08-08-2011 | Guide to Website Content Management System (CMS)

A Website Content Management System is simple terms allows you to update your website without the assistance of a web designer / developer. Initially you will require the assistance of a web developer to create the Website Content Management System for you business, but after this process is complete you should have the ability to add new pages, add images, update text information, change your meta tag data and re-structure your website navigation if required. Many other functions (features) can be added to your Content Management Systems but these function (features) will be determined by your development specification (requirements).

A Website Content Management System is useful only if you are going to update your website on a frequent basis or require more control over the information on your website. You will also be saving cost in the long term as you will not be reliant on a web developer / designer to update your website on your behalf. In the sort term Website Content management Systems are more expensive than standard plain html based websites but the advantage to you is the ability to grow your website yourself. Most ecommerce solution use some type of Content management Systems for example giving you the ability to add new categories and products to your ecommerce store. Content Management Systems can be used in website development in many different ways and are not secluded to ecommerce stores.

Website Content management Systems also give you the ability to identify administrators and set content management roles, in simple terms you can give specific privileges to different members of staff within your organisation and restrict members of staff from specific Content Management functions which do not apply to their role.

In some cases your Website Content management Systems can have the ability to archive information. Creating an archive system is an effective way of retaining information for internal or external reference. A good example would be a portfolio of clients which you have worked with, once your client project is complete, you can add informative information to an archive system allowing internal or external users to view this information, enabling a user to see what you have completed within the remits of your business.

A Content Management Systems normally consists of a user website, a database to store information and a secure control panel allowing to you update the information on the database. Content from the database is used to compile the information displayed on your website. The information on the database is accessed or manipulated using a programming language. In simple terms you are updating the database and your website is displaying content from the database to form your website pages. This type of system is also know as a three tier website application:

Data Tier – This is where your website information is stored.
Application Tier – This is where information is processed.
Client Tier – This is where information is displayed.

There are many different technologies available which enable a Website Content management System to be created. The most cost effective solution is a combination of the following technologies:

Mysql Database – An open source database application
Linux Server – An open source operating system
PHP Programming – An open source programming language

You can find hundreds and thousands of websites on the internet using the above technologies. There are many alternatives to the above technologies such as Microsoft based technologies, but these tend to be more expensive to maintain and develop.

It is recommend before you commission a web development company to create a Website Content Management System, you first find out what technologies the web development company will be using and if these technologies are cost effective.

Green Shoots Media offer free consultation on all website design and development - please Contact Us for more information.

Author : Pankaj Shah : Webmaster