What percentage of website owners think that a good CMS boosts website’s content structure, flow and output?92%
Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management System (CMS) is a software or a suite of applications deployed to input and manage content on a website seamlessly.
It is an interface or a medium for the creation, edition or modification, review and publishing of material on a site and enabling multiple users to upload content at the same time and work collaboratively on the website.
CMSs are typically used for enterprise content management (ECM) and web content management (WCM). An ECM facilitates collaboration in the workplace by integrating document management, digital asset management, and records retention functionalities and providing end users with role-based access to the organization’s digital assets.
Content Management System (CMS) is a software or a complete package of applications installed and deployed to manage content on any website effortlessly. The interface helps to create, edit, review and publish content on a website. The platform also helps multiple users to work together and upload the content at the same time.
CMSs are widely used for web content management (WCM) and enterprise content management (ECM). ECM provides the end users with a role-based access to the organization’s digital assets and brings collaboration in the workplace by integrating digital asset management, document management and records retention functionalities. On the other hand, a web content management facilitates website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools to manage web content. ECM mostly includes a WCM publishing functionality, however web pages of ECM remain behind the organization’s firewall.
Features of CMS
Content creation: It allows users to create and format the content easily
Content storage: It stores the content in one place in a consistent fashion
Content/Workflow management: It assigns privileges and responsibilities based on roles including admins, author, and editors
Publishing: It organizes and makes the content live
Presentation: It facilitates enhancement features and provides website improved functionality, navigation, and interactivity.
Additional Features of CMS
Some WCM systems support user groups to control the registered users’ interaction with the website. A webpage can be restricted to one or more groups i.e. an anonymous user who is not logged on or a logged on user who is not a member of the group yet, is not allowed to access.
Create standard templates (usually XML and HTML) which can be applied to new and existing content, altering the fundamental appearance of the entire content from one central place.
WCMS acts as a collaboration platform where more than one user can retrieve and work on content at the same time. The platform also tracks the changes made by the users and authorizes publication or ignores reversing to the older version. Its advanced functionality also allows multiple users to modify or comment on a page simultaneously.
WCMS helps the users to distribute content by generating RSS and Atom data feeds to other systems. It also notifies the users through e-mails when any updates become available.
WCMS provides a platform which allows each user to work within a virtual copy of the entire website, document set, and/or code base. This enables multiple interdependent resources to view changes prior to submission.
WCMS helps in spreading out the responsibility of content management by limiting privileges over specific content on the website to various user groups.
WCMS helps in managing the life cycle of a web document from initial creation time, through revision, publication, archive and document destruction.
Easily Editable Content
It usually becomes much easier and quicker to edit and manage the content once it goes out of the visual presentation of a website. Most WCM systems include WYSIWYG editing tools enabling non-technical users to create and edit web content.
It also provides ‘format management’ functionality which turns the scanned paper documents and legacy electronic documents into PDF or HTML documents.
Intuitive indexing, search and retrieval functionalities help in indexing all data for easy access via search functions and allow users to search by attributes including specific keywords, publication dates or author.
Most of the WCM software display content in multiple languages.
Most modern WCM systems bring the ability to expand a single implementation (one installation per server) across multiple domains, depending on the server’s settings. It also supports creating microsites/web portals within the main site as well.
Scalable Feature Sets
Most WCMS includes plug-ins or modules that can be easily installed to extend the existing functionality of the website.
Web Standards Upgrades
Active WCMS usually receives regular updates that include new feature sets and keep the system up to current web standards.
Like document management systems, WCMS software may implement version control, by which users check pages in and out of the WCMS. Authorized editors can retrieve previous versions and work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for content that changes and requires updating, but it may be necessary to start from or reference a previous version.
Benefits of Content Management System
One major advantage of a CMS is its collaborative nature. Multiple users can log on and contribute, schedule or edit content to be published. Because the interface is usually browser-based, a CMS can be accessed from anywhere by any number of users.
