A Content Management System (CMS) is a piece of software that allows non-technical users to add, delete, edit and organize content on a website without the need to know any type of code.
In other words, a CMS makes it a lot easier to manage your website. You just use an editor that works a lot like Microsoft Word. You just type your page's title, then your text. A simple highlight and click to make it bold or underlined. Popup boxes make it easy to add links, pictures, videos, photo-galleries.
If you need multiple people to work on your site, some CMS's (like our favorite, Joomla) allow you to have multiple users and give each one access to only those pages of the site they need to accomplish their tasks. And if any of those employees should "leave the company," one click will remove their access to the site.
That same access control goes to site visitors, too. You can ask visitors to register on your site before they are allowed to view certain content. After they log-in they are shown your premium content.
Most CMS's create a "backend" view of your site - a sort of control panel for all the content. Joomla does that too. But with Joomla you can also access and edit content on the front side of your site. Sometimes it's a bit easier for some users to understand.
Some CMS’s are proprietary and can cost tens of thousands of dollars, others are Open Source* and can be used at no cost. McColley Marketing Media works primarily with the Joomla CMS system, which is Open Source and freely distributed. It's been under development for about 15 years so it contains the full range of options - and there are over 8000 ways to add even more functionality.
Using a content management system makes managing your website easier, but it still requires a bit of knowledge, so we always provide training and support to the staff that will be working on the site.
*Open Source Software comes with a license allowing users to obtain, use, and change the program in any way they like. The CMS Joomla is Open Source licensed under the GNU General Public License. A FAQ about the license can be found here.