About Content Management System And Relation With Your Business Needs
Written by GtoRMan Wednesday, 18 November 2009 10:20
If your web site contain a huge number of pages and corresponding level of difficulty in keeping track of all of them, your organization rely on constant and regular web site changes, often with several people working on it and your web site contributors lack sufficient knowledge in HTML and also you need to editorially review each new page before publication. When you are using a CMS will save a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run.
A Content Management System, or CMS for short, is a collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual or computer based. Or in other word, CMS is an administrative software system that allows its users, often unskilled in HTML and web development, to update, edit and create new pages on their website.
In a CMS data can be defined as almost anything - documents, movies, pictures, phone number, scientific data, etc. CMSs are frequently used for storing, controlling, revising, and publishing documentation. Content that is controlled is industry-specific. (Entertainment content differs from the design of a fighter jet). There are various terms for systems (related processes) that do this. Examples include: Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Digital Records Management, Electronic Content Management (and others). Synchronization of intermediate steps, and collation into a final product are common goals of each.
Basic of a CMS
A typical CMS works like these; a web design layout is designed and developed. Usually this entails a logo/banner at the top, standard navigation menus across the top, down the left side, and/or at the foot of the page, and a 'blank' area where content is inserted, this layout format is then converted into a master template for all subsequent pages. During the process of this conversion, the CMS admin backend is integrated and tested. Web content producers are given access and instructions on how to add text and images to web pages automatically. Most CMS are usually very intuitive and easy to operate. and each generated page is saved onto a database, for future editing or deletion. More elaborate CMS can perform unique functions (such as archiving, built-in search engines, and mod rewrites), but basic functionality is still related to easy creation and editing of web pages.
Types of CMS
- Proprietary CMS
These systems are usually very expensive to purchase such as the $500,000 and up Vignette system. These high end systems however come loaded with full features and usually have excellent customer and technical support. Common uses of these systems involve very large organizations with departments that require unique functionality.
- Open source
These systems are typically free and relatively easy to install. Some of the better known open source systems include Mambo and Drupal. Because of its open source nature however, you will find a dearth of customer and technical support, however there exists a huge following and forums dedicated to the popular systems. Customization capabilities vary from system to system. Be sure to do all the necessary research before deciding on one.
- Custom CMS
These types of systems are usually preferred as they allow you to develop from scratch, your preferred functionality. Debugging is also less of an issue as your web developer, having written the codes, can easily isolate and fix problems. Bear in mind there are literally hundreds of CMS to choose from. Ranging in costs from free to over $500,000. What you do need to do, is firstly figuring out exactly what functionality your organization needs, your development budget and finally find a system that suits those needs best.
The downside to installing a CMS is of course, the amount of web development needed initially. While you are able to obtain free open source CMS programs, you still need to hire someone experienced and capable enough to integrate it correctly. This initial expense however, is usually a necessary evil and is justified as you avoid the need of hiring or outsourcing your webmastering needs down the road.
Ultimately a CMS is meant to make life easier, not creating new rigid standards that require stop gap hacks or workaround solutions.
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