A Web Content Management System (WCMS) is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages to create and manage website content with relative ease. A robust WCMS provides the foundation for collaboration, offering users the ability to manage content and publish the content on the fly without much technical knowledge.
Most systems use a content repository or a database to store page content, metadata, and other information assets that might be needed by the system, and to to facilitate search engine optimisation. Administration is also done through browser-based interfaces, so it is easy for the users to manage the content as the management of content is via a known interface.
A WCMS allows non-technical users to make changes to a website with little training. The management of content is through an interface which is similar to a Microsoft word application, WCMS typically requires a systems administrator and/or a web developer to set up and add features, but it is primarily a website maintenance tool for non-technical staff.
A web content management system is used to control a dynamic collection of web material, including HTML documents, images, and other forms of media. A WCMS typically has the following features:
Create standard output templates (usually HTML and XML) that can be automatically applied to new and existing content, allowing the appearance of all content to be changed from one central place.
Some WCMS systems support user groups. User groups allow you to control how registered users interact with the site. A page on the site can be restricted to one or more groups. This means an anonymous user (someone not logged on), or a logged on user who is not a member of the group a page is restricted to, will be denied access to the page.
Easily Editable Content
Once content is separated from the visual presentation of a site, it usually becomes much easier and quicker to edit and manipulate. Most WCMS software includes WYSIWYG editing tools allowing non-technical users to create and edit content.
Workflow is the process of creating cycles of sequential and parallel tasks that must be accomplished in the CMS. For example, one or many content creators can submit a story, but it is not published until the copy editor cleans it up and the editor-in-chief approves it.
CMS software may act as a collaboration platform allowing content to be retrieved and worked on by one or many authorized users. Changes can be tracked and authorized for publication or ignored reverting to old versions. Other advanced forms of collaboration allow multiple users to modify (or comment) a page at the same time in a collaboration session.
CMS software may provide a means of collaboratively managing the life cycle of a document from initial creation time, through revisions, publication, archive, and document destruction.
CMS software often assists in content distribution by generating RSS and Atom data feeds to other systems. They may also e-mail users when updates are available as part of the workflow process.
Ability to display content in multiple languages.
Like document management systems, CMS software may allow the process of versioning by which pages are checked in or out of the WCMS, allowing authorized editors to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for content that changes over time and requires updating, but it may be necessary to go back to or reference a previous copy.
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