Content Management Systems
Before understanding what open source content management is, it would be helpful to establish a description of a content management system. Content management systems are used to do exactly what their name implies. They are designed to manage content.
Types Of Content
The content that is managed by a content management system can be almost anything. Some common content management systems allow users to input and manipulate articles for web pages. However, this does not even begin to describe the extent of content management systems.
Video or audio files can be stored and manipulated through content management systems. This can make it much easier for the user to find, share, and organize these types of files.
Images or entire documents can be stored and retrieved through content management systems. Some systems may allow these to be manipulated, as well. Other systems may only provide a basic system for store, retrieval, and organization.
Benefits Of Content Management Systems
- Users can easily add, remove or manipulate content. These types of systems generally provide secure access for multiple users. After being given the desire amount of access, these users are able to add content, instead of one person entering all content.
- Data and content is easily stored and retrieved in an organized manner. Depending on the security desired, all users may have easy access to all content. Or, users can be divided into groups that have varying amounts of access to the content. Either way, users are able to easily store or retrieve the content to which they have been given access. Content management systems generally include a way to organize content so that it can be easily found.
- There is a uniformity that exists. Generally, a content management system will provide a level of continuity. Different pages on the site will look similar. Navigation menus will work the same throughout the entire site. Both content contributors and visitors are able to easily navigate through the site, because the components look and behave similarly.
What Is Open Source?
Open source software is when the source code for the software is made available to the users. Users are able to change the code so that features can be added or removed from the original software. Open source is not the normal way of distributing software. Generally, software is distributed in a way that users are not able to make any changes to the software.
Why Use An Open Source Content Management System?
In most cases, software is originally created by someone who is very knowledge about computers and programming. These people may know very little about the individuals or industry that will actually be using the software. They may develop this software, based strictly on their own research of what people in this industry want. The end result can be that many important features might be left out of the software. Users are left waiting for the next update and hoping that these features might be included at that time.
With open source software, any user who has an adequate knowledge of the programming language can make changes to the software, without waiting for updates. The people who actually use the content management system on a daily basis can decide what features are important to them. They can upgrade the software as needed to create the perfect solution for their needs.