A Content Management System or CMS is a software system used to automate as much as possible a content management process, especially for web sites. The aim is to reduce or eliminate interference programmers to edit and manage their sites. CMS eases the organization, control and publication of documents or other content such as images and multimedia resources.
Usually, such a system tool brings users without any knowledge about programming languages to create and manage content with relative ease of use. Most systems use a database to store content and a presentation layer to display the content to its regular visitors, based on a set of templates. Administration is normally done through a web browser, but some systems can be modified in other ways. A CMS platform is different from web creation programs (such as FontPage or Dreamweaver) by allowing users without technical knowledge to make changes to the site with little or no training at all.
A CMS is easy to use and allows authorized users to manage a website. A CMS is more of a maintenance tool than a site creation tool. A web content management system offers the following key features:
Automated templates – Create standard visual templates that can be automatically applied to new and existing content, creating a focal point for changing the interface of a web site.
Easily editable content – Once content is separated from the visual representation of the site, editing and manipulating of content are usually much easier and faster. Most CMS tools include WYSIWYG editor that allows non-technical staff to create and edit content.
Scalable feature sets – Most CMS has plugins or modules that can be easily installed to extend the functionality of the system.
Upgrades by web standards – Content management solutions for assets usually receive regular updates that include new features and system-related web standards.
Managing workflow – Workflow is the process of creating sequential and parallel tasks that must be met by CMS. For example, a content creator writes an article that is not published on the site until it is edited by the publisher and approved by the chief editor.
Document management – CMS’s can come up with ways of managing the document life cycle, from creation, through revisions, publication, archiving and deletion.
At present, there are many free CMS platforms that allow easy creation and management of web pages. The most popular are: