Content Management System: Why Your Business Needs CMS

  Nik Oliva

CMS

Managing a website isn’t an easy task. A standard HTML website is stagnant and fixed. Which means that to change any content such as text and images, the page files that make up the site must be edited then uploaded to the web server. Without a programmer or any programming skills. You cannot update and change your site, publish new content, and organize your content. Too many business owners spend hours updating their website manually every time a customer buys something. While most internet users are only concerned with the end result, having instant access to their favorite blog site or social media, they don’t have any idea how these website content was created and published. Websites, such as online stores require constant administration, which is why most use a content management system (CMS) designed specifically for the purpose.

Abbreviated as CMS, Content Management System (CMS) is a product installed on a web server that allows managing pages, blogs and articles online, without storing them on a desktop computer and uploading each time when you need to make changes. A content management system can perform a variety of different tasks for a website including regulating when content is displayed, how many times the content is shown to a specific user, and managing how the content connects or interacts with other elements of the website.

Content Management System was first used in 1996 by CNET, an internet news publishing company. As one of the web’s first and leading high-volume publishers, CNET faced some serious production difficulties that were new to the world. Web publishing is somewhat complex process. The author has to submit an article, then an editor needs to review and edit the articles and make changes, perhaps even sending the article back to the author for revision. Next, the article needs to go on to the copyeditor. Multiple versions of the document could be flying back and forth among the author, editor, and copyeditor. Once the content is finalized, it needs to be put into the layout in which it will appear on the site. To solve this kind of problem, they need to automate any step of the process that doesn’t require human interaction. Writers can type their articles directly into the publishing system using a web-based text editor. When the article is saved online, it can instantly be made available to the editor, who also could receive an email alert that a new article is ready for review. The editor need only to choose the appropriate layout template and the article will automatically be formatted appropriately. Similarly, the editor can click a few options to choose where on the site the article will be published and when it will go up, and the system will take care of the rest. CNET promptly realized that the tool they had built for themselves would be beneficial to anyone who has large quantities of content that need to be published and kept up-to-date online. They licensed the technology to a company called Vignette, which was later acquired by OpenText in 2009.

Today the web industry split into enterprise document management  and web content management which itself is further branched into free, opensource and paid-for solutions. The number of CMS systems available is relatively high and has become even more segmented. Each application is targeted broadly at enterprise, mid-sized companies or small firms and for private use; the bottom end dominated by free softwares like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. There are a lot of CMS products that have emerged over the last few years and sometimes it is difficult to choose the right one for your needs. Below are some various advantages of using content management system for designing or creating your websites.

CMS can facilitate better content security.

Content Management Systems allow any number of individuals within a business to view or edit the content on various sections of the website and dynamically publish new information. Non-technical clients can create and produce online content, while maintaining the uniform look and feel of the website. You can also decide whether the contents are automatically published or whether they pass through an approval hierarchy first. Site content is managed using a password protected administration control panel, that allows for the easy creation and management website content. CMS not only allows you to control your site’s content, but also allows you to control who has access to it.

Website structure can be easily changed without affecting the content.

Because a CMS separates the web design and content management functions, the site can accommodate or expand with the changes and updates without the need for a new website. Updating the site design when using a blog script or a CMS usually involves modifying a single set of theme files. Once the template is changed to update the colors, design, or navigational structure, all of the site’s pages will be updated.

Content Management system reduces the time to publish your contents.

Posting content is almost effortless. Regular website publishing required significant technical skills like HTML, and programming. But  CMS allows non-technical authors and editors to easily and quickly publish their content with relative ease. Authors only need to concentrate on the content of the article. CMS can take care of modifying the main page to include a snippet of the article and putting links to that article on the main, archive, category and tag pages.

CMS helps to develop SEO friendly URLs.

Make sure your CMS can provide human readable URL’s. Auto-generated URLs that include number and character strings such as “index.html?id=889562242” confuse site visitors and search engines. Friendly URLs can end up being quite long and you often want to direct people to a specific page in your site. Custom URLs allow you to change a URL like: “www.website.com/services” or “www.website.com/blog/article_one_title” it only is it easier for the user to type, read and even share, but the search engine needs to know that it’s a unique page and that the actual file name itself is meaningful. You also have the ability to add page title, description and keyword metadata to each page. Additionally, you can add ‘ALT’ tags to images and ‘TITLE’ tags to links.

Fortunately for web publishers nowadays, there are a number of WCM tools on the market that can handle most of your website needs. A Web Content Management System is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users to create and manage website content with ease. Choosing the right Web CMS can be tricky, considering the dozens of available options. A PHP platform such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla? Or a .NET solution such as SiteCore or Umbraco? Or perhaps an e-commerce CMS platform such as Magento or Shopify? There are several factors to consider, So companies should conduct internal research, and figure out which type of technology will provide the best result for your business, and test each system before choosing a final solution.