A Content Management System (CMS) is an addvanced tool that facilitates management of content of a website without needing any technical knowledge on the part of site administrator. An effective CMS is a crucial element for larger orgnizations maintaining sites with a very high rate of updates. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a website without needing the expertise of a web programmer / developer. The CDA element uses and compiles that information to update the website. The features of a CMS vary, but most include web-based publishing, format management, versioning control, and indexing, search, and retrieval.
The publishing feature allows individuals to use a set of pre-defined templates approved by the organization, as well as wizards and other tools to create or modify web content. The format management feature allows documents including legacy electronic documents and scanned paper documents to be formatted into HTML or Portable Document Format (PDF) for the website. The version control feature allows content to be updated to a newer version or restored to a previous version. Version control also tracks any changes made to files by individuals. An additional feature is indexing, search, and retrieval. A CMS indexes all data within an organization. Individuals can then search for data using keywords, which the CMS retrieves.
A CMS may also provide tools for one-to-one marketing. One-to-one marketing is the ability of a website to tailor its content and advertising to a user's specific characteristics using information provided by the user or gathered by the site (for example, a particular user's page sequence pattern). For example, if you visit a search engine and search for "mobile phone," the advertising banners will advertise businesses that sell mobile phones instead of businesses that sell cosmetic products.
Implementation of a CMS for a customer requires:
- Consulting: Identification of the right CMS product available in the market
- Integration: Professional integration of the customer's website (unique look & feel) with the identified CMS application
- Data Migration: Development of a data migration mechanism to facilitate the transfer of the existing client data into the new system
Besides, two factors must be considered before an organization decides to invest in a CMS. First, an organization's size and geographic dispersion must be considered especially if an organization is spread out over several countries. For these organizations, the transition to CMS is more difficult. Secondly, the diversity of the electronic data forms used within an organization must be considered. If an organization uses text documents, graphics, video, audio, and diagrams to convey information, the content will be more difficult to manage.
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