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Should you build your own CMS? Or should you use a content management system that already exists, like WordPress or Drupal?

If you manage a website of any kind, these are questions you will likely ask yourself sooner or later.

A CMS is a crucial tool these days for managing online content, even on a small scale.

If you’re struggling to decide whether to build your own CMS or use a prebuilt option, keep reading.

This article weighs the pros and cons of each approach.

What Is a CMS?

As the term “content management system” implies, a CMS is any type of platform that helps you manage content online. A CMS typically includes features that systematize and automate the processes of creating, publishing and organizing online content, such as Web pages.

(Some CMS platforms are designed for managing content other than on the Web, but when most people talk about a CMS today, they’re thinking of online content.)

Once upon a time, it was possible to manage websites by hand, with so-called “webmasters” keeping track of static HTML files and using them to publish new pages.

The masters of the web would also manage content layout and style by editing files by hand.

Today, that practice is obsolete in most cases. Whether you have a handful of web pages to manage or many thousands, a CMS helps avoid much of the tedium of maintaining a website.

It can also help lower the technical bar required to manage a site by eliminating the need to work with the code.

There are many prebuilt CMS options to choose from, but there may be a good reason to build your own CMS from scratch.

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