The second major advantage of a CMS is that it allows non-technical people who don’t know programming languages to easily create and manage their own web content. The WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors of a typical content management platform allow users to enter text and upload images without needing to know any HTML or CSS.
When a company uses a CMS to publish its pages, it reduces its reliance on front-end engineers to make changes to the website, making it quicker and easier to publish new content.
Essentially CMS is an interface for the management of the content of a website.
Both enterprise content management and web content management systems have two components: Content Management Application (CMA) and Content Delivery Application (CDA). Content Management Application is a front-end graphical user interface (GUI) used to add, modify, remove content from a website even with limited expertise and without any knowledge of HTML. The CDA component provides the back-end services that support management and delivery of the content once it has been created in the CMA. Content Delivery Application compiles that information and updates the site.
CMS Come In All Shapes And Sizes
CMSs come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own set of features and benefits.
Some are ideally suited for blogging; others may be tailored to e-commerce sites with features for pricing and accounting functionality. Specifics will vary based on the company’s needs and resources.
Points To Consider While Selecting A CMS
Answering the below questions can help us select the right content management system for our business or organization.
Does the CMS has APIs and Supports Integrations with other Apps and Microservices?
Whether we want to incorporate personalization to our marketing strategy or want to get deep insights into our users’ web interactions and behaviors, businesses, like partners and marketing, require very different apps and microservices to manage their day-to-day work on the website. Marketing demands a solution that can easily integrate with marketing automation tool, business intelligence tool, Google Analytics, and RSS to deliver personalized content. Partners need to connect with devices like the partner management platform, such as NetSuite, to better manage partner alliances. Pick a CMS solution, that has robust APIs and lets us easily connect with third-party tools.
Does the CMS provide a high level of Customizability?
The best CMS platforms are highly customizable. That means they enable us to add almost any feature we want, which in turn enables us to create more advanced websites.
Does the CMS provide Page Editing Functionality?
We will need to create various types of pages for our website. Our CMS should provide us with the tools we will need to get the job done.
Does the CMS provide Content Taxonomy options?
The more content the website has, the more important it is to keep everything organized. That’s why a CMS should enable us to create categories, assign tags to our articles, and so on.
Does the CMS support Omnichannel?
Even if our business is currently only leveraging desktop or mobile sites, it’s important to consider other properties that we haven’t, yet, looked into, but could benefit from in the future. Currently, content exists in the form of AR/VR, mobile, kiosks, digital assistants, jumbotrons, and so on, and there is no sign of this slowing down in the future.
How Easy is it to Create and Edit content?
The larger the company, the more removed the end user of the CMS will be from the person who implements it. Ideally, the system will be easy to use and intuitive, with features like a WYSIWYG editor. The CMS should provide a way to easily publish new content. Any quality CMS will include a powerful editor, and plenty of options to make sure our content looks top-notch.
How large is the Developer Community?
Some of the CMS platforms, particularly WordPress and Drupal, come with very large developer communities. The advantage to a sizable community is the amount of online help and documentation we will find on most aspects of customization. CMSs with active communities are under constant development, so we will always have access to updates, security patches and help from other knowledgeable people.
How many different Groups Of Users will there be?
One consideration will be the various different levels of administrative privileges that are required. Consider the various user roles, including the role of managers in reviewing scheduled content.
Is the CMS Intuitive?
Having a user-friendly interface is especially important if we have a team that won’t be living in the system every day. They’ll need a solution that is easy-to-use, not require a lot of technical know-how or training and can quickly pick it up when they log back in.
Is the CMS Scalable?
Scalability should come as a no-brainer. Change is inevitable for any growing business, and changes impact our websites. Make sure we choose a CMS solution that can quickly grow and scale as needed.
Is the platform SEO-Friendly?
If SEO is important to the company, we will want a CMS that automatically handles basic on-page optimization tasks such as title tags, URLs, alt tags on images, and a sound internal linking structure.
What Business Operations does the CMS need to Support?
