What is Content Management?
We were recently asked by a client, "What is Content Management?". We produced the following basic notes to try and answer that question as simply as possible.
What is a CMS?
A Content Management System is software that allows users to update a website without knowledge of the complex languages used to make it.
Why use a CMS?
Years ago those organisations with websites had to rely on approaching web design companies for any changes to their site. This has always proven to be an innefficient and costly way to run a website and so over the years web development companies have developed new technologies to allow updating to take place from within an organisation.
How does a CMS work?
The core to a Content Management System is the process of splitting up design and content. The design of a website should always be carried out by professionals, but using a mix of templates and themes, design can be managed seperately from the content.
What different CMS systems are available?
There are actually too many to list, and infact many web development companies will even create their own. There are a number of commercial solutions available, and also a number of Open Source solutions. Open Source CMS are systems that are developed by communities of developers and are provided for free, but unsuported. This means that web development companies and individuals confident in supporting a system can rapidly develop sites and applications very cost effectively. The most famous Open Source solutions are Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla.
Our CMS of choice is usually Drupal.
Can I really say goodbye to our web developer?
It would not be recommended to rely soley on a Content Management System as there will be things which you will still need a designer or developer to create in order to keep your site looking professional. Moving to a CMS will however give you much increased control and power over your website and potentially many other areas of your organisation.
What else can I do with Content Management Systems?
Using Content Management Systems allows all kinds of features that can be implemented for your website. After the cost of initial installation, the systems are then easily managed by your staff.
This list could go on forever but here are a few possible features:
- Multiple Authors You can delegate responsibility of certain areas of your website to different people within your organisation.
- Automated Publishing Systems If youre worried about what gets published, you can set up systems that will automate checking content by various staff members before being published.
- Event Calendars Easily set-up a calendar to show up-and-coming events and even handle online registration.
- Job Vacancy Publishing Automate the publishing process by setting dates to go live and go offline. You can even get people to apply using an online application form with attachments.
- Database Integration Create databases of publications, resources or training programmes. You can even take payment or manage invoicing through the system too!