If you have not read any of our other Swimmin in a Sea of Acronyms posts, you can read more under our Marketing Terms category.

I thought up the idea of swimming in a sea of acronyms while teaching at local lunch and learns: so much lingo that marketers use all the time is a foreign language to our potential customers.

Here is another term in the endless parade of acronyms: CMS.

What is a CMS?

A CMS, Content Management System, is software that is designed to manage all the content on a website. Now, most business owners, business customers, or just people in general don’t often think about how a website works.

Allow me to KISS it for you:

A website is designed to deliver organized content to your eyeballs (or ears) for a specific purpose. This content consists of, generally, text, media files, software code, and other files as needed. The content is styled and organized on the website.

These three parts: content, style, and structural organization form the core of any website.

A CMS Makes a Static Website Dynamic

Back in the dark ages of the internet, we built a website on our computer using a text editor. We then uploaded that text and any media files we wanted on the website to a server, or a dedicated computer that would be running constantly providing anyone who had the web address access to the text and media we put out there.

For most small businesses, this looks nothing like what your website will look like. Rather than loading static text and images, even videos, onto a server in a small closet in your business, you will log into the CMS from any browser you want and it will handle all the information uploads.

Most small business owners never actually touch a server.

A Content Management System (CMS) is designed to remove much of the technical knowledge of running a website and help you create something that is beautiful and dynamic.

Types of CMSs

Yes, there are different types of CMSs because different types of websites have different needs. The following are some subcategories or similar types of software to a CMS.

  • LMS – A Learning Management Platform. An LMS is designed to manage an educational type of website.
  • DAM – A Digital Asset Management system emphasizes remote access to your digital assets more than the user friendly front-page experience of a website.
  • Social Media Platform – While many marketers don’t think of a social media platform as a CMS, many of my customers only need to use social media for their online content. It is definitely a content management system!

Why use a CMS

Basically, anyone who has a website will need to use some form of content management system in order to create a business that is relevant and up-to-date.