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A Content Management System (CMS) Overview

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Separation of content and presentation + easy updates.

I believe the main benefits of a CMS over a static HTML or "site builder" style sites is the fact that the content is separate from the design, so you can change your design as many times as you want without losing any content. AND the fact that you can update your site with any web browser on any computer without any knowledge of HTML.

cms diagram click to enlarge

1. A CMS web site is database driven.

This allows you to create and store hundreds or thousands of pages in the database without the need to update each one of them.


2. Separate design and content.

The design of the site template is separate from the content. This allows you to change the design any time without affecting the content stored on the site.

3. Use cascading style sheet (CSS) to control site appearance.

Altering one CSS file will allow you to change the design and/or color of your CMS site. The consistency of the design can be preserved.

4. Multiple authors

If you have different authors that wish to contribute to your CMS web site you can set up multiple user access in the administration panel. They can just login and begin adding their content.

5. Access from anywhere

Authors and editors can access the site from any computer with an internet connection. This means users can update the site at the same time from any location in the world.

6. Web site management panel

The backend administration panel not only provides the ability to add content but also to add modules such as polls, banners,
forums, shopping applications, news management and menus.

Authors can be given limited permissions to prevent them from editing content which they are not authorized to change.

7. Schedule automatic content updates

Publishing content can be controlled by creating a page first then set a later publish/unpublish date. This is handy if you know you will be offering a special in 2 weeks that will last for 3 days. The page will publish itself on day X and unpublish on day Y.

8. HTML knowledge not required

A CMS site allows non-technical people to add content. They just need to login with a user name and password then use the web editor that’s built into the CMS to add their content.

9. Saves time.

If you were using a static site to add content from multiple authors, each author would have to download the pages from the server to their computer first, update them using special software, then upload them back to the server. This would be very time consuming and could generate a lot of errors.

10. Create search engine friendly pages

The separation of content from design allows you to easily include keywords in the URL of each page. If the title of your article was “Content Management System Benefits” your URL would be written as:

http://www.domainname.com/content-management-system-benefits

Some CMS sites automatically generate the correct meta tags for each web page which would help them to spidered by the search engines.

11. Attracts visitors

A CMS site attracts visitors because it can be constantly and rapidly updated. It not only generates pages that are search engine friendly but can produce lots of links from the new content that is added and syndicated.

12. Create automatic RSS Feeds.

RSS or really simple syndication is integrated automatically into many CMS sites. Every time you create a post or make a comment it creates a feed for it. This allows visitors with RSS Feeders to read the post at their own leisure.

Conclusion

A content management system is a powerful tool for businesses that want to be able to make updates, prsent a great look and gain lots of visitors. It also has the capability to expand as your business grows by adding new features and applications.

Read 208 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 17:59
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Walt Mecleary

Walt has been working with CMS (content management systems) websites since December of 1998.
He founded Applied CMS Technology in the summer of 2007 and focuses primarily on the Joomla™ CMS platform.

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