Does the company need to publish hundreds of new videos a day? Change prices on thousands of SKUs per day? Host images for blog posts? CMS will have to factor in all these questions and address them.
What is the kind of Budget that we have?
If we have more budget then we can afford very complex content management systems with features designed to make content creator’s and editor’s lives easier.
What Technologies does the CMS need to Support or Integrate with?
If the company already uses a CRM, ERP or web analytics program, we will need to consider a CMS that integrates with existing online marketing and other software.
There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a content management system for a development project.
Depending on how advanced we need the CMS to be, what language it’s built in, and who is going to be using it, it can be a nightmare try. However, some CMS have a slight edge over the rest of the competition because of the usability of the software. Some are just easier to install, use and extend, thanks to some thoughtful planning by the lead developers.
While there are hundreds of CMS platforms, some of the more popular ones are listed below:
Drupal has a very large, active community. Instead of focusing on blogging as a platform, Drupal is more of a pure CMS. A plain installation comes with a ton of optional modules that can add lots of interesting features like forums, user blogs, OpenID, profiles and more. It’s easy to create a site with social features with a simple install of Drupal.
In fact, with a few 3rd party modules we can create some interesting site clones with little effort. One of Drupal’s most popular features is the Taxonomy module, a feature that allows for multiple levels and types of categories for content types. And we can find plenty of professional Drupal Themes, which are ready to be customized and worked with.
We can also grab Drupal Plugins. Drupal also has a very active community powering it and has excellent support for plugins and other general questions.
Joomla is a very advanced CMS in terms of functionality. However, getting started with Joomla is fairly easy, thanks to Joomla’s installer. Joomla’s installer is meant to work on commonly shared hosting packages and is very straightforward considering how configurable the software is.
Joomla is very similar to Drupal in that it’s a complete CMS. It comes with an attractive administration interface, complete with intuitive drop-down menus and other features. The CMS also has great support for access control protocols like LDAP, OpenID, and even Gmail.com.
The Joomla site hosts more than 3,200 extensions, so we know the developer community behind the popular CMS is alive and kicking. We can add just about any needed functionality with an extension.
The PHP blogging platform is far and away the most popular CMS for blogging, and probably the most popular CMS overall.
WordPress powers around 60% of the entire web. It’s a great platform thanks to their excellent documentation and super-quick installation wizard.
Five minutes to a running CMS is pretty good. Not to mention the fact that the newest versions auto-update the core and plugins from within the backend, without having to download a single file. For those users not familiar with HTML or other markup languages, a WYSIWYG editor is provided straight out of the box.
The backend layout is streamlined and intuitive and a new user should be able to easily find their way around the administration section. WordPress also comes with built-in image and multimedia uploading support. WordPress has the widest base of plugins and themes to choose from. A great part about the WordPress community is the amount of help and online documentation we can find on nearly every aspect of customizing WordPress.
If we can dream it, chances are it’s already been done with WordPress and documented somewhere.
WordPress is a free and open source WCMS based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress can be utilized as part of an internet hosting service (WordPress.com), or it can be deployed on a local computer to act as its own web server (WordPress.org). It is immensely popular amongst the blogging community.
WordPress allows users to have full control over the files, documents, as well as the design and display of the content. We don’t have to know a single line of code to publish content using WordPress. The beauty of a good content management system is to allow any user to create and manage their content without any technical know-how. Although it is mostly used for web publishing, it can be used to manage content on an intranet, or in a single computer.
We can use WordPress to power:
Other Important CMS
Blogger – Google’s blogging tool designed specifically for maintaining a blog
Magento (for eCommerce stores)
Top 10 PHP CMS List
CMS Made Simple
What Is Personalization In CMS?
Personalizing digital experiences is all about content management.
Our CMS is a live stage where we’re continually creating dynamic interactions between the data that we collect about visitors and how we structure and serve content. Content personalization (or customization) is a strategy that relies on visitor data to deliver relevant content based on audience interests and motivations.
