Content Management System (CMS) Definition

A content management system is what allows company employees to publish new content to their websites. These systems eliminate the need for content writers to be concerned with the technical details. And while at first glance, content publishing might not seem like it should be difficult, more detailed examination reveals some of the complexity. First, consider that content comes in many forms:

  • articles and white papers
  • press release and company news
  • pictures
  • products information
  • frequently asked questions/answers
  • email archives and newsgroups
  • Flash presentations and online demos
  • streaming audio and video

With all these different types of content, there is a need for systems to first create (author) the content, then describe it (metadata tagging), and eventually update it. On top of these basic tasks, the system should also:

  • let several people collaborate and edit content together
  • provide workflow to let the right people do the right things at the right time
  • have security measures to stop the wrong people from manipulating the content
  • keep track of changes to the content through the use of versioning
  • provide scheduling to control when content is displayed
  • use templates to publish the content in a standard format so that a certain look and feel is maintained across the site
  • personalize the content so user's can customize the viewing experience

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