What is a CMS?
CMS is a content management system. It’s a web application that uses a database ( usually MS SQL ) or other methods to create, edit, and store HTML Content in a manageable way. Content is created and edited on the web in an administration portion of the web application ( referred to as the back-end ) The resulting Content is then displayed to the viewers on the regular site ( referred to as the front-end )
Why should businesses consider using a CMS?
There are several possible reasons for using a CMS, but its mainly for making creating and editing of Content simple and easy. Often developers forget the main purpose of a CMS, and in search of more functionality they end up crippling themselves and their customers.
Content doesn’t just include test, however. Sometimes the Content you need on a site can be in a Contact Form, or a user authentication system, The aim is to find the CMS that provides functionality without sacrificing ease of use. A good CMS will allow users to focus more on the design on the front-end rather than on implementing extensions or functionality.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right CMS for your business website:-
Core functionality –
When most people think of content management, they think of creating, editing, and or organizing pages. It’s assumed that all CMS’s do that and users often take that functionality for granted. There, however, is no guarantee of any such functionality will be presented in an intuitive way. Not all blogging platforms allow the owner to manage and organize pages in a tree hierarchy. Instead, individual posts are automatically organized by such criteria as date and category. One needs to consider the basic functionality they need. Even if they do not require the ability to structure and organize pages now, they may need to in the future.
The Editor –
This is one feature worth particular attention. The majority of CMS usually have a WYSIWYG ( what you see is what you get ) editor. Strangely this editor is often ill-conceived despite the fact that this is the most used feature within the system. The editor is the interface through which Content is added or amended. Traditionally, it has also allowed the content provider to apply basic formattings such as font and color. However, developers have moved away from this type of editor to something that reflects Best Practice. The editor should also be able to handle external assets, including images and downloadable files.
Standard Or Unique –
There is a difference in the quality of the end product in the varying solutions. Many proprietary systems come with standard functionalities and templates. Do you want to use standard templates or need any customer or unique features? Open CMS’s are meant to be built upon, which is needed to provide a customized solution.
User Interaction –
If you intend to gather user feedback, the CMS must provide that functionality or allow third-party plug-ins for adding such functionality. Equally, if you want to host a community on the website then one requires functionality such as Chat, Forums, Comments, and Ratings.
At a minimum, one needs to be able to post forms and collect responses. How easily does the CMS make this process? Can one customize the fields or does that require technical expertise? What about the results? Can one specify who they’re emailed to? Can they be written to a database or outputted to as an Excel document? One needs to consider the kind of functionality they need and look for a CMS that supports it.
The presented content should not be dictated by technology. It is simply not necessary, as there are techniques that help separate design and content. Unfortunately, like some Web Designers, CMS developers have not adopted best practices and have created systems that produce confusing Code. This puts unreasonable constraints on the design and seriously impacts accessibility.
One needs a CMS that allows flexibility in the way Content is retrieved and presented, for example,
- Can one retrieve news stories in reverse chronological order?
- Can the events be displayed on a calendar?
- Is it possible to extract the most recent comments and display them on the homepage?
Flexibility is what makes the CMS stand out. Some considerations before investing time or money are to research for selecting a proper CMS is to never to forget, the main purpose of a CMS is to make creating and editing Content simple and easy. One should not sacrifice the User Experience for Functionality. These factors will drastically improve ones experience with Content Management Systems.