A closer look at CMS

Here I would like to further elaborate more on CMS which I had been using for my class project. CMS or better known as a Content Management System is a system used to manage the content of a Web site. CMS allows the author to manage the creation, modification and removal of content from a Web site without needing the expertise of a webmaster. It also uses and compiles that information to update the Web site. The features of a CMS system vary, but most include Web-based publishing, format management, revision control, and indexing, search and retrieval.

The Web-based publishing feature allows individuals to use a template and other tools to create or modify Web content. The format management feature allows contents including documents to be formatted into HTML or Portable Document Format (PDF) for the Web site. The revision control feature allows content to be updated to a newer version or restored to a previous version. Revision control also tracks any changes made to files by individuals. An additional feature is indexing, search, and retrieval. A CMS system indexes all data within an organization. Individuals can then search for data using keywords, which the CMS system retrieves.

Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, PHP-Nuke, WordPress and Movable Type are some of the popular CMS out there. All these CMS are quite similar in terms or content management, and applications. I had been using Drupal for a class project for quite some time now and I find it very reliable. We can add applications to Drupal by downloading it from the Drupal website. This system of applications tools is also implemented in other CMS. In Drupal, these applications are called ‘modules’. Joomla refers to it as ‘extentions’ while Meebo refers to it as “extensions”. To get the feel to most of the open source CMS out there, try Open Source CMS. It provides a small and simple demo for each of the CMS listed there.

In short, CMS is a way to make website development much easier and faster. What Web developers take days to do using the conventional Web development methods, we can now do in minutes. However there are limitations to what you can do using a CMS than that of using the traditional way of producing websites.