7 Things Bloggers Need to Know About Content Management Systems and Web Hosting
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that allows you to create and modify digital content on the web, including blog posts and website content. It can usually support multiple users in a collaborative environment. Features and tools inside each CMS application can vary greatly. They can be used by people who don’t know how to write in HTML or other coding languages, which is why they’re so popular. And they rely on web hosting and servers to function.
(If you’re interested in learning more about the technical way CMSs function, read Everything You Need to Know About Content Management Systems.)
If you’re a blogger or are interested in starting a blog, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about CMSs and web hosting before you get started. Because while CMSs are intended to save a lot of time and money, they can also be frustrating to use if you don’t know how they work and how you should go about using one. And web hosting can also be confusing if all you want to do is start a blog and not necessarily build a fully-functional website with multiple pages.
Here are seven things bloggers should know about content management systems and web hosting.
1. CMS Core Functionality
The reason why so many bloggers and website owners rely on WordPress (and why WordPress owns over 50% of total CMS market share) is that it has a lot of functionality and can easily integrate with other systems and search engines. Whether you want to start a blog, build a website, start an e-commerce business, or do something else, it will allow you to create and publish the content you need, and more.
But even if you don’t decide to use WordPress, you’ll need to consider the core functionality of the CMS you do want to use. Will it allow you to create, edit, and publish the content you want, where and when you want? Will it allow you to organize and store content the way you want? Will it allow you to customize your content the way you want? Will it require you to understand a lot more about coding than you currently understand? And so on. Essentially, make sure you fully understand the basic core functions of the CMS you choose to use so that you don’t select the wrong one for your blog.
2. Who Controls Content Authoring and CMS Access
When you start using a CMS, you’ll want to make sure you know who is authorized to edit and publish content on your blog as well as who its main administrator is. And if you have a large team handling blog posts, be sure you can give everyone the appropriate permissions inside your CMS and that it’s easy for them to collaborate. For instance, some users might be authorized to draft blog content yet not publish it, and others may need to notify certain users that a blog post is ready to be edited or reviewed before it’s published. In addition, be sure you are able to easily manage and use your media assets (images, videos, text, etc.) inside your CMS. It can be frustrating if you’re able to upload videos but not easily embed them into your blog posts, for example. Overall, you’ll want to know what content is within your control and what content is not. Make sure that content inside your CMS is easy to access and publish.
3. CMS Customization Capabilities
Are you able to use customizable templates for your blog page or blog posts? Are you able to customize or determine what your blog posts will look like before you publish them, or do they all look the same? And are you able to customize how you organize content inside your CMS? If you plan on having varied blog content – or a lot of it – you’ll want to consider using a CMS that allows you to customize the way your blog posts look and how it functions. And make sure you explore the editor and authoring tools inside your CMS to optimize the blog content you publish.
4. CMS Plug-Ins and Integrations
This is one of the most important things you need to know about the CMS you decide to use. Know which advanced search engine optimization (SEO) tools and plug-ins your CMS has or can easily integrate with so you can promote and optimize your blog content across the web. You might also want integrations that allow you to schedule when content will be published. Other integrations can help you gain subscribers and encourage more blog likes, engagement, comments, and sharing on social media sites. And you’ll want plug-ins or access to tools that allow you to see analytics, so you can learn more about your readers and how they’re engaging with your blog posts.
5. CMS and Web Hosting Security and Backup Capabilities
You’ll always want to make sure the content for your blog is backed up and secure. Don’t risk losing content, accidentally deleting files permanently, or letting your subscriber information become compromised. Make sure the server hosting your blog is secure and safe, and that your CMS has regularly scheduled updates and backups. You’ll also want to select a web hosting provider that has reliable server uptime and that doesn’t crash your website on a rolling basis. Review users’ testimonials and comments when selecting a web hosting provider to make sure it’s safe, secure, and reliable.
6. Web Hosting Costs and Management
When selecting a web hosting service for your blog, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what you’ll owe and when you’ll owe it, as well as what payment options are available. And be clear about how you’ll manage your blog’s domain name and web hosting service with your designated CMS. To keep everything manageable, cost-effective, and easy to understand, it’s usually best to go with a web hosting service that also allows you to use a CMS to build and manage your blog.
7. Web Hosting Service Features, Capabilities, and Support
Be sure you’re selecting a web hosting service that ensures site speed, security, scalability, customer support, and unlimited bandwidth and storage. Otherwise, you might run into issues where you won’t be able to upload files to your CMS, or you won’t be able to generate more traffic to your growing blog. Or your blog traffic rates decline due to slow site speeds and low bandwidth. And just in case you do have a problem, make sure you know who you can and should contact at your web hosting service provider for technical support or billing related questions.
Keep these seven tips in mind to ensure that you know how to select and use the right CMS for your blog as well as how to properly select and manage your blog’s web hosting.