A content management system (CMS) is a powerful tool for creating, editing, and managing content on a website with little or no knowledge of coding. In other words, it’s a tool that almost anyone can use to update a website’s content, simply by typing text into an editor box and selecting from preset options for things like headings, font, and other content settings.
One example of a popular CMS that you’ve probably heard of is WordPress. It’s the most common CMS used by bloggers and content managers around the world. Other popular choices include Wix and Squarespace, which also allow you to build a whole website by choosing from drag-and-drop features.
The examples mentioned above are great for beginners, but in some cases you may want to consider building your own content management system for more robust, customized management of your website’s content.
How Do You Build a CMS?
Content management systems consist of two main parts: a content delivery application (CDA) and a content management application (CMA).
The CMA is where you actually write and manage the content on your website. In other words, it’s the editor/builder portion of a content management system.
The CDA is the backend portion of a CMS, which handles the technical aspects of storing, uploading, and displaying content on your site.
In order to build your own custom CMS, one route you can choose to go is to develop it from the ground up using raw code. However, this requires a dedicated IT team or a skilled developer and a fair amount of time and money, which means it’s not always a viable option.
Fortunately, with the rise of low-code and no-code development tools, you can now take shortcuts when building a CMS from scratch. You can build pre-made components into your CMS to save developers time and save yourself money.
For example, a premade rich text editor, such as TinyMCE or one of its alternatives out there, can take care of the actual text editing portion of your new CMS. A developer or IT team can then easily stitch together the rich text editor with the other required components to get your custom CMS up and running in a much shorter amount of time than if they were to build it entirely from zero.
What Are the Pros of Building Your Own CMS?
You can build a CMS to suit specific business needs
Commercial content management systems are great for general purposes. But, sometimes they lack strength in very specific areas that may be more important for your business.
Building your own content management system allows you to focus on features and functions that will allow you to do business better, and faster.
For example, if you publish a large amount of image-heavy blogs and/or articles about products on your eCommerce site, you may want to build a CMS that has more robust image uploading and bulk editing capabilities to save time and trouble when dealing with so many image files.
Gives you full control over the style of your content
Most commercial content management systems offer a limited range of stylistic options for how to present your content on your website. If you want full control of how your content looks to visitors when they come to your site, a custom CMS frees you from these restraints.
You can add the features you want
Every ready-out-of-the-box CMS offers a range of different features, but it can be hard to find one with all of the specific features you want access to.
Building your own content management system allows you to include each and every feature you need for you and your team.
For example, if you want more tools for categorizing content on your site and for allowing visitors to search for it using detailed filters and advanced searches, you can build these features into your CMS.
What Are the Cons of Creating a Custom CMS?
Take time and money to develop
You can start using commercial content management systems within a matter of minutes. So, naturally, one of the downsides of building your own application is that it takes time to do so, and time is money. You have to plan, design, and build the app from scratch, which can take months.
Luckily, you can drastically cut down on development time by building pre-made low-code or no-code development components into your new CMS. Going this route can drop development time for your app down from months to weeks.
You’re responsible for updating and maintaining the CMS
With a commercial CMS, there is a whole team dedicated to updating, improving, and maintaining the application for you and other clients.
When you develop your own custom content management system, you are the one that has to worry about taking care of all this.
For instance, if there’s a bug in the app, your IT team has to fix it. You will also need to update and improve the app as your business needs evolve. All of this ongoing attention equals time and money for you and your business.
Keep in mind that using pre-built components in your CMS, such as a rich text editor, can take away the need for some of this maintenance, especially in terms of fixing issues with your content management app, by providing you access to dedicated support teams for the companies that provide these components.