What is a Web Content Management System?

Web Content Management System Explained

A web content management system, or CMS, is essentially a set of tools that allow for easy access and editing of webpage content on a website. A CMS can allow multiple users to access and edit web pages on the fly, and CMS components are typically easy to use and manipulate, even for novice web designers. As well, security features on a CMS can determine differing levels of access to different elements of the web site for different users.

CMS Allows Your Company to be More Efficient

CMS usually includes components that deal directly with the manipulation of data on a server, as well as how it is displayed on your website. Essentially, a CMS can be set up using predefined objects, such as backgrounds, images, and content placement, that allow users to then customize their experience, as well as the experience of visitors and other users. Many content management systems use templates to produce web site content. These templates are typically customizable and are designed to increase workflow. Instead of having to code content by hand each time a new page is created, a template takes the given information for the CMS being used and incorporates it into a newly created page using the chosen template, meaning all new content will fit into the predefined parameters.

Using CMS Templates Gives Easier Access

Because of this, many web designers and developers are focusing more of their attention on content management systems and their ease of use across a large group of users. An example of how CMS benefits site managers is a blog that has multiple users involved in its development. Using a CMS, the administrator can restrict access of who can publish on the blog, who can simply read it, who can leave comments, who can only edit, and so on. From there, a template can be designed that allows each authorized user to log in and simply fill out a form to post new information to the blog. The CMS template will format all of the content to the appropriate settings, meaning each user does not have to program in each piece of code for the chosen design, and all published content will look uniform, no matter who posts it.

Spend Less on Personnel by Using a CMS

As well, a CMS can benefit both companies who employ one, and visitors to their web sites. A company who uses a CMS to deliver content gets the benefit of ease of use, as well as consistent formatting across all content. Visitors also benefit, as they are able to enjoy a browsing experience that remains solid across all content elements, and they can be updated with new information from the site on the fly. Many companies are now adopting CMS technology in order to be more efficient, both in terms of time and money. In the past, a company would have to hire an IT professional, a designer, a developer, and a webmaster, all in order to update simple bits of information on their site. By using a CMS, companies are now able to have a template built, and from there, all authorized users can update information on the fly without having to hassle with knowing the technical side of things, usually by filling out a simple form.

Ensure Proper CMS Training

This can, however, be a double edged sword. Although most CMS technologies are easy to use, in order to get all employees on the same page, it might be wise to have a training session on how to use your CMS. This can avoid confusion down the road, and will typically allow all employees to adopt your new method of content production. By ensuring that your employees understand what CMS is and how to use it, your company is much more likely to have content uploaded in a timely manner, which in turn, saves you money and gets you ahead of your competition.

More reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system#Component_content_management_system

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