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A CMS (Content Management System) is a piece of software that lets you easily write, edit and publish content on the web.

Back in the olden days, every time you wanted to update a web site – say, your blog – it wasn’t too easy. You’d need to download the HTML files of your web site, edit them (don’t make a mistake!), upload them to the server, and cross your fingers that you did it all right. Lots of steps, lots of anguish!

Although this method worked, it was complicated and time consuming. Now, thanks to CMSes, you can write all your content in a simple form, hit a “publish” button and voila! Website updated! No coding necessary.

Blogging platforms like Tumblr and Blogger are Content Management Systems. If you work for a company with a big web site, it probably has a CMS it uses to manage its web content. Creating and editing new pages or image galleries is a lot easier with a CMS than doing it by hand!

CMSes have been around since the beginning of the Internet, but really started picking up steam around 1999 with the spread of blogging. The founding of services like Livejournal and Blogger helped introduce Content Management Systems into the lives of many, even if their users didn’t know what a CMS was!

Cocktail Party Fact

WordPress, a free CMS for blogs, powers 15% of the top 1 million web sites!