A Content Management System (CMS) is basically a database driven software application that usually runs on a server. A CMS makes it easy to publish and administrate the content of a website.
Listed are some basic features that are common to all CMS’s:
Separation of content, structure and design
The “look and feel” of your site can be changed leaving existing content and page architecture untouched. No need to worry about copying and pasting content into another site, simply publish your new design and the CMS will pull the content into the new look. A CMS improves the lifecycle of your website for years to come.
Easy content production, no programming skills required
With some basic computer knowledge, you can manage the content for your website. Using a graphical user interface (GUI), authors can simply create or modify pages, insert images an multimedia files, schedule content (and much more) to create and maintain a dynamic website.
There wont be any need for to make another menu button again, or pay a web designer to do it for you. Each time you add or change a page, the menu will automatically update to reflect the change. You can upload images straight to the website with out much knowledge or effort.
Advantages of a CMS:
- Decentralized maintenance.
Typically based on a common web browser. Edit anywhere, anytime. Bottlenecks removed.
- Designed with non-technical content editors in mind.
People with average knowledge of word processing can create the content easily. No HTML skills required.
- Configurable access restrictions.
Users are assigned roles and permissions that prevent them from touching content in which they are not authorized to change.
- Consistency of design is preserved.
Because content is stored separate from design, the content from all authors is presented with the same, consistent design.
- Navigation is automatically generated.
Menus are typically generated automatically based on the database content and links will not point to nonexistent pages.
- Content is stored in a database.
Central storage means that content can be reused in many places on the website and formatted for multiple devices (web browser, mobile phone/WAP, PDA, printer).
- Dynamic content.
Extensions like forums, polls, shopping carts, search engines, news management are typically drop-in modules. A good CMS also allows for truly user defined extensions.
- Daily updates.
You do not need to involve web designers or programmers for every little modification – you are in control of your website.
Encourages faster updates, enforces accountability for content editors via log files and promotes cooperation between authors.
- Content scheduling.
Content publication can often be time-controlled; hidden for previews; or require a user login with password.