What is a Content Management System (CMS)? CMS stands for content management system. It’s a buzz word in the web development industry as it helps website managers present their information to the internet audience. It’s worth mentioning that a CMS does not have to be web-based, but we’ll touch on that later. Content management systems are also used for businesses and organizations that have more large-scale needs.
A content management system is an application that provides capabilities for multiple users to manage content, data or information of a website, project, or internet application. The users can be assigned different permissions that allow them access to certain sections, or all the content of the project. This program provides a way to manage and maintain workflow in a collaborative environment from a central interface. Typically, these content management systems are web based and help run blogs, news sites and e-commerce.
When I say “manage content”, I mean creating, editing, publishing, archiving, reporting, collaborating and distributing content, data and information. Think: blog. Blogs are websites that require a lot of upkeep for them to remain current and relevant to the readers. That’s a lot of content to manage for a couple of people! You’d probably want to consider using a CMS to make life easier.
The CMS definition harbors some confusion as there are a few different types of content management systems, but not really. Let me explain. Long after the CMS platform was developed, the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) decided to release their own versions (and definitions) of the concept. They claimed the acronyms ECMS and WCMS, for enterprise content management systems and web-based content management systems, respectively. Essentially, the already existing CMS platform was a combination of all of these things. AIIM just tweaked the name and definition of a CMS to fit the need of their business. So if you ever see ECMS or WCMS just know that they are all part of the content management system. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. All you need to remember is that a content management system can function on the web, off the web, for personal use or for businesses and organizations.
Myth vs. Fact
Okay, you know what a CMS is. Now let’s debunk some popular beliefs about content management systems. First, just because you have a CMS doesn’t mean you’re going to get by without the need of a programmer, or developing some programming skills yourself. Why? Because, say you decide to start using WordPress as your CMS. Sure, WP has a great control panel that seems really user friendly and straight-forward. But what happens when you want to create a website with an integrated user log-in that resembles that of Amazon.com or Etsy.com? You’re going to have to go into the back-end and use some computer programming language to get your desired results.
Secondly, a CMS is not your ticket to success. It’s going to help you out a heck of a lot, but without a good marketing strategy and quality content or services – your website or project isn’t going to be as successful as you hope.
– Thomas Purvis, Chief Executive Officer, Needle & Hay Creative