Content Management Systems (CMS)

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:
    • Author/contributors
    • Editor/publishers
    • Administrator
  • 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:

  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Mambo
  • WordPress

Proprietary CMS products include:

  • RedDot
  • Ellington
  • TypePad
  • MovableType

Custom CMS developers include:

  • inQbation

Of course, we also deploy plenty of COTS CMS products as well.