Content Management Systems – Why You Need One

  • AUTHOR: Zeke Camusio
  • DATE: 07/17/2009

Content Management Systems (CMS) are computer applications that manage your work flow better. They allow you to easily create, edit, index and publish text and digital media.    

If web design isn’t your thing, CMS platforms are the direction you may need to take.   

CMS platforms are easy to use and offer MANY options. Most platforms are “Open Source,” which translates to FREE (no licensing requirements) – added BONUS!

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CMS features the following components:

  • Assigns roles to different types or categories
  • Defines workflow tasks for collaborative creations – alerts content managers to changes with content, etc.
  • Tracks multiple versions of content
  • Publishes content to a repository – a centralized database where information is stored and maintained

CMS-based content is far more interactive and "dynamic" compared to static content. Static content is hard-coded onto pages and is not part of a Section or Category. Static content represents whole, "stand alone" pages. Hypertext navigation, HTML or XHTML, creates the "static content." Users request a page, view the information on the page and the interaction ends there.

In contrast, CMS provides a "dynamic" environment – content changes due to different conditions or context. This provides the content creator with much more flexibility in customizing the content on the page. One major benefit of CMS-based content compared to static content is that anyone without web development experience can update and edit pages via the backend/administrative functions of the CMS system.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

The following are examples of Content Management Systems (CMS) commonly used by small businesses to manage their website content.
If you want a dynamic, "ever changing" site, check out the following
platforms and turn your site into a POWERFUL, interactive marketing
tool!

Modx

Modx is one of the most popular CMS platforms. Modx is a free Open Source (many users can work on the database at once) PHP application framework. This platform allows users to take full control and advantage of content.

Modx’s templates are user-friendly. They are easy-to-build and enable users to change sites according to specific business needs.

Highlighted Features:

  • Web 2.0 Ajax technology
  • Graphical installer
  • Rich text editors
  • CSS menu builder
  • SEO-friendly
  • Works in favorite browsers

WordPress

WordPress boasts VERY EASY usability – even the most non-techie person can handle WordPress. WordPress is known as one of most popular blogging platforms on the Internet, as well.

WordPress is a publishing platform that was built on PHP and MySQL. WordPress has hundreds of plugins and widgets which help you create dynamic sites. There are many online tutorials available that walk you through the ins and outs of WordPress.

Highlighted Features:

  • Standard code compliance
  • Easy installation and upgrades
  • Password protected posts
  • Offers full theme system
  • Password protected posts

Typo3

Typo3 is a small to midsize enterprise CMS platform for web and intranets. This user friendly content management framework offers the best of both worlds to both content managers and web developers.

Typo 3 is very easy to learn and allows editing to be made on the frontend (changes made directly on pages). Typo3 is one of the fastest growing CMS platforms and has been used on over 3,000 sites worldwide.

Highlighted Features:

  • Easy and fast content editing
  • New functions updated on a regular basis
  • Backend divided into three sections: modules menu, page tree and module work area
  • Works with any graphical browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc) and operating system (Windows, Mac and Linux)

Drupal

Drupal, a free web-based content management system, allows users to create and manage diverse content. There’s a LOT you can do with Drupal. You can create forums, peer-to-peer networking environments, blogs, podcasts, etc.

Businesses are using Drupal for the following types of sites:

  • Discussion forums
  • Social networking sites
  • Corporate web sites
  • Intranet applications

Highlighted Features:

  • Role based permission system
  • User authentication
  • Templating
  • Threaded comments model

Interspire

Interspire is PHP-based software that has a strong e-commerce software focus and emphasizes customer support. It also showcases content management and email marketing software geared towards businesses and ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

A variety of modules allow users to custom design sites according to specific e-commerce needs.

Highlighted Features:

  • Shopping Cart system (includes SEO optimization)
  • Email Marketer
  • Website Publisher
  • Knowledge Manager
  • Web Edit

Joomla

Joomla, an award-winning CMS platform, offers dynamic online applications. This web-based Open Source software package powers a wide variety of sites including:

  • Online reservations and e-commerce sites
  • Non-profit web sites
  • Small business sites
  • Government applications

Highlighted Features:

  • User and media managers
  • Polls and Search features
  • Language management
  • Integrated Help System
  • Powerful Extensions
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