A content management system is a software system for websites. This authorizes, collaborates and gives you administrative tools to allow you to design websites even if you are inexperienced. The program creates programming languages or markup languages to create a website with ease.
Most web content management systems allow multiple editors and also allow users to manage and upload documents.
There are multiple layers to a content management system such as the presentation layer, which your website visitors will see when they visit your site. This layer stores a bunch of templates for the user to choose which best fits his website.
Another layer found is the content repository or a database to store website page content, metadata and other information that may be needed for the website.
Most of the web content management systems will use a system called a server side caching which is to improve the performance of the overall website. This will work best if the content management system is not changed often but visits happen regularly.
The administration part of the website content management system is normally done through a browser-based interface.
This allows non-technical users to make changed to a website with little knowledge or training. A simple way for a small business owner to get on the web. A content management system will typically require a system administrator and web developer so they can setup and add features but it is mainly used as a website maintenance tool for non-technical staff.
This is what makes a web content system so popular beside the fact that most systems have a free version or a premium version where those are budget-friendly for a year of service.
These also make SEO (search engine optimization) easy to use and your website can be found on top search sites like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Over the years, content management systems went through three phases in its time since the late 1990’s when the first websites were hard coded and then published online.
There are a few claims on who wrote the first content management system including Roxen in 1994, Blitzen in the mid-90s, and Ingeniux and Vignette in 1999. These programs included features such as a structured development area and the use of tags and templates.
Original clients had to be tech-savvy. In the second stage of CMS (content management system), was led by software houses who took over the idea functions. This started to build what the CMS is now today. The growth was led by RedDot, DotNetNuke, and Mambo.
This is when the source movement got started and a split between paid and free applications was developed that continue to this day. The final phase of development was based on an individual’s ability to code versus their skill at design.
There is concern about hackers disabling sites, adding malware and getting credit card data from ecommerce sites, but for now open source platforms are still being used for commercial use.
There was a move away from coders and back to the design-led website development and that enabled some key features we have today such as a hosted platform, designs sold by design agencies or affiliates, integration with databases, e-commerce, email, and plug-ins, modular development and price modeling including reseller/affiliate earnings.
Key players in this were Contegro, Basekit, and CushyCMS with Adobe’s offering, Business Catalyst which is a leader at president.
Designer-led websites have grown and is still growing to this day between software being developed for professional web designers and those in the open source code market. What will be the fourth stage of content management?
The top three content management systems are the opinion of the editor and others not listed may have features added to them to leap frog them to the top three.
WordPress = WordPress is no longer just for blogging, although it still has that ability, but WordPress has become a very popular and powerful open source cms option for its user-friendly system. There is no license required to use it, including commercial sites. It is also backed by a dedicated developer community and not pay-to-use so you can’t call customer service if you have an issue, but with some hunting, you will find a solution in their help database. WordPress has 1,616 themes and they are still adding more with a bunch of plug-ins and customization possibilities.
Joomla! = This is another cms option where the word means “all together” in Swahili and can be customized using themes. There are also thousands of extensions that range from shopping carts to chat modules. There is no commercially funded help source on Joomla! Similar to WordPress but Joomla! has user groups, active forums and an online magazine. There is plenty of step-by-step help to get you started.
Drupal = Drupal will round out the top three cms programs and it is also open source. They are the base of many sites including Zappos, CNN, and British Medical Journal. You can start by downloading Drupal Care and customize it with hundreds of themes and plug-ins. There is extensive documentation and plenty of help from the community forums. There are also lists for-hire developers and training sessions in the marketplace which both help make it an option for non-techies.
Web content management systems have become extremely popular due to the ease of use for non-technological people who want to build a website. With their features, you can build a website in just a few hours or days depending how advanced you make it.
Some of the capabilities of a cms program include automated templates, easily editable content, standard upgrades, management, document management, content virtualization and collaboration.
With each of these key features your website will look professionally designed. With this comes the advantage of low costs, the ease of use for amateurs, and the control of publishing the website when you are ready to. Most cms programs you can build a page and then publish them when you want to.