CMS Explained

A CMS (Content Management System) is software that allows users to edit their website through an administration page or ‘back-end’ without requiring any knowledge of programming. A CMS will normally include a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) which makes updating website text as simple as using Microsoft Word. These programs also allow non-technical users to add pictures, new pages or other content to a website.

The majority of CMSs require a database in which to store their variables, such as MySQL or MSSQL. When you use an online shopping cart the website will pull the store’s inventory from a database to display pricing, stock levels and other information.

The most widely-used CMSs are currently WordPress, Joomla and Drupal which are all free to download (open source) however there are hundreds of different platforms available. A good web developer/designer is invaluable to create a custom template and configure the website, but after the initial development it is easy for non-technical people to edit and add content as required.

Due to their popularity, open source CMSs are desirable targets for hackers which is why we recommend customers keep their software up to date. New versions are frequently released to deal with new threats or backdoors that hackers inevitably discover. HostAway has created an automated system to remind customers when their WordPress or Joomla sites can be updated, to minimise this risk.

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