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"cms" category

What's a Content Management System?

9th December 2011
Categories: basics, cms

A content management system (CMS) is a way of adding pages to your website without editing HTML.

CMS's have several advantages over HTML editors such as Dreamweaver:

- They allow the separation of design and content. When you have designed your website, you don't want content authors to make constant design changes. Design should come about through a completely different (and well thought out) process.

- They (typically) organise the navigation for you. As a very simple example, when you add a news item to your website, it should exist as a link on the home page , and as a story page.

- They allow your content to exist in more than one place. For instance a product could exist in more than one category page without you having to re-type the details, or your testimonials could appear on every page of the website without any extra work.

One of the simplest CMSs, but a reliable and well-supported one, is Wordpress. Wordpress has become almost synonymous with blogging, despite some search engine compatibility flaws such as allowing search engines to index duplicate content, and the limit of one blog per site. 

Joomla, Drupal, and Concrete5 are also well known CMSs, but there are hundreds of CMSs on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Oxford Web's CMS, Oxebiz, is feature rich, in that it combines CMS, blogging, and customer relationship management in one control panel, and uses industry standard features such as the TinyMCE rich text editor.

As a developer, whichever CMS you choose, it takes time to get to know its quirks and the best methods of adding functionality, but once you have done that, you have a very powerful tool not just for editing websites but also for creating them, as CMSs normally provide a framework for getting up and running with a website, to which you add your header/footer HTML, CSS etc.

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