I first heard of the term when I started researching how to create a website. At first I had no idea about what it is or how it works. So I took the time to write explaining “What is CMS?” as I am sure there will always be someone looking into it as it has become a buzz word in the web development industry because of its sheer benefits.
CMS (Content Management System) is a software or a suite of applications and tools used to manage the editorial content of a website. Many CMS offers a graphical user interface for usability and ease of access enabling publishers to easily use CMS through a web browser.
- Used for storing, controlling, versioning and publishing websites.
- Files are available over the web
Just a few example of that would be
- Create, Edit, Publish, Archive web pages
- Create, Edit, Publish, Archive articles
- Create, Edit, Publish, Archive press releases
- Create, Edit, Publish, Archive blogs
- Add / Edit events into an Event Calendar
- Add / Edit Inventory (products), description, product specifications, prices, photos, etc.
- Enter, Edit, or View orders and print packing slips and invoices
- View reports and statistics site data
- Create and Edit system users which have different permission levels to different section(s) of the above administration
One of the main purpose of CMS (Content Management System) is to provide the capability of multi users with different level of permissions to manage website or section of the website/content.
Let’s understand some basics on how a CMS (Content Management System) works. It will help you understand better and know what to look for when you are choosing. A basic CMS system is comprised of three components – templates, programming language, dashboard and a database.
CMS Templates – Its a series of files that contain the basic layout of your website or blog. Template system for CMS may contain a number of different files, different sections of the page, member login section, stylesheets. These files are used in conjunction with the selected programming language and a database to produce what your visitors and you see.
CMS Programming Language – CMS uses a programming language to retain the information stored in the database, formats it and presents it to the viewer. There are number of programing languages that can be used. Most common ones are ASP and PHP.
CMS Database – CMS is usually run using a database. Like Programming languages there are several databases available. Some examples would be MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server.
- Virtually no cost of maintaining the website.
- Ability of updating the web site content without knowing HTML, FTP etc.
- Ease of use for non technical staff.
- Easy to use, similar to MS Word.
- Increase usability and satisfaction with fresh and updated content.
- Increased business productivity.
- Archiving, backup and recovery.
- CMS can be managed by a non technical person as well.
- One of the common misconception is that CMS is the ingredient that makes the website successful, this is untrue. CMS does make it easier to manage the website but it’s success has nothing to do with CMS. There are so many other variable that makes a website successful like content quality, quality of services, marketing etc.
- Second most common misconception is that CMS eliminates the need of hiring a web developer, programmer to make changes to a website. Well, in most cases you might not need one but you may need to hire a developer or a programmer if your CMS does not support the functionality you need or if your CMS too bloated for you to understand, an example of that would be Drupal CMS.
I have tried my best to give you the basic understanding of CMS. I will update this post with more links once i have completed writing more articles directly related to this topic.
For questions and suggestions, don’t forget to leave your valuable comments.