So, what is a content management system anyway? Well, in the old days, we hand-coded our web pages from scratch. But, over time, as our number of pages grew, it became increasingly unmanageable … especially when you need to make a global change to all pages. Certainly, methods like server side includes (SSI) helps with those global header and footer changes, but what we really needed was a way to dynamically deliver content from a database management system (DBMS) and allow multiple authors to contribute content to the website. This is what a CMS does.
A good CMS will have the following features:
- Ability to assign user roles and privileges for:
- Provide a WYSIWYG editing interface for nontechnical writers
- Provide robust search and find features to discover content
- Search engine optimized out-of-the-box
- Remote/decentralized management of content
- Template based, dynamic, database driven delivery
Certainly, you can custom build a content management system. Or, you can buy one off-the-shelf. We call that a commercially availabile off-the-shelf product (COTS). Don’t ask me why we don’t call it CAOTS. Maybe COTS actually stands for, “commercial off-the-shelf.” Anyway, COTS CMS products are plentiful.
Typically, you need to determine if you want to pay for it (proprietary) or if you want it free (open source software). Personally, I like it free. But, you can pay for it if you like.
Open Source Software CMS products include:
Proprietary CMS products include:
Custom CMS developers include:
Of course, we also deploy plenty of COTS CMS products as well.