What Is A Content Management System?
A Content Management system is a system for managing the production and development of a website. When designing and building websites, particularly if pages link to many other pages, it can very quickly become difficult to ensure that all links are working, that site maps are up to date etc.
Content Management systems manage this process and also make it easy for non-technical people to create and publish new content.
The process of content management becomes very complex if many people are able to add and edit content on a website and so Content Management Systems have been developed to automate and control the processes involved. Controls include access controls with passwords and usernames on complex systems.
One way of understanding Content Management is to consider a website that has many pages with a similar structure such as this Internet Marketing Dictionary.
As a new page gets added, the simple Content Management System I use called XSitePro automatically creates a new link in the sitemap. But it also automatically adds the appropriate header information to the page as well.
More sophisticated content management systems control versioning, provide change management control and hierarchical access controls that give controlled and limited access rights to different individuals. For example, a site editor may wish to allow a range of people to create content but only permit a smaller number of people to approve and publish the content once it has been added to a site.
A further aspect of Content Management Systems is the ability to separate format from content. By doing this, using CSS or other tools, the layout out of a site can be altered rapidly by changing design settings. The new design will then be applied automatically to all the content.