What is a CMS ?

So what is Content Management?

A Content Management System (CMS) is software, usually a database application, that will make it easy to create and maintain websites and manage all publishing formats associated with the World Wide Web.

 

Some basic features are common to all CMS's:

Separation of content, structure and design

The division of these "dimensions" of any website bring about many decisive advantages throughout the lifecycle of a website - and, in fact, even beyond that.

First, the design can be created, extended or even completely relaunched, without having to extract and reinsert, let alone recreate the previously existing content.

 

Easy content production without programming skills required

By providing a graphical user interface, or a frontend editing alternative, content creators can write text, insert images and multimedia formats, schedule contents and much more to maintain and build a dynamic website.

This is especially the case if you can take advantage of TYPO3's server-side graphics generation for making navigation items, graphical headlines, etc. (Such as the headings on this site and the dynamic menu to your left).

Common advantages of a CMS:

  • Decentralized maintenance.
    Typically based on a common webbrowser. Edit anywhere, anytime. Bottlenecks removed.
  • Designed with non-technical content authors in mind.
    People with average knowledge of word processing can create the content directly. No HTML knowledge needed.
  • Configurable access restrictions.
    Users are assigned roles and permissions that prevent them from touching content which they are not authorized to change.
  • Consistency of design is preserved.
    Because content is stored separate from design, the content from all authors is presented with the same, consistent design.
  • Navigation is automatically generated.
    Menus are typically generated automatically based on the database content and links will not point to non-existing pages.
  • Content is stored in a database.
    Central storage means that content can be reused in many places on the website and formatted for any device (webbrowser, mobile phone/WAP, PDA, print).
  • Dynamic content.
    Extensions like forums, polls, shopping applications, searching, news management are typically ready-made modules. Good CMS's also allow for truly user defined extensions.
  • Daily updates.
    You don't need to involve a web agency or programmers for every little modification - you are in control of your website.
  • Cooperation.
    Encourages faster updates, generates accountability for authored content (logs) and cooperation between authors.
  • Content scheduling.
    Content publication can often be time-controlled, hidden for previews or require user login with password.