#Appropriate Content Management System (CMS) for modern website design

Open Source Content Management System (CMS) for a modern website design

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software package that is stored either on the company server or on the server of a provider. This system allows the webmaster and individual editors to create, edit and manage the content of a website. The system helps to separate editorial content from the design elements of the website, so that they can be edited individually – without interfering with the other functional area. Content can be better edited in this way. It is an Internet-based software that is connected to a database. Media content such as written content, integrated images and videos as well as forms or graphics can be captured, edited, saved and published using the same system.

From a technical point of view, the CMS is divided into three modules – the editorial system for entering texts, the so-called “Content Repository Module” for storing content and the “Publishing System” for publishing the content on the respective website. Other important tasks controlled by a CMS include rights management for access to the website and workflow management, i.e. the administration of individual workflows. The use of a CMS is interesting for websites that regularly post a lot of content. Which Open Source CMS is ultimately used in the company depends on the needs of the website operator or the company. Basically, it is a matter of considering the available plug-ins, the adaptability and the user interface as decisive criteria for the selection of the suitable system.

“Open Source CMS” – more variety and flexibility

The CMS of today is much more than the web presence of the company with which it presents itself to the outside world. Rather, it is about combining the factors content (German: Inhalt), commerce (German: Handel) and communities (German: Gemeinschaften) to create a unique brand experience, personalize all content and send it to its destination at the right moment via the desired channel(s).

Larger companies or groups of companies often still resort to CMS developed according to their needs – this is where the term “make or buy” comes into play. Behind this lies a company’s decision as to whether to use an externally developed CMS solution or its own development. For small or medium-sized companies as well as start-ups, which have only a small budget, the use of a suitable Open Source CMS offers a high savings potential. But also the following factors shape it:

Overall, it can be said that manufacturer-bound CMS are in most cases less flexible and more expensive, but always tailored to the individual needs of the company. In addition, they are equipped with fewer functions and can only be integrated into existing IT infrastructures with difficulty.

The five most used Open Source CMS

In Germany, five different open source CMSs are offered, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. In this list, the three most used systems will be analyzed in more detail:

Again and again, new start-ups in the field of open source CMS development come onto the market, which also take modern technical developments into account.

Why WordPress has become number 1

Studies from November 2019 have shown that the classic Open Source CMS WordPress with 61.8 % worldwide and 46.8 % in Germany has achieved with a huge gap on 1st place. The open source CMS Joomla was number 2 with 4.8 % and Drupal ranked third with almost 2 %. Who sees these numbers, recognizes fast that WordPress offers potentials which the other manufacturers do not hold ready.

Future “Headless CMS” – decoupling of content and design

Access to company content is always via new touchpoints. In addition to classic websites, these can also be eCommerce shops, device formats such as smartphones, “Internet of Things” devices or language assistants. A major influencing factor is the development of web content – since new devices are constantly calling up content from a wide variety of sources.

Today, an Open Source CMS – including that of the market leader WordPress – uses the “Headless CMS” technology. Here the functions that are usually executed via the backend (in the core the creation, storage and administration of created content) are separated from the frontend functions (primarily presentation and provision of content). It has three major advantages for the executors of marketing campaigns and strategies:

  1. the new touchpoints, which go beyond those of the network or the mobile network, can be more easily and quickly integrated into the system and supplied with content. The API-based approach – where API stands for “programming interface” – plays an important role here. Content can be retrieved without formatting and played back at the endpoints.
  2. Today, digital frontends are seen as the most important points of contact to prospects and customers. The “Headless CMS” helps to improve the digital experience when visiting an entrepreneurial touchpoint. The decoupling of front- and backend makes it faster and more flexible.
  3. The two areas of company organization and software architecture interact. In a monolithic system, it is very difficult to work on systemic improvements, especially against the background of agile, independent teams.

These three points reveal the true strength of a headless CMS, because its use supports and promotes digitization and agility. This is where the small, modern CMS providers such as Contentful, Directus or Cloud CMS come in, relying on a cloud solution.