A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to easily update your web content without hiring a web developer every time you need a minor change. Getting the right CMS for your site can make all the difference in the world. Learn the basics of content management and how to get the system you need.
How Content Management System Work
- A web developer designs a web page format – typically with a logo at the top and standard navigation options across the top, down the left hand side, and/or at the foot of the page.
- This new format is used to create a master template.
- All the professional web developers in the organization get to use special software that lets them add text and images to web pages, automatically using the master template.
- Each completed page is submitted to an editor, who might make changes or send it back to the writer for revision. When the page is reviewed and OK, the editor clicks an on-screen PUBLISH button and uploads the page to the web server, so that the world can read it.
- Each page is usually saved on a text database. Most web pages have file names that end in .htm or .html, but sometimes you will see pages ending in other file extensions, such as .php. These are often generated by content management systems. However, some CMSs will generate plain .html pages, which are more easily found by search engines.
- The CMS also generates indexes, showing what files have been changed when, who updated which file, and so on.
- The more elaborate CMS perform a lot more functions (such as archives, built-in search engines, permission control, and workflow management), but the above ones are basic.
- Giving control back to content owners, allowing them to user their web browser to add and edit content on the site with no special knowledge required.
- Separating page content from format and design, creating a more consistent look and feel across the website.
- Faster publications of content and updates as well as immediate site-wide changes.
- Automation of all navigation, internal links, and other site sections where rules can be imposed on content, eliminating internal broken links or orphaned pages.
- Ability to schedule the publications or expiration of a page and all links to that page.
- The development of workflow and approval processes: turning management of your website into a business process.
- The ability to customize the level of design and formatting control given to site authors & editors.
- Smart development of user templates for content delivery using existing website design or in conjunction with a website redesign.
- Powerful development of customized approval workflow.
- Creation of user accounts and assign roles to fit your desired level of control and access.
- Integration with existing applications and databases.
- User training to assist content authors in becoming familiar with the system.
Benefits of Content Management System
- Content Authoring: This allows your content contributors to create content and store it in the repository. There are many tools and styles.
- Workflow Management: This allows you to monitor, adjust, and maintain the process through which the creation and publishing tasks are done in your organization. Systems range from highly complex to quite simple, but all give you a set of tools to manage the activities of authors and the progress of content.
- Content Storage: This feature keeps the content sensibly organized and accessible. Most CMS use a relational database; the point is to store the content in one place and in a consistent fashion.