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Overview of web content management systems

Overview of Web Content Management Systems

What are Content Management Systems (CMS) / Backend Systems?
Although Content Management Systems may vary slightly among industry definitions, a common usage for a Content Management System is to add new content (information, articles, photos, music) to a website. Dependent upon the complexity of the System, a CMS may additionally offer web page content removal and modification functionality. The true benefit of using such technology for a small to medium sized business owner is reduced maintenance time (as a well designed system should make adding content extremely easy) and the elimination of a web designer for basic site maintenance. Due to the empowerment offered by Content Management Systems to average computer users, the popularity of these systems are beginning to grow. Some industries in which Content Management Systems can prove to be very helpful are the Automotive, Information, Real Estate, and Retail industries. Of the industries mentioned, the experiences with my company Simplesoft Solutions, has lead me to work closely with both Automotive and Real Estate businesses in providing CMS-based value added web solutions. Looking first at the automotive industry, a CMS can prove to be very helpful in inventory maintenance. Using a CMS, a car dealer may access a web based form to add, modify and delete inventory. When designed properly, the complexity of the system, in this particular case, the computer languages, HTML, Javascript, VBScript and SQL are all offloaded from the responsibility of the user to the system’s program. Now, rather than requiring knowledge of all the previously mentioned programming languages, a user with basic computer knowledge may update the dealership’s online inventory by inputting data descriptive of the car. Such data as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the year the car was manufactured, the manufacturer of the car can be inputted into the system and a completely functional webpage can be created using this data all in a matter of minutes. No knowledge of programming is required for the end user, and more importantly, there is no time wasted waiting for a web designer to modify the automotive inventory. The second industry in which I have found Content Management Systems to be particularly useful to clients is the real estate industry. Due to frequent turnover and regular additions to a realtor’s portfolio of properties; realtors with personal websites often find themselves interacting with web designers on a day by day basis. For realtors, a Content Management System can offer a quick and effective solution to maintaining an online portfolio of properties. For instance, a custom template may be created for the layout of each listing. Using a CMS in conjunction with this template, a realtor may add properties to their personal website’s properties section by simply entering such data as the MLS, Address and Photographs into the system. The result may be a clean and effective property listing in the user’s portfolio, all in a matter of minutes.
What are the Benefits of a CMS? Clearly the benefits of a CMS are the reduced costs of maintenance for the business owner, the reduce time associated with site updates and most importantly, the empowerment of the business owner to control their website.
What are the Costs of a CMS? Content Management Systems may not be effective for every industry. Industry websites which offer a consistent presentation of information are perfect candidates for a CMS. However, industry websites with greater diversity in information presentation, find Content Management System’s much less practical. For instance, a CMS can offer great help to a sneaker business operating in the online retail (e-tail) sector, as the content of a sneaker store’s inventory is rather consistent; all sneaker pages should list the sneaker’s available sizes, colors, brand, and images. On the other hand a CMS is not as helpful to a Nutrition Consultant’s testimonial section which displays a diversity of weight loss cases.
For further information on web design and development issues, please visit Simplesoft Solutions at www.simplesoftsolutions.com
About the Author
Anthony Santora is an Information Technology enthusiast. He currently has a Masters of Science in Information Systems from the Stevens Institutes of Technology and is the founder of Simplesoft Solutions (www.simplesoftsolutions.com ), a web design and web development company located in New Jersey.

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