Content Management System Explained
A content management system, or CMS, is an application for creating, managing and controlling content, like for instance, a dynamic website.
CMS main components
The main components include a:
• Log in page. The administrator can set parameters for various users. For instance, some can post and only specified users can delete content;
• Comment settings where the administrator can control user’s comments before making them publicly viewable.
• Dashboard. Here, the administrator is able to configure the CMS appearance, including optimizing content to be search engine friendly, writing, and publishing content;
• Database to store content;
• Content editor. Content can be written in What You See Is What You Get, or WYSIWYG format. HTML format is also available.
After writing content, the CMS will create relevant files and store them in the MySQL database. These are easy to access for editing.
Design, structure and content are independent from each other, and can be managed separately. When a web owner wants to upgrade the CMS application, the content and structure will remain intact.
CMS can also be integrated with plugins, such as a shopping cart for products or services. Furthermore, marketing can not be any easier, as CMS can generate a blog useful for promoting one’s business. This can be easily extended to Facebook and Twitter by using a social media plugin.
CMS will organize, categorize, structure, store, retrieve, publish and reuse content whenever necessary. What is more, a CMS will generate a navigation menu.
A CMS, such as WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal are easy to install, and a user can choose the one that best suits their business. The procedure for adopting a CMS includes obtaining a web host provider with CMS software as one of their hosting packages.
Despite all the advantages of CMS, there are common issues:
• CMS makes websites less individual as design is not differentiated from other CMS users;
• The upgrade to the latest version of CMS may cause a problem if some of the plugins are not yet upgraded;
• Shopping cart plugins need to be regularly updated in order to patch any security flaws. A business owner may find it frustrating when they update the CMS website only to discover their modified codes are overwritten by the new version, and
• After blogging about their business for a period, they abandon their blog because it takes a dedicated resource.
How to overcome these issues
Although CMS facilitates managing the website, content needs to be constantly updated to remain current. Users need to hire a content writer to keep the blog active. As CMS is designed with advanced scripts, users need to hire a web developer to customize their CMS to differentiate it from others. The web developer is also able to maintain the CMS by updating the software regularly.
CMS is essential for a business to increase its online presence and for marketing their products or services. A CMS, integrated with a blog and social media, will connect companies with their target customers. With CMS as their choice of website, companies can stay relevant with web 2.0 technology.
- Kelsey, Todd. Drupal 7 Primer: Creating CMS-Based Websites: A Guide for Beginners. Course Technology PTR, 2011.