer program that lets you create, modify and manage digital content. To put it simply, it’s an all-in-one application that lets us create, manage and publish digital content.

How do we define Content Management System?
source: seotraininglondon

This is all done without the need for a single line of code, making the process simple enough for beginners. It achieves this by using pre-designed templates and extensions to form the base of your website. Users can drag and drop the templates and elements to create a unique and custom layout.

CMS turns the complicated process of website creation into a simple drag and fit operation.

What are some examples of CMS?

There are several CMS applications that are widely used in the market today. In fact, most people have used a CMS application without even being aware of the definition. That’s because the CMS process is so simplified that there is no need to delve into technical specifics.

What are some examples of CMS?
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Some Content Management System examples would be Squarespace and Wix, both of which are popular website creation tools catered to beginners. You will find that both these softwares share the same functionality of a standard CMS.

However, the most prominent example of a CMS would be wordpress.org, not to be confused with wordpress.com. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, the difference is that only wordpress.org has code-free capabilities.

How does a CMS platform function?

CMS softwares function by using the drag and drop element, as well as the direct typing on-screen option. If you’re confused about these terms, don’t worry, we’ll explain them to you. Although, you might find the concept much clearer once you actually use a CMS software.

How does a CMS platform function?
source: hostinger

For the sake of explaining, let us understand the process of using website creation softwares such as Squarespace. The first step is to acquire a web-hosting service, along with a valid domain name. This requirement cannot be ignored and is necessary to legitimize your website.

You will notice that coding and programming are completely unnecessary here. The site will already provide several templates and textures to choose from. So basically, the CMS will have already provided you with the tools to create your website.

You can move around objects with your mouse and install them in the position of your choice. You can also make entry points for clicks that lead the user to another area on the page. What’s more, you can install the content text by simply typing it on the desired area of your page.

Once that is done, you can now save the changes and proceed to generate your website. Achieving all this without coding was simply impossible before the existence of the CMS engine.

A quick tour of the inner mechanics of CMS

To understand how a CMS works, we will have to study the individual elements that allow the software’s smooth functioning. To explain further, CMS is made up of two essential parts. These are Content Management Application (CMA) and Content Delivery Application (CDA).

The CMA can be defined as the outer surface of the platform, which contains the UI and design elements. This is where you can manually interact with the platform and modify the surface. Simply put, CDA is the dashboard where the actual website creation takes place by using the necessary tools.

Meanwhile, the CMA is the back-end of the operation, which is responsible for delivering your created content to visitors. It senses what the visitor wants and makes sure that the required information reaches them. We can look at the CMA as the third party which connects the website’s information to the target audience.

Understanding the difference between Cloud-based and On-premises CMS

Cloud-based CMS sells you a club-hosted environment upon which you can further build your own website. Meaning that it lets you use a pre-created foundation. There is no possibility of changing and editing the inner core functionality of cloud-based CMS.

Meanwhile, On-premises CMS lets you change the inner core functions, allowing you to overhaul the platform’s mechanics completely.


Thanks to CMS, website creation is no longer a coding-oriented task. Instead, it has become an element of Graphic design. This vastly increases the potential for non-coders to create, design, and market their own website.

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