Web Content Management System is a computer software system which can be used by anyone, with or without IT background to create, manage, edit and publish the content of a website. The user can do this without the help of the web master. With CMS you can even generate new pages, manage users, modify the layout, categorize the content and manage many other things. There are two elements of CMS front-end and back-end. The front-end is the one which represents the appearance of the website as viewed by the users like the web pages, images, content, forms and other content. The back-end is the interface with the system’s database that holds the content and the templates that define the outlook of the website. Only the authorized users are able to reach the back-end of the website. These are protected by passwords. The figure below shows the principle elements of the content management system.
Benefits of using WCMS:
- With WCMS you can manage and update the content of your website without having any HTML knowledge. Most WCMS software use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing tools for people without any technical knowledge.
- You can create standard automated templates which could be applied to new or old content.
WCMS software comes with easy and frequent upgrades.
- You can provide specific or selective content access.
- You can manage the life cycle of a document with the help of WCMS software from the creation time till the document destructions.
- You can enhance search engine optimization.
- WCMS provides better consistency and security for your website.
- With this there is lesser possibility of duplication of content.
- You can also provide backup with version control with the help of these content management software.
Types of WCMS:
There are three types of WCMS:
- Offline Processing: This type of WCMS pre-process all content and apply templates before publication to generate web pages. Pre-processing systems do not require a server to apply templates, therefore they may exist as design-time tools.
- Online Processing: In this type of WCMS the templates are applied on-demand of the users. The HTML is generated when the user visits the page. The best example is Word-Press.
- Hybrid Systems: Hybrid systems are those which combine the offline and online approaches. It can also be referred to systems that write out executable code rather than just static HTML.
Does your organization need Content Management System?
Content Management System for your website could be quite expensive. If you have few pages on your website and you do not need to update its content frequently then it is better you do not go with CMS sites. On the other hand if your organization needs frequent updates then content management system could be really helpful, for example if your company relies heavily on external web developers then this could prove good for your budget as the in-house staff can manage the site very easily. Along with the trained staff members, other staff can also be involved in updating the web content which will help solve common problems like poorly presented information or inconsistent navigation.
There are various CMS options available in the market. They come with different capabilities and strengths. You can have CMS based customized websites. You can also choose from any open source CMS like Joomla, Mambo, Xoops, Typo3 and Drupal.
It totally depends on the type of business you own and the requirements to choose the right type of CMS. You need to evaluate the options available, select the one that best fits your requirements, allocate enough time and resources to achieve the best solution.