It ranges from a highly targeted call to action to a revolving landing page based on geographic or industry-specific segments. Any data we have access to about the user, the content, or the outside world can be used to personalize a page. Personalization is done through Personalization Rules and Components. The most common personalization rule matches something on the User with something on the content.
Types Of CMS Based On Processing
A WCMS can use one of three approaches: offline processing, online processing, and hybrid processing. These terms describe the deployment pattern for the WCMS in terms of when it applies presentation templates to render web pages from structured content.
These systems sometimes referred to as ‘static site generators’, pre-process all content, applying templates before publication to generate web pages. Since pre-processing systems do not require a server to apply the templates at request time, they may also exist purely as design-time tools.
These systems apply templates on-demand. They may generate HTML when a user visits the page, or the user might receive pre-generated HTML from a web cache. Most open source WCMSs support add-ons that extend the system’s capabilities. These include features like forums, blogs, wikis, web stores, photo galleries, and contact management. These are variously called modules, nodes, widgets, add-ons, or extensions.
Some systems combine offline and online approaches. Some systems write out executable code (e.g., JSP, ASP, PHP, ColdFusion, or Perl pages) rather than just static HTML. That way, personnel don’t have to deploy the WCMS itself on every web server.
Types Of CMS Based On Technology
Access to Everything
Easy to migrate
No service charge
Doesn’t require programming
Pay as you go
Unable to migrate
Examples of popular License/Hosted CMS solutions include:
IBM Enterprise Content Management
SaaS (Software As A Service)
Additional service charge
Doesn’t require programming
Unable to migrate
PaaS (Platform As A Service)
For large corporate use
Linked with others
Difference Between CMS & Website Builder
CMS’s manage the website’s content, such as blog posts, and we can add a theme on top of that management system. When we deploy the site using CMS the process usually looks like this –
Purchase domain name
Choose hosting plan
Point domain to the hosting plan
Install the CMS (or request installation)
Choose or upload theme (edit if we want)
Purchase add-on services and products separately
Set up CMS (add plugins, create navigation, add SEO settings for the SEO plugin of our choice, create users, set up permalinks, perform backups, set up security, etc.)
Start creating content
Website Builders can include blogs, but their focus and strength are in providing the tools to build the website. Such as a frontend visual website building interface. When we deploy the site using the Website Builders the process typically looks like this –
Create an account
Choose a theme (edit if we want)
Choose or add domain
Fill in the SEO settings
Start creating content
Choice of hosts.
There are tons of themes and plugins to choose from.
They can be used to create any type of website imaginable for any size audience.
We can build with a standard theme or use a builder and create our own layouts.
Possible compatibility issues.
Some are not intuitive.
Support comes from various services we purchase separately.
We’re responsible for all maintenance.
Website Builder Advantages
A website can be set up quickly and easily.
Ease of use.
Support is readily available
We don’t have to worry about maintenance, security, backups..
Website Builder Disadvantages
Customizations are limited.
They’re not suited for all website needs.
We can’t move the site to a new host.
We might not own the domain.
Important Advantages & Dis-Advantages of CMS & Website Builder Tabulated –
Ease of use.
Speed of website creation in a visual editor (from several hours and up to a couple of days).
Technical support provided by web developers.
Extensive opportunities of creating different types of websites, ranging from blogs and up to online stores.
Rich choice of extensions for advanced functionality.
Website editor available in visual and HTML regimes, which allows users to learn HTML basics.
Serious restrictions in editing website code structure.
Inadequate multi-functionality (as compared with CMS)
Inability to transfer a website to another hosting or website builder.
Necessity to learn programming languages to interact with the system, including template change, addition of new widgets etc.
It is a user, who is responsible for the condition of the system, its safety and updates.
We Meet Publication/Client Requirements
We architect the Content Management System for our clients depending on the publication requirements.
Some of the essential features that we deploy in the CMS are:
SEO friendly URLs of the web pages.
Group and user functionality.
Support for changing template designs.
Installation of various wizards and their up-gradation.
Audit logs & all other features as required by the client.