Let’s talk about Content Management Systems!
While we will discuss “website content management systems” (WCMS), there are a few types of content management systems:
- Enterprise CMS (ECMS)
- Web CMS (WCMS, we will discuss this one today)
- Document management system (DMS)
- Mobile CMS
- Component CMS
- Media content management system
A (W)ebsite (C)ontent (M)anagement system (WCMS) is content management system (CMS) software, usually implemented as a Web application, for creating, managing, and producing dynamic HTML content for websites.
QUICK OVERVIEW: CMSs are frequently used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators’ manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. The content managed may include computer files, image media, audio files, video files, electronic documents, and Web content. These concepts represent integrated and interdependent layers. There are various nomenclatures known in this area: Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Digital Records Management, Electronic Content Management and so on. The bottom line for these systems is managing content and publishing, with a workflow if required.
DESIGNING: When designing a website, deciding whether or not to utilize a content management system, a WebCMS or WCMS, is vital during it’s building stage. These days, we only build them using WCMSs. Years ago, people used to just use “static” websites instead of “dynamic”. Static has it’s advantages and disadvantages, just like CMS built sites have their advantages along with their disadvantages.
Advantages of static websites
- Quick to develop
- Cheap to develop (used to be more)
- Cheap to host
Disadvantages of static websites
- Requires web development expertise to update site
- Site not as useful for the user
- Content can get stagnant
Advantages of dynamic websites
- Much more functional website
- Much easier to update
- New content brings people back to the site and helps in the search engines
- Client is in control of content
- Much lower long-term website maintenance costs
- Eliminates the need to wait on a busy, expensive web designer
- Facilitates real-time web design content management
- Keeps information current and up-to-date
- Dramatically shortens web development time
- Improves Search Engine Optimization
This comparison is similar to comparing how the operating system of Windows was build to run on top of DOS as a simple graphical user interface (GUI) for less technically challenged people to use a computer. Website Content Management systems (WebCMS) was created for users to make simple updates to their websites without requiring knowledge of programming code or markup languages. Unlike Web-site builders like Microsoft FrontPage, Expression Web or Adobe Dreamweaver, Web CMS allows non-technical users to make changes to an existing website with little or no training. Furthermore, most WCMS runs via a web browser behind a secure admininstration panel log in. Web CMS can be thought of as the Administration Portal or Control Panel for managing your website content(in other words, what is on your website).
Most systems use a database to store content, metadata, and/or artifacts that might be needed by the system. Content is frequently, but not universally, stored as XML, to facilitate reuse and enable flexible presentation options
Types of content management systems
While there are many types of content management systems available. We like to use WordPress for our main CMS system. We find that many of the content management systems are just too complicated for our users to utilze.
Some of the more popular open source content management systems include
- WordPress (blog cms, our preferred WEB CMS for our clients)
- Drupal (full website cms)
- Joomla (full website cms)
- Zencart (shopping cart cms)