Content Management System (CMS)
A Content Management System, often abbreviated as CMS, is software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website without the need for specialized technical knowledge.
A content management system (CMS) is used to manage and deploy website content. With a content management system, users can create, edit, and delete content from a site. Typically CMS software offers an interface that does not require HTML skills or other technical knowledge. Content managers and authors can make changes without the help of a developer. However, customizing the layout and site experience may still require some coding. Users can rely on CMS software to run any of these types of sites:
- News sites
- Ecommerce sites
- Corporate websites
Blogging platforms are essentially very basic, simple content management systems. More complex tools allow users to manage more structured content across a larger number of pages. These content management systems also offer more integrations and allow users to configure rules for personalization based on visitor site activity or demographic information. The most advanced CMS software options are called digital experience management platforms.
Features of Content Management System
The core CMS features are indexing, search and retrieval, format management, revision control, and management. Features may vary depending on the system application but will typically include:
- Intuitive indexing, search, and retrieval features index all data for easy access through search functions and allow users to search by attributes such as publication dates, keywords, or authors.
- Format management facilitates turn scanned paper documents and legacy electronic documents into HTML or PDF documents.
- Revision features allow content to be updated and edited after initial publication. Revision control also tracks any changes made to files by individuals.
- Publishing functionality allows individuals to use a template or a set of templates approved by the organization, as well as wizards and other tools to create or modify content.
Popular additional features may include:
- SEO-friendly URLs
- Integrated and online help, including discussion boards
- Group-based permission systems
- Full template support and customizable templates
- Easy wizard-based install and versioning procedures
- Admin panel with multiple language support
- Content hierarchy with unlimited depth and size
- Minimal server requirements
- Integrated file managers
- Integrated audit logs
- Web Content Management: Web content management (WCM) is a subset of CMS specifically focused on managing and publishing content for websites. It involves organizing, creating, editing, and publishing web-based content through a user-friendly interface.
- Digital Asset Management (DAM): Digital asset management (DAM) is closely related to CMS and refers to the management and organization of digital assets such as images, videos, documents, and other media files. While CMS focuses on content creation and delivery, DAM emphasizes the storage, retrieval, and distribution of digital assets.
- Electronic Document Management System (EDMS): A document management system (DMS) is a software solution that facilitates the storage, organization, and retrieval of documents. While CMS handles various content types, including documents, DMS typically has a narrower focus on managing files and documents within an organization.
- Enterprise Content Management (ECM): Enterprise content management (ECM) encompasses the strategies, tools, and processes used to capture, manage, store, and deliver content within an enterprise or organization. It includes components such as document management, records management, collaboration, and workflow automation, among others.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): A content delivery network (CDN) is a distributed network of servers that helps deliver web content to end-users efficiently. While not a CMS itself, a CDN is often used in conjunction with CMS to enhance content delivery performance by caching and serving content from geographically distributed servers.