Content Management System (CMS) 101

By Meredith Fennema

July 6, 2021

We recently sat down with Meredith Fennema, web design lead, to understand the basics of Content Management Systems. Here’s what we found out:

Okay, I’m new to this! What is a content management system?

A content management system (often referred to as “CMS”) is a tool that helps you build a website without needing to write all the code from scratch (or even know how to code at all). Examples of content management systems include WordPress, Magento, Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and Drupal. 

What content management systems does Simpler Site use to build websites?

Simpler Site specializes in building sites on WordPress. We appreciate WordPress’s scalability, customization options, and the nearly unlimited options it gives our clients to achieve their goals. Additionally, we have experience maintaining websites that use Shopify, Drupal, Squarespace, and Wix. For clients with limited web design budgets we are also willing to use Squarespace for web design and website maintenance.

Simpler Site specializes in WordPress. Why is that? 

WordPress is a full-fledged Content Management System (CMS), whereas Squarespace and Shopify are your typical drag-and-drop website builders. WordPress has more in-depth functions than website builders like Squarespace and Shopify, meaning you can scale and customize your WordPress site on a more technological level. WordPress allows for total design and functionality freedom.

WordPress is the best choice if you’re after complete customization, total control, and a real hands-on approach to your website. You can build whatever site you like on WordPress, choose any theme or plugin to make it 100% unique, and even use coding to really customize it. You have total ownership over your WordPress site and can also pursue a more aggressive SEO strategy. 

Note that because it takes more time to design and build a website on WordPress than Squarespace (or any other website builder), it is somewhat more costly to build websites on WordPress.

I’ve heard a lot about Squarespace recently. When is Squarespace a good option for me?

Squarespace is great for helping people get websites off the ground with nice design and without needing any coding skills. Squarespace offers great design templates out of the box. However, it limits the customizations options for design and functionality. Your options for design and functionality are a little more limited with Squarespace than with WordPress, but the trade-off is that it’s all easier to get off the ground and to manage after launch. It is a good option for people who have limited website budgets, but we always want to caution that long-term websites built on Squarespace may limit growth options down the road.

I have more questions. Can you help me out?

We sure can! Please email Meredith Fennema, web design lead, or call her at (616) 920-9063 if you have additional questions. Learn more about our web design services.

Ready to Connect?

Call: (616) 822-3706

About Meredith Fennema

Meredith manages web design and digital strategy services for Simpler Site. Clients across the country appreciate Meredith’s commitment to growth, generosity and kindness, alongside Simpler’s practical, make-it-happen approach. Meredith studied Human Centered Design at Kendall College of Art and Design, earned her Foundations in Design Thinking and Designing Strategy certificates from IDEO U, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications and Political Science from Calvin University. In business and in life, Meredith believes in the power of embracing the unknown. Outside work she practices this while mountain biking, backpacking, cooking, and vegetable gardening.

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