The Basics of Content Management Systems

The contents of a web site can be managed by means of a content management system. There are two parts to a content management system: the content management application or CMA and the content delivery application or CDA. With the CMA, the author of a web site manages changes, modifications and deletion of material from the site without the help of a webmaster or administrator. Using and compiling information to update a web site is the function of the CDA. Most content management systems have features that include publishing web pages, managing the format of the web site, controlling revisions, as well as indexing, searching and retrieval.

The web publishing feature of content management systems include a template or set of templates, wizards and other software tools that create or modify web sites. Older electronic documents as well as documents that are scanned can be formatted into HTML using the format management feature. Updating material to newer versions or restoring them to previous versions is the role of the revision control feature. Any modifications made to documents are also tracked by revision control. Content management systems also index all the material in a web site so that the material can be searched for specific content using keywords.

Investing in a content management system requires the consideration of two factors. The first factor is the size of an organization and the location of its divisions or subsidiaries. If an organization is too spread out geographically, a content management system would be difficult to implement. The second factor relates to the variety of electronic data forms within an organization. A content management system again would be difficult to implement if an organization uses too many kinds of documents, graphics, video and audio in its operations to convey information. But for a more localized business or organization that uses fewer data formats, a content management system is an effective web publishing solution.

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