CMS - Content Management System

CMS - Content Management System

The days when store operators needed technical know-how and programming skills for their ecommerce are over. User-friendly content management systems (CMS) allow even inexperienced online merchants to create an appealing and fully functional online store and provide their shoppers with an attractive buying experience.

Table of contents

  1. What is a CMS?

  2. Functions of content management systems in online stores

    1. Content creation and management

    2. Product creation and management

    3. Set user rights and access permissions

    4. Responsive design and themes

    5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    6. Integration of social media channels

    7. Individual extensions

  3. Why is a CMS important for successful ecommerce?

    1. Productivity and time savings

    2. Gaining leads through SEO

    3. Blog publishing to increase conversion rates

    4. Customer loyalty through personalization

    5. Improved security

    6. High scalability

    7. Multilingualism for international merchants

  4. 3 Examples of CMS solutions

    1. WordPress

    2. Joomla

    3. Wix

  5. Worlds of experience: the integrated CMS solution from Shopware

  6. FAQ

What is a CMS?

A content management system (CMS) is software that allows users to create, edit, edit and publish digital content. The strict separation of content and design allows easy operation, for which no programming knowledge is required. Content can be easily managed via a clear backend and created through an intuitive user interface.

Functions of content management systems in online stores

Many store systems already have their own CMS integrated to enable online retailers to design their ecommerce platform easily and attractively. To take advantage of the full range of functions, users should familiarize themselves in detail with the features offered.

Most systems offer building blocks as a basic basis, which contain prefabricated content modules such as image sliders, text and image blocks, buttons, forms and much more. However, the essential functions of a CMS in an online store include the provision of content and products and user rights, access and customer management. In addition, there are other practical functions.

Content creation and management

With a CMS, online retailers manage all content in their online store on a central platform. In no time at all, they create content for landing pages, category and product pages, and integrated blogs. Most content management systems are structured similarly and have a content editor that is similar to a word processing program in terms of its structure and available tools. Individual content elements such as texts, images or videos are combined into an appealing layout with just a few mouse clicks using this so-called WYSIWYG editor.

Product creation and management

The products are the heart of every online store. With a CMS, store operators organize all products on a clear user interface. Various functions are available for this, such as:

  • Upload a product image

  • Adding a product description

  • Setting the product price

  • Inventory management

  • Product variants

  • Assignment to a product category

  • Graduated discounts and much more.

Set user and access rights

Several people usually work on an online store at the same time, but not everyone should have unrestricted access to content or sensitive customer data. Most CMS solutions have a user and rights management, which allows the restriction of user rights. Depending on the system, different read or write rights for user groups can be defined in detail for individual areas of an online store. Administrators, for example, receive full read and edit rights for all content and areas of the store, while employees only receive limited rights for certain sections.

Responsive design and themes

Mobile commerce is in vogue: Since the number of mobile accesses to the Internet via smartphone and tablet is constantly increasing nowadays, a mobile solution is a must for every online store. A CMS usually already offers a selection of free and paid templates for a modern and responsive design. Due to the strict separation of content and layout, the design automatically adapts to the design during content creation and thus always remains consistent - for a uniform appearance, good usability and user experience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Many CMS solutions come with search engine optimization features out of the box. Store operators quickly and easily add titles and metadata for individual pages and optimize URLs to make their store pages more visible to Google & Co. and users. In this way, they achieve more sales and attract new clientele.

Integration of social media channels

Social media are excellent platforms for referral marketing. Users share their experiences with products here and are happy to recommend them to others after a positive buying experience. Some content management systems for online stores already offer integrations with popular social media channels from the ground up. Social commerce is also a popular form of selling these days, with users buying products and services directly through social media. It is therefore worth integrating social media channels into the existing ecommerce system.

Individual extensions

If the considerable range of functions of the CMS is still not enough, there are extensive extensions available for building the system. The selection of extension modules varies depending on the content management system, but most have their own store where developers provide different plugins, modules and add-ons. Customized functions can also be seamlessly integrated with an individually developed plugin.

Why is a CMS important for successful ecommerce?

Offering customers a better shopping experience and thus increasing sales is the goal of every store operator. A CMS therefore does much more than just organize content and products. It forms the basis for an online store and saves store operators a considerable amount of effort in creating and managing their ecommerce business. It doesn't matter whether it's a small project or a complex one - a CMS is suitable for any project, regardless of its scale.

Productivity and time saving

The user-friendly and clear software interface allows products and content to be quickly added, removed, updated or sorted into categories. In addition, the CMS can automate processes such as order management or sending emails to customers. As a result, store operators work more effectively, save time and focus on more important aspects of their ecommerce business.

