Magento as a CMS

The Content Management System (CMS) is an important feature to enhance your customer’s online experience. When using Magento as e-commerce software, many stores are worried about the default Magento CMS functionality and its apparent lack of flexibility. Consequently, this leads them to often looking to integrating Magento with other platforms such as WordPress or Joomla. However, Magento’s CMS can fulfil this role in most cases; here is how to get the most out of it.

CMS Pages

CMS pages are used on your store for pages that come outside of the Catalogue > Product > Checkout flow. They can vary from simple text-only pages such as your terms and conditions, all the way up to complex, media-heavy pages.

When you create a CMS Page within Magento you will get a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) box to enter your text in. This means you can add text, CMS Blocks and Widgets (see below), media and images without any knowledge of coding or HTML.

You will be able to choose specific layout designs and templates, plus the CMS Pages will also let you set the URL path and add meta data for the associated SEO benefits.

CMS Blocks

Similar to pages, CMS Blocks need to be inserted within a CMS page, product, catalogue or other system page and are not accessible independently. You can also place them in a CMS Widget.

Like CMS Pages, a WYSIWYG input box is available, but the difference is that CMS Blocks can be added to multiple regions and pages. You could, for example, create a CMS Block to display your international shipping prices, which could then be placed in the right sidebar on all of the pages on your site, making management easier.

CMS Widgets

This is where you can really step things up and get smart with your CMS content. CMS Widgets allow you to insert elements into your CMS content in special formats. This can range from simple rotating logos, integration with maps to locate nearest stores, or current best sellers.

CMS Widgets can be placed in CMS Pages or CMS Blocks and can even have CMS Blocks inserted into them.

Customised Modules

There will occasionally be certain circumstances where the above options don’t fit your needs. Magento can still provide the CMS performance you require however. The way that the Magento codebase has been created means that custom made modules can be constructed, putting you in complete control over your platform and content. You will be able to maintain and update them as much as you like, with lower costs and greater ease.

Next Steps

If the above CMS features don’t offer everything you require for your e-commerce store, there are also a wide range of Magento Extensions available to broaden the platform for specific functionality – often at no extra cost – such as AWBlog and the Webforms module.