What is A CMS?

First things first, what do the letters “CMS” even stand for?

Answer: CMS is an acronym for “Content Management System“. You may see some variations on this term, but they all refer to the same concept. Variations include:

  • Content Management System
  • Web CMS
  • Web Content Management System
  • CMS Platform
  • Content Management Platform
  • CMS System (yes, it’s redundant)
  • etc…

What Does A CMS Do?

Init’s simplest terms, Content Management Systems are designed to help users create and manage their websites. A CMS helps webmasters manage the many different resources, content types and various data that make up modern websites.

At a minimum, modern websites make use of HTML, CSS, Java script and images (jpeg,gif, png…) to create web content for visitors to read. At the core of every CMS is the ability to organize these resources and generate valid content that can be read by web browsers. More advanced websites have interactive components(comment sections, forums, e-commerce…) that requires server software to validate and save user submitted content.

All of the most popular Content Management Systems have features built-in or available for download as addons for all of these features.

How To Use a CMS

To begin using a CMS on your website, you’ll need to get it installed on your server. Installation is typically very easy. The most popular systems have created interfaces to guide you through the installation process which can include the creation of a database and changing file permissions. To make things even easier, your hosting provider may have taken care of most of the configuration options already with a “1 Click Installation” feature.

web content management system (WCMS)

A web content management system (WCMS), a utilization of a content management system (CMS),is a set of tools that provides an organization with a way to manage digital information on a website through creating and maintaining content without prior knowledge of web programming or markup languages. Managing web content effectively can have useful business applications in the enterprise, producing insights for decision-making and delivering results, as well as value.


The three key features of any WCMS are as follows:

  1. Theability to design, create and maintain personalized content for a website.
  2. Theability for editors to review and approve content prior to publication.
  3. Anautomated publishing process.

Additional features that might be included are:

  • Automated, standard templates;
  • Controlled access to the page;
  • Scalable expansion to allow for growth;
  • Tools that allow for easy editing;
  • Easily installed plug-ins to extend existing functionality;
  • Regular software updates;
  • Workflow management;
  • Collaboration tools allowing for multi pleusers to modify content;
  • Document management;
  • Content distribution and content update emails to users;
  • Ability to display content in various languages; and
  • Allowing editors to retrieve previous versions of content.
  • These can be done through using a general open source WCMS such as WordPressDrupal, and Joomla to address a variety of needs; or with a specialized CMS geared toward addressing specific needs. Examples of these would include Marketing 360, a marketing platform, File stack,specializing in file uploads, or Clean Pix, focused on rights management.

Pros and cons

  • There are positives and negatives that come with using aWCMS, ranging from cost to security. WCMSs are typically inexpensive, often being free or offering subscriptions that outweigh overall costs. WCMSs are easy to use, not requiring users to have a technical coding background in order to create or maintain content, and they are easily customizable. The workflow management in a WCMS can also be controlled and personalized by administrators.
  • On the other hand, larger implementations of a WCMS can get expensive by requiring training and certifications that can be pricey.Maintenance can also be costly, requiring upgrades and licensing updates.Another downside is that larger systems can become slower with time if the hardware is not up-to-date or if cache files grow too large. And finally,security can be a concern, since a WCMS can be overlooked during patching for security threats, leaving it vulnerable to hackers.


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