What is CMS
Part 1: Keys to a Basic Understanding
What is CMS?
If you work in the IT industry, you undoubtedly have heard this acronym. However, before we go diving into the benefits of a CMS or the different types of CMS, I thought it was important to take step back and discuss the basics needed to be able to answer the question “What is CMS”.
CMS stands for Content Management System. This system is used to file and store all of an organizations content and other types of information.
By definition, via Wikipedia, the questions “What is CMS” is answered with the following:
“A computer software system for organizing and facilitating collaborative creation of documents and other content. A content management system is frequently a web application used for managing websites and web content”
Well the definition seems simple enough. Now let’s answer the real question you are all thinking “What is CMS in terms of helpfulness to my business needs.” So, let’s get to the real world definition
“What is CMS”
Many companies, churches, schools, and other organizations struggle with keeping the content on their websites current. There are often delays in getting the content online which results in clients receiving outdated information. An even worse scenario would be the struggle to get an unenthused and otherwise busy webmaster to devote large amounts of time to updating the website.
In situations like this, you almost have to ask yourself “what is the point of having a website if end users can’t receive up-to-date and valid information?”
So, What is CMS software really providing to its users? A CMS offers its users is a dynamic way of controlling a website by offering a distinct separation of the content from the style and code.
Traditionally, updates to a website’s content required local changes on a computer, and uploading those changes through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program. This system was both tedious and time consuming, and all too often resulted in overwriting or the loss of data. Even an in-house webmaster can easily get overwhelmed when two or three update requests come in at one time.
Using the graphical user interface of the CMS, a non-technical user can update a website through the back-end by logging in as an administrator and updating the site directly through the internet.
Distinguishing between a website’s content and the style and coding of a website allows for these layers to be preserved. This allows for different areas of the website, such as the content, to be recreated and adjusted independently from the other layers, which allows for content to be created with no changes needed to the front-end or structure of the website.
By integrating the CMS into a graphical user interface, the adoption of a CMS allows for non-technical personnel to make technical changes on a website. In other words, users with no more technical training than is necessary to create a Word Document can successfully manage and update content on their websites.
What a content management system really does is open the world of web publishing up for anyone and everyone who
has access to the internet.
Hopefully, I have helpfully answered the question “What is CMS?” Stay tuned for my next blog, in which I will analyze some of the benefits of a Content Management System.