Gain leads through SEO

Decisive for success in ecommerce are the number of visitors and, above all, the number of purchases. In order for potential customers to become aware of the online store, a good placement in the search results plays an important role. CMS usually already provide search engine optimization functions in their basic version. For example, store operators simply enter meta tags and descriptions or keywords (meaningful keywords) for individual products and categories via form fields to make the store more visible to search engines. There are also a number of functions for optimizing images, such as assigning an alt attribute or automatic compression to shorten loading times.

Blog publishing to increase conversion rate

Users are looking for content that offers them real added value, answers their questions and solves their problems. Many store operators therefore use an appealing blog to attract prospective buyers and provide helpful information about their products. In addition, relevant content has a positive impact on search engine rankings, which is why blogging is the focus for many online retailers. Content is created, edited and published with the help of a CMS. Some store solutions provide extensions for blogging, but it is also possible to integrate the content into the ecommerce platform using third-party systems such as WordPress.

Customer loyalty through personalization

A special focus of every store operator is customer loyalty. Loyal customers who make purchases again and again are of great importance to companies. Personalization plays an essential role in customer loyalty. Customers are more inclined to buy a product if they feel personally addressed. With a CMS, store operators easily create and manage personalized content such as landing pages or individual offers, recommendations and emails - based on the customer's buying behavior and interests.

Improved security

A CMS offers security advantages for online retailers. Back-ups can be created automatically to quickly revert to a functioning version of the store in the event of technical problems. The possibility of encrypting data and setting up user roles and rights also increase the security of an online store. In addition, regular and simple updates close security gaps to successfully fend off hacker attacks.

High scalability

Content management systems can be easily extended with additional functions to meet the increasing requirements of an online store. Thanks to numerous add-ons, store operators can find a solution for almost any challenge. Whether a new shipping method or payment systems are to be integrated or store operators want to offer their customers a loyalty program to improve customer relations - the ecommerce business remains flexible with a CMS and adapts quickly to changing conditions.

Multilingualism for international traders

Especially for store owners who sell internationally or plan to expand their online business, the availability of multiple language versions is essential. Many CMSs are available in different language versions in both the backend and the frontend. With a multilingual backend, store operators make it easier for international employees to work with the system, but above all they increase the user-friendliness of potential buyers and thus the likelihood of making purchases.

3 Examples of CMS solutions

The choice of content management systems is wide. Users can choose between open source software, cloud-based applications or a proprietary solution developed in-house for a company. WordPress is by far the most widely used CMS, but Joomla and Wix are also popular solutions.

  • What CMS is generally used for:

  • Websites

  • Online stores

  • Blogs

  • Information portals

  • News and publishing platforms

  • Intranets


WordPress is the world's most popular content management system - with a market share of over 40% of all websites. The open source CMS is free of charge and known for its ease of use and countless extensions and templates. With the WooCommerce plugin, website owners easily convert their site into a functional online store.


Joomla is a popular content management system, especially among medium-sized companies, and has been on the market for many years. The CMS is available free of charge and scores with its comprehensive user management as well as high flexibility and scalability. It includes many plugins with which companies can expand their online presence. Among them, the system also offers some extensions for store integrations, such as VirtueMart.


Wix is a cloud-based website builder and enjoys great popularity, especially among beginners, thanks to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and easy handling. The platform offers dozens of templates and designs, as well as numerous extensions. This allows businesses to create a wide variety of websites, including ecommerce sites.

Worlds of experience: the integrated CMS solution from Shopware

Shopware is a powerful and popular solution for ecommerce. The open commerce platform already delivers an integrated CMS that store operators use to create unique buying experiences for their potential customers. Thanks to numerous functions, online merchants can transform their store into an attractive store in no time at all with Shopware Shopping Experiences, which attracts new customers and retains existing ones in the long term.

The most important advantages of Shopware Erlebniswelten at a glance:

  • Available as a cloud or on-premise solution

  • Access possible from any device (from smartphone to desktop PC)

  • No programming and design knowledge required

  • Adaptation of content to the customer journey

  • Efficient work thanks to data mapping and process automation


What is a CMS?

The abbreviation CMS stands for the term content management system and describes a software with which users create, manage and publish digital content such as texts, images and multimedia content on a website or online store.

What advantages does a CMS offer?

A CMS offers a variety of advantages thanks to its numerous functions and arbitrary scalability through extensions. These are some of them:

  • Mostly easy to install

  • User-friendly application without design and programming knowledge

  • Easily create, update, and organize content

  • Manage and customize website structure

  • Present content in different formats

  • Collaborative work on a web project

  • Manage different user and access rights

  • Optimize website for search engine optimization

What types of CMS are there?

There are several types of CMS, including open source software such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, cloud-based applications such as Wix and Adobe Experience Manager, or proprietary solutions developed specifically for enterprises.