In order to efficiently manage content, a content management system is required. A CMS is a tool that enables a variety of (centralised) technical and (de-centralised) non technical staff to create, edit, manage and finally publish (in a number of formats) a variety of content (such as text, graphics, video, documents etc), whilst being constrained by a centralised set of rules, process and workflows that ensure coherent, validated electronic content.
A Content Management System (CMS) has the following benefits:
- allows for a large number of people to contribute to and share stored data;
- increased ability for collaboration;
- facilitates document control, auditing, editing, and timeline management;
- controls access to data, based on user roles. User roles define what information each user can view or edit;
- aids in easy storage and retrieval of data;
- reduces repetitive duplicate input;
- documents workflow tasks coupled with messaging which allow for formal review and approval of documents;
- the ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
Content Management Systems come in all shapes and sizes. The most known and used CMS are: Microsoft SharePoint, Interwoven, Vignette, Documentum, Livelink, Oracle ECM suite. There are also open source CMS. The most known are Alfresco, Drupal, Joomla.
One of CMS types is web content management system WCMS. It can be used to control a dynamic collection of web material, including HTML documents, images, and other forms of media.
A CMS typically has the following features:
Create standard output templates (usually HTML and XML) that can be automatically applied to new and existing content, allowing the appearance of all content to be changed from one central place.
CMS systems support user groups. User groups allow you to control how registered users interact with the site. A page on the site can be restricted to one or more groups. This means if an anonymous user (someone not logged on) or a logged on user who is not a member of the group a page is restricted to, the user will be denied access to the page.
Available in most modern CMSs is the ability to expand a single implementation (one installation on one server) across multiple domains, depending on the server's settings. CMS sites may be able to create microsites/web portals within a main site as well.
Easily editable content
Once content is separated from the visual presentation of a site, it usually becomes much easier and quicker to edit and manipulate. Most CMS software includes WYSIWYG editing tools allowing non-technical individuals to create and edit content.
Scalable feature sets
Most CMS software includes plug-ins or modules that can be easily installed to extend an existing site's functionality.
Web standards upgrades
Active CMS software usually receives regular updates that include new feature sets and keep the system up to current web standards.
Workflow is the process of creating cycles of sequential and parallel tasks that must be accomplished in the CMS. For example, one or many content creators can submit a story, but it is not published until the copy editor cleans it up and the editor-in-chief approves it.
CMS software may act as a collaboration platform allowing content to be retrieved and worked on by one or many authorized users. Changes can be tracked and authorized for publication or ignored reverting to old versions. Other advanced forms of collaboration allow multiple users to modify (or comment) a page at the same time in a collaboration session.
Some CMS software allows for various user groups to have limited privileges over specific content on the website, spreading out the responsibility of content management.
CMS software may provide a means of collaboratively managing the life cycle of a document from initial creation time, through revisions, publication, archive, and document destruction.
CMS software may provide a means of allowing each user to work within a virtual copy of the entire web site, document set, and/or code base. This enables changes to multiple interdependent resources to be viewed and/or executed in-context prior to submission.
CMS software often assists in content distribution by generating RSS and Atom data feeds to other systems. They may also e-mail users when updates are available as part of the workflow process.
Ability to display content in multiple languages.
CMS allows the process of versioning by which documents are checked in or out of the CMS, allowing authorized editors to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for content that changes over time and requires updating, but it may be necessary to go back to or reference a previous copy.
Next time: CMS Types