Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Content Management Systems – Easy Way to Formalize Web Data

These days every organization - small or large, has a website. With innovative ideas like images, audios, videos, etc. they attract many internet users to visit their site. It is always surprising to see how even small companies can invest so much in creating such interesting websites. “But it is not very difficult and expensive as we all think”, says the MD of a small software company. It is not a secret but in fact an open source that we are talking about – Content Management System (CMS).

CMS is a software that keeps track of every piece of content like text, photos, music, video, documents on a website. But this is just one among the multiple features of a CMS. The major advantage of using a CMS is that no special technical skill or knowledge is required to manage it. So, a single web designer can work wonders with the advanced features of CMS. Many young IT aspirants can utilize this opportunity to enter into IT stream.

Content Management system as the name implies, is an application that allows you to edit, modify, delete, organize, publish, maintain content from a central interface system. It also offers processes to manage workflow in collaborative environment. Like mentioned earlier it is used to run websites that are content-heavy like blogs, news, shopping sites.

The examples we just saw are the most common CMS systems designed exclusively to manage content on the web - called Web CMS. There are around 6 types of Content Management Systems. Though the salient features of all the types remain the same, their primary objectives differ. The most commonly used 3 types are:
  • Web CMS (WCMS): Generally referred to as CMS. This allows to edit, modify publish content on a website.
  • Enterprise CMS (ECMS): Organized means of storing an organization's documents, and other content which will be available to all the employees with different permission levels.
  • Component CMS (CCMS): It allows you to store, access, edit, and manage topic-level content. It helps in creating documents from component parts. This ensures the content is consistent across the entire documentation set.
Though they vary in their goals, all the types of CMS have certain similar characteristics: They:
  • Manage information efficiently by storing, controlling access, checking content in and out, searching and publishing content
  • Manage the lifecycle of content – from creation through to final disposition
  • Support automatic and on-demand version control (history of changes along with date and version number)
  • Provide indexing
  • Provide format Management
  • Analyze the content and make reports
There are two elements in CMS - CMA and CDA. CMA is Content Management Application that allows a writer/author to create, modify and delete content without the need of technical knowledge in HTML. CDA stands for Content Delivery Application which compiles the content uploaded by the writer to update the website.
CMS are available as installable applications and web-based user interfaces. Installable applications were popular few days ago, but the latter is most commonly used these days. Some of the web-based CMS tools are:
  • WordPress - free web software used to create template-based websites or blogs
  • Blogger - Google's blogging tool
  • Joomla - a flexible web publishing tool that supports custom databases and extensions
  • Drupal - an open source platform often used for developing community-based sites
  • Weebly - used for building simple personal and business websites
  • Wix - a collection of publishing tools to customize a website
Based on the certain factors, a company can decide on the type of CMS it needs for its operation. While some tools are free, some of them charge on a monthly basis. Most of them offer free software with basic functionality and charge for extra features like complex-templates, domain names etc. Before choosing the right CMS for a company, it is advised to check all the options to decide on the best one. 
  • Size of the organization
  • Geographical Location: If a firm is spread across various countries, migration may be difficult
  • Types of content used: More the types of content more will be the complexity of CMS application
Every company in order to market their business has a website. So, graduates who want to make IT as their mainstream can start their career as a web Developer / Designer.

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  1. After reading this article it brought me in the mind of this new content management system we are using at my company.

  2. I totally agree with the previous comment. I started thinking about making some changes at Handmade WritingsThank you for useful and informative post.

  3. The secrtet of good content is not in CMS, but in value for readers. For example this history essay writing would be helpful for students.