Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems. What exactly are they? A Content Management System, CMS for short, is basically computer software with procedures that help organize and manage the workflow of content. It allows for creating, editing, modifying, reviewing and publishing electronic content. It’s main function is to store and organize files and provide version-controlled dynamic collections of web material. Content Management Systems have a web-based graphical user interface which allows an administrator to access it on-line via a web browser. Content Management System is often used to run websites containing Blogs, News, informal and e-Commerce websites. Content Management Systems typically aims to avoid the need for hard coding, which is great for users with no programming or HTML experience, because the editing can be done through a web browser. It comes with an administrator interface which easily allows addition and deletion of content. When it comes to e-commerce platforms, the most costly options will typically be custom and enterprise solutions. Many Content Management Systems have become the most popular tool by Web Developers in web development and design today.

Some of the most Popular CMS Systems:

WordPress – CMS

WordPress has quickly become the most popular and most commonly used Content Management System. WordPress is a free open source blogging tool and Content Management System based on PHP and MySQL. Features include plugins, architecture and template system. It also has a on-line support community forum. WordPress also has a robust e-commerce plugin for WordPress.

Drupal – CMS

Drupal is also very popular. Maintained and developed by a community of users and developers. It is open source software written in PHP and can run on any computing platform that supports both a web server capable of running PHP and a database such as MySQL. Drupal is used to manage content on informational sites, social media sites, membership sites, intranets and web applications. Although Drupal offers a sophisticated programming interface, programming skills are not required for basic installation and administration.

DNN Platform – CMS

DNN Platform formerly known as the DotNetNukeĀ® is an open extensible secure and scalable Content Management System. Includes deep integration with the security, membership, file management and content editing APIs. Features a large community and support area.

Joomla – CMS

Joomla, also a free open source content management system, is extremely customizable and is easy to use with an array of options from templates and styles. It is often used by small and medium business. It also has an on-line community and support forum.

Umbraco – CMS

Umbraco is a fully-featured open source Content Management System with the flexibility to run anything such as brochure sites to complex applications. It’s easy to learn and use and is strong support by both an active community of users. Starter kits let you install a site with great markup and apply a skin with your design.

Magento – eCommerce

Magento is free feature-rich open source e-Commerce web application. It is one of the most powerful open source e-Commerce content management systems available. Developed in PHP, with add on products and plugins. Magento is owned by Ebay Inc which is a global leader in eCommerce. It also features an on-line open community. Typically used by large or fast-growing companies.

OpenCart – eCommerce

OpenCart is a free, easy to use, powerful open source shopping cart system. Built in PHP with add-on products and plugins. Developer community support is also available.

OSCommerce – eCommerce

OSCommerce is one of the oldest open source platforms available. It is a free on-line store management software program. It can be used on any web server that is capable of running PHP and database such as MySQL. Features include premium templates, add-on’s, and an on-line support forum.

nopCommerce – eCommerce

nopCommerce is an open source eCommerce software solution that is ASP.NET based with MS SQL. Easy to use shopping cart solution containing both a catalog front end and an administration tool back-end. It is fully customizable. Ease of use, with no knowledge of HTML to create and edit content.

mojoPortal – cross-platform

mojoPortal is an open source, cross-platform Content Management System written in C# programming language for ASP.NET. It supports plugins and has a built-in forums, blogs, event calendars, photo galleries and an e-commerce feature.

Conclusion:

Website’s that generally have daily, weekly or monthly changes such as an e-Commerce, News or Blog website, then a Content Management System maybe the logical choice. If your website is static and rarely has any changes, then a Content Management System is not for you. It is much easier to find someone who can program in HTML but maybe harder and a lot more expensive to hire a developer to fix the CMS should things go wrong.

It is important that you factor in the differences before deciding if you should consider a CMS system for you website or not. Knowing the difference allows to you plan and avoid the pitfalls that come with website management.