Content Management System – CMS
Abbreviated as CMS, a Content Management System (also called a web management system) is software or a group/suite of applications and tools that provides capabilities for multiple users. This involves different permission levels within an organization in order to seamlessly create, edit, review, publish and manage electronic content, data or information of a website project or internet/intranet application. Many content management systems offer a web-based GUI, enabling publishers to access the CMS online using only a web browser without any necessary HTML or programming knowledge. Also, a CMS designed for web publishing provides options and features to index and search documents, as well as specify keywords and other metadata for search engine crawlers.
Several web-based CMS tools are available. The most popular ones are WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, Drupal, Modx, etc.
Components of a Content Management SystemThe goal of a CMS is to provide an intuitive user interface for building and modifying webpage content. Each CMS also provides a web publishing tool that allows one or more users to publish updates live on the web.
- The editing component is called the Content Management Application (CMA),
- while the publishing tool is called the Content Delivery Application (CDA).
These two components are integrated together in a CMS to streamline the web development process.
Function of Content Management System
Managing content refers to creating, editing, archiving, publishing, collaborating on, reporting, and distributing website content, data and information. CMS provides the following administration, control panel or website management functionalities:
- Create, Edit, Publish and Archive web pages, articles, press releases and blogs.
- Add/Edit events into an Event Calendar.
- Add/Edit Inventory (products), description, product specifications, prices, photos, etc.
- Add/Edit/View orders and print packing slips and invoices.
- View reports and site data statistics.
- Create and Edit system users which have different permission levels to different section(s) of the above administration.
- Backup/restore different versions of the content.
- Update/change content from a single location.
- Maintain different language versions of the website automatically and effortlessly.
Content is, in essence, any type or ‘unit’ of digital information. It can be text, images, graphics, video, sound, documents, records, etc. – or in other words – anything that is likely to be managed in an electronic format.
Content management is effectively the management of the content described above, by combining rules, process and/or workflows in such a way that its electronic storage is deemed to be ‘managed’ rather than ‘un-managed.’
System itself is definable as a tool or combination of tools that facilitate the efficient and effective production of the desired ‘output’ using the managed content.
Content Management System Pros and Cons
Who needs a Content Management System?
You need a CMS if…
- You add new pages to your website regularly.
- Work from many different computers.
- Your website has multiple authors.
- Your users must have their own member pages.
You likely don’t need a CMS if…
- You are running a forum with a forum software.
- You maintain a blog.
- You want total control over the appearance of your website.
Comparison of Different Solutions
Runs as a visual web/plain text editor on a computer and creates the complete web page on that computer. The page needs to be transferred to the website on the Internet manually.
Online Site Builder
Generally a service provided by web hosts. Allows users to use the web browser to log into the web host’s site and design it directly on their site. Tied to a specific web host. When moving to another web host, site builder can’t be used. Transfer of the site to a new host is not possible either.
Stand-Alone Site Builder
Web editors under different name. Runs on computer, and after the page design is done, transfer files to actual website. No matter which software you use, you still have to learn how to use it.
Doesn’t install any program on computer to create and update website. Users connect to their site with the browser and modify it directly. with a CMS, user controls the software, the visual design and the end product and not tied to the web host at all. Changing web host is possible. Setup is difficult but once installed, provides greater control.
Misconceptions about Content Management System
One of the biggest misconceptions about CMS is that it is the main catalyst for a website’s success, which is not the case. A CMS should make it easy for a user or administrator to manage and distribute content, but a website’s success depends on the quality of content, services, marketing, SEO and many other factors.
Another misconception about CMS is that it eliminates the need for hiring a web developer or programmer to make changes to a website, which is not applicable in many cases. Most CMS systems require an experienced web developer to set-up, to make any customization for tailoring to one’s business objectives and to maintain a large-scale project.
Some important factors for a website’s success is to build a brand that users can recall, revisit and recommend to their acquaintances. Unfortunately, most CMS systems are written by programmers. Programmers usually do not have the design, branding and usability experience. That is why most of the ready-made CMS applications and out-of-the-box, open-source CMS sites that have not been customized have no branding and personality.
ECA Tech’s complete CMS solution is developed by utilizing cutting-edge technologies and vast experience in both software development, design and branding to meet clients’ practical usability, enterprise structure, branding, aesthetics and most importantly, affordable budget. For more information, see here.