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Learn Content Management Systems (CMS) with online courses

Want to build a website without any coding knowledge? A content management system (CMS) can help you quickly create attractive web pages for personal or business use. Learn all about content management systems with online courses delivered through edX.

What is a content management system?

Almost every business has a website, but not every business owner is a website developer or designer. Thankfully, they don’t have to be. Now, anyone can build a website using tools called content management systems. 

A content management system is a platform that allows users to build and update websites without having to code. Website managers can simply log into the platform and edit the site’s content and design without adjusting the source code — although many CMSes also offer the option to edit with HTML/CSS if desired.Footnote 1

One of the simplest examples of a website created with a CMS is a blog. You log in, click “add post,” and type in text and a title. But content management systems for websites go beyond the functionality of blogs to encompass websites of all kinds, from nonprofit information pages to e-commerce sites.

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Content management system platforms

Examples of website content management systems include WordPress, Drupal, HubSpot, and Shopify. The first two systems are built on open-source technologies, which means they’re more customizable.Footnote 2

CMS platforms store content in databases and then use set templates to present content in a way that’s readable and appealing.Footnote 3 All of this takes place in the background: users don’t need to know the underlying structure of the website, and can instead focus on producing content that best represents their brand.

Many CMS platforms offer specific templates for different site features, including landing pages, product pages, and contact forms. Using these templates further reduces the burden on users and allows them to expand their site’s capabilities.

Advantages of using a content management system include:Footnote 4

  • Content consistency with content that follows a similar format and appearance

  • Better, more collaborative workflows

  • Search engine optimization tools

  • Third-party integrations

  • Content security

Explore jobs that use a CMS 

Many positions in business, design, and communications make use of content management systems. Knowing how to use common content management systems for websites can be an asset for roles such as:

  • Chief marketing officer. A chief marketing officer may use a CMS to manage their company’s web messaging.

  • Web designer. A web designer could use a CMS to construct a website, combining their design and HTML knowledge with CMS capabilities to enhance the user experience.

  • Copywriter or content writer. A copywriter could use a CMS to update existing copy or add new copy to a website.

In all these roles, familiarity with the top content management systems can be beneficial. To get the most out of a CMS, consider enrolling in an online course.Footnote 5

edX offers many online learning opportunities on a variety of subjects. You can explore individual courses and specialized boot camps, or enroll in bachelor’s degree or master’s programs. If you’re interested in CMS jobs, these programs can help kickstart your professional future.

How can learning content management systems help your career? 

Across industries, many professionals work with content management systems to create visually appealing websites. For example, you may use a CMS to design product pages for a lean e-commerce startup or create the homepage of your newly launched restaurant. 

If you want to use a CMS in a professional capacity, it may be helpful to have a foundation in design or coding. However, this isn’t necessary. One of the advantages of content management systems is that you don’t need technical expertise to use them. Strong writing skills are a must, and familiarity with basic HTML/CSS can be an asset.Footnote 6

If you do choose to pursue a career as a web developer or digital designer, some employers may require you to have a background in programming or computer science.Footnote 7 edX offers learning pathways that can help you build these skills, such as coding boot camps and even bachelor’s degree programs in computer science.

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