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How to Build a Content Management System (CMS)

Managing a website is a serious business. It takes tons of effort, from building a website to handling the data and curating the right content that justifies your brand. You can either start by hiring professionals, outsourcing your work, or building your systems.

When you start with your business, there are several terms you need to be well aware of – one of them is a Content Management System (CMS)

Content management system

If you have a website, you fall into two categories: a static website, meaning all site updates must be hard-coded using standard web programming techniques, or you already have a content management system. You can make dynamic page updates on your own.

What role does it play in your growth? Is it beneficial for your business? How to build a CMS? We’ll cover everything in this article. 

Let’s begin.


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What is a Content Management System (CMS), and why is it important?

A content management system provides the tools to publish written and visual content online at any possible customer touchpoint. You can manage and edit your content from a single interface.

Working with a CMS requires no specialized technical knowledge, making it user-friendly. However, conventional web-oriented CMS systems can come with imperfections and constraints. We’ll discuss this later in the article.


Benefits of Content Management System (CMS)

Aside from saving time and money, investing in a CMS provides numerous advantages. It can be one of the most advantageous investments in your company’s online presence. Here are some advantages and reasons you should invest in a CMS.


1. No prior coding experience is required

You can create and handle content, change the face and feel of your website, and install extensions to give it more features with a CMS – all without coding.

For instance, WordPress and other content management systems were developed with non-programmers in mind. It is simple and quick to learn how to manage the actual content of your website once a web design expert has properly designed it.


2. Easy collaboration

A CMS’s back end can be accessed and used by multiple people simultaneously. Multiple users can add, edit, or update content on the website using individual accounts directly from their computers or devices.

Additionally, CMSs store all your online content for you in a single location and make it accessible to everyone with a website login, so you no longer need to transmit multiple files to various recipients.


3. Additional security measures

CMS platforms have built-in tools and add-ons to aid site security. Websites are particularly susceptible to hacking attempts and are frequently the focus of these attacks.

CMS uses tools and plugins that provide extra protection and frequent updates concerning emerging security issues.


Examples of Content Management Systems (CMS)

Some of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) include:



WP is a well-liked open-source platform for building web pages and blogs. It offers many features, including themes, plugins, and SEO tools appropriate for blogs, portfolios, and small enterprises.



Drupal is a famous open-source content management system (CMS) for building intricate websites and applications. It features scalability, language support, and system integration. For major corporations and governmental websites, it is ideal.



Joomla is a widely used open-source CMS for building websites and online programs. It offers functions, including user administration, extensions, and template features.

Small to medium-sized businesses, internet communities, and nonprofit organizations are its finest uses.



Wix is a well-known cloud-based platform for building blogs, websites, and online storefronts. It has features including design tools, templates, and e-commerce possibilities. Both SMEs and private websites can use it.


Types of Content Management Systems (CMS)

Some of the major types of Content Management Systems (CMS) include:


  • Component Content Management System (CCMS)
  • Digital Asset Management System (DAM), 
  • Document Management System (DMS) 
  • Enterprise Content Management System (ECM) 
  • Web Content Management System (WCMS) 


How to Use a CMS




1. Understand your business’s goals and objectives


Once you define your goals and the website’s purpose, it’s easier to move forward with your CMS. Understanding your requirements will help you decide the features you need and the content you want to be managed. 

But, before delving into the intricacies, have your basics cleared – 

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What kind of content do I want to publish?
  • What updates do I require for my content? And more. 


2. Identify the roles and responsibilities your CMS will handle (with content)


Now that your goals are pre-defined, you must determine the content you want your CMS to manage. This will help you identify the features and functionalities of your platform. There are multiple things that you can do with a CMS –


  • Text (includes – blogs, descriptions, copywriting, etc.)
  • Images (includes – audio files, videos, pictures, etc.)
  • Data (includes – event listings, specifications, etc.)


3. Pick the right tech stack for your CMS


Choosing the right tech stack for your website depends on your budget. You must also factor in your team’s expertise and your goals. Here are a few things you can keep in mind while picking the right one –


  • What programming languages and frameworks would you be comfortable using? 
  • What sort of database would you prefer to store your CMS – NoSQL, relational, or a combination of both?
  • What third-party tools would you integrate – the payment gateways, Social media platforms, analytics, etc.?
  • What cloud hosting provider would you choose?




1. Start with a wireframe 

A wireframe helps you create a rough outline and structure of your CMS. With low-fidelity and High-fidelity mockups, you can build a layout that fits your needs. Buttons, menus, dashboards, etc., can help you identify usability issues early in the process.

Below are a few tips you can use before building a wireframe –


  1. Lo-fi wireframes include a rough layout; start with that.
  2. Follow this process with hi-fi mockups and create a detailed structure.
  3. Make sure you include all the necessary features of your CMS
  4. Test 


2. Work on the visual aspects of your CMS


Now that you have a rough outline, you can start designing a professional look for your CMS structure. You can try –


  • choosing a suitable color scheme and typography 
  • using high-quality images and graphics
  • creating a visual hierarchy to help users navigate your CMS




1. Choose a suitable development framework and programming language


Now that you have designed your CMS, you need to get your hands dirty with the technical stuff. It’s important that you choose the right fit for your CMS when it comes to the development framework and programming language.

This will solely depend on your budget, team, requirements, and goals. 


Some favored choices in the market are –


  1. Laravel (PHP): for complex web applications, including CMSs.
  2. Django (Python): for web applications, including CMSs.
  3. Ruby on Rails (Ruby): for web applications, including CMSs.
  4. Express.js (JavaScript): for web applications, including CMSs.


2. Integrate features and functionalities


The next step would be implementing your CMS’s core features and functionalities. This includes creating a user signup system, content creation, management features, and more. Below are some tips you can use while implementing the features –

  • Create a roadmap of the required features
  • curate a simple code
  • Use version control to track changes
  • Test


3. Time to test


Once you’ve implemented the core features and functionalities, it’s time to test them thoroughly. This can involve both – manual and automated testing.

This is followed by deploying and managing your CMS, which involves picking the right hosting provider, configuring your web server, and maintaining your CMS. 


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Wrapping up

Building a content management system isn’t easy. It requires clarity and understanding of your requirements. We have covered every aspect of developing a CMS, and now it’s your turn to start building one.

Good luck.

About the author

Tricia Pearson is an experienced writer at Net Solutions with five years of domain experience across marketing, Tech, and B2B solutions. She works to inspire creativity and encourages team members to bring their best to each project. Tricia thrives in competitive teams and gets satisfaction from late-night writing sprints. She prefers reading by the beach, hiking, and discovering new local cafes during her downtime.