“Content Management System or CMS are essential to build a successful website but not the main criteria.”
In case you want to build a blog or a website, after purchasing your domain and hosting service, you need to start coding everything about your website just from scratch. You need to build a front end for the appearance of your blog or site, a database for the back end and of course you need to build a log-in panel. A log-in panel is necessary for your site’s admin or authors to easily modify the contents published on your site. Moreover; it helps prevent other users from bringing changes to your site. Is that all you need to do!???
Actually; NO! Once you code the back end, front end and the database with the log-in panel, you actually have just built the basics of your blog or site. From now after; every single time you want to publish a new content to your site or even if you desired to change the look of your site, you actually need to code for it. Every single time you wish to add or modify your menus, pages and etc. you have to code it from scratch. Just like the static websites which were developed during the 80s.
As far as; this much of a coding was really a headache and not everyone knew how to code, the sites during 80s and 90s looked very simple and unattractive.
Even now, not all the people who run their own websites or blogs know how to properly code. Therefore; while building your website you need a software that can help you to build the back end of your site and maintain the contents you would like to publish on your website without knowing much of coding.
Content Management System
CMS or a Content Management System is an application that is mainly used to create and maintain contents in the form of text or graphics. The term CMS came into existence in the 90s and became popular in 2000s. It is basically a Graphic User Interface that helps a person to build content (text, audio, video, or graphics), maintain (edit, index and etc.) it and additionally publish it on the web.
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Every CMS is made up of 2 main parts or components. Content Management Application is the Concrete part of any CMS i.e. the Graphic User Interface. It helps in building the content and editing it. Content Delivery Application is the Abstract part of any CMS i.e. the back-end services of the database building. It supports the management and delivery of the contents once they are created using the CMA.
Content Management Systems are broadly categorized into 2 main categories.
The first category which is not much popular is the Enterprise Content Management System or ECMS. These CMSs are custom developed systems which are built according to the requirements of the user. Giant companies usually hire professional software engineers to build such systems in order to store and maintain their company data in a secure application. They cost a lot of money. Hence; only handful of enterprises and organizations can afford having one. The main characteristic of an ECMS is that it provides end-users with role-based access which further secures the data.
The second category which is indeed very much popular is the Web-based Content Management System or WCMS. WCMSs are online applications that help website authors create, edit and publish contents online. These CMSs are built by well-known software companies and are mostly free and open-source. In other words, anyone can find the source code in the internet and install it on his website. However; in some cases you need to purchase the license of some CMSs to use it in a broad way. The main characteristic of a WCMS is that it provides a collaborative authoring platform in websites.
Main Features of CMSs
Although, different CMSs have their own strengths, mainly all of them have the following features in common.
Indexing: Almost all the CMSs built, store the users’ data in a proper order or index. This indexing is helpful for data retrieval. You can search the data based upon criteria like publishing date, name of author, or using keywords.
Admin Panel: A CMS must include an admin panel for the admin to have a control over the contents being published in his website or application. The admin can easily edit, delete or assign roles to new users from the admin panel.
Revision: All the content management systems developed provide their users with a windows where they can revise and edit their content after they are published for the first time.
One-to-One Marketing: When you search for a specific term like “Programming Languages” in any search engine such as Google or Yahoo, they direct you to several websites. Here on, CMSs will advertise brands based upon the search term you reached to the websites. i.e. CMSs will show you advertisements of Programming Languages crash courses or etc.
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Some Popular Web-based Content Management Systems
There is a great number of powerful online CMSs developed all of which contain their own specific usages. Some of these CMSs are being used by millions of websites and some of the very popular brands too. Undoubtedly; the use of online CMSs have evolved greatly the way we build and manage our websites nowadays. Following are 3 of the most widely used and prominent CMSs:
Wordpress is an open source and free content management system. It is the most widely used CMS known which builds the backend of almost 30% of the current live websites. Popular brands like CNN, People Magazine and eBay use wordpress to manage their contents. Moreover; wordpress has thousands of free templates and widgets which can greatly beautify the look and management of your site.
Joomla is another open source and free content management system. It has a global community of developers that assure the platform to be user friendly, search engine optimized, multilingual and flexible. Some global brands like Vodafone and Sprint use Joomla as their backend.
Drupal is another great example of online CMS which is used by big names such as McDonald’s and AT&T.
For a complete list of the online Content Management Systems, you can visit the Wikipedia page here.
Choosing a proper content management system can be a bit difficult due to the wide range of choices one has especially when we talk about online CMSs. Basically when one chooses a CMS, points such as its interface, flexibility, and usage difficulty has to take into consideration.