A decade ago, the Internet was a relatively simple field. There were not so many browsers around, while building a website was quite simple. Moreover, all websites were very simplistic as well, while your options were quite limited. However, with time, the Internet has evolved. Today, you can find all kinds of sophisticated websites and portals. Later on, the experts have realized that you do not necessarily have to be technologically savvy in order to share good content and information. Things became a lot easier, but also more accessible. This is how content management systems (CMS) came to life.
What content management systems are
The HTML language was excellent for computers because they knew exactly how to display information. But from a beginner’s point of view, HTML is a real challenge, especially without any education. Content management systems were introduced to solve these issues. You are able to develop and share your own information in a pre-made manner or template. You have the opportunity to also control and maintain the way such information is displayed. Most platforms come with a very intuitive and user friendly control panel as well. As for the result (the part displayed to your audience), it depends on the platform you choose. Most platforms can be customized with themes, widgets and plugins too.
A brief history of content management systems
By 1996, most web developers and designers worked with HTML. They created their own codes, then uploaded them on web servers. It was like a barrier for nontechnical users and less advanced individuals. The first content management systems were developed to handle this problem. The first platforms hit the market between 1996 and 1999. However, they were not too sophisticated.
By 2003, the first major players joined in. They brought in a series of different features that no one has even dreamed about. Fortunately, these days, you no longer have to pay a fortune to use such platforms. PHP-nuke is one of the first and most important systems. It has lost some of its popularity though. Joomla is more important these days, not to mention about WordPress, which is currently the most popular CMS for blogs. Drupal is very common these days too, as well as Plone, Apache Lenya or Alfresco.
What makes free content management systems so important
First of all, the Internet is supposed to be free and open. Therefore, while you can find a lot of paid platforms, there are even more free solutions out there. Most of them do take their share though, whether it comes to placing ads or just mentioning the developer’s name on the footer of the page.
On a different note, content management systems are excellent for both newbie and technical individuals. Practically, maintaining a website is piece of cake when you have access to a user friendly control panel and the right tools.
Furthermore, content management is now possible to both large and small organizations. The initial costs are null with a free software. The result is obvious though – almost every Internet user has tried maintaining a blog, while many of them keep theirs running for years already.