What is a CMS? Exploring Content Management Systems

 

Content Management Systems (to know more about this, check this link:  asp .net cms) are getting a lot of attention lately – and for good reason. Content management systems are used to power many Web sites today. Google CMS or Content Management System and you will find thousands of results.
What is a Content Management System

What is a content management system? A content management system (CMS) is simply a script (or more often a set of scripts) that runs on your web server to manage the content of your site. A CMS can range from a small, very basic script to a large, very complex program that performs more functions than most users will ever need or want.

A CMS may produce a blog-style site or a traditional-style site. Strictly speaking, blog software is not a CMS; however, the lines are blurring on this distinction. Blog software often doubles as a CMS and CMS software often integrates blog functions.

Regardless of the style of site the CMS produces there are several key characteristics of CMS programs. (Note that these characteristics are general distinctions. Some CMS programs may have all of these characteristics while others may not.)
Separation of design and content Dynamic generation of pages Usually uses a database to store content Allow multiple users or authors to contribute to a site Use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor so writers do not need to know HTML Allow users to easily update the site Provide automatic syndication (RSS or Atom) Advantages of Using a CMS
There are many advantages with using a CMS to manage your website. Some of the advantages of using a CMS include:
Updating Content – A CMS makes it easy to update content through a WYSIWYG interface. Changing Layout – A CMS makes it easy to change the layout of the entire site through the use of templates or themes. HTML Not Required – Writers who do not know HTML / XHTML can still easily contribute to the site. Multiple Contributors – Multiple user accounts allow several people to share the work load for managing the site. Menus – Automatic generation of menu links saves time with frequently updated sites. Comments – Integrated commenting or social media functions are included with most CMS programs. Syndication – Automatic RSS feed generation is a standard component of most CMS systems. Planning Ahead – Many CMS programs allow for future publication. The post-date option allows content to be added now but marked for future publication. Disadvantages of Using a CMS
Despite the advantages of using a content management system for your site there are also some disadvantages or drawbacks. Some of these disadvantages include:
Size – Most content management systems are from 2 – 20 MB is size. This can be an issue if you have limited disc space. This is a significant issue if you do not have SSH access to your server (most shared hosting plans do not offer this). FTPing 10 – 20 MB is not a fun project. You can almost guarantee one or more files will be corrupted during the upload process – and good luck figuring out which file is corrupted. Server Load – Content management systems typically generate pages dynamically as they are needed. This means that much more processor time is required for each page to be created than if the web server were to deliver static HTML pages. Security – Obviously some CMS systems have a better track record than others. However, the forums for every CMS system are full of questions about security problems. Some users find their site has been hacked or compromised because of security problems with the CMS system itself; other users find that their site was compromised because of mistakes on their part. Even large, corporate sites have been hacked. Unfortunately, providing users online access to the back-end of the website carries certain security risks and increases the risk of being hacked. Updates – All CMS systems are updated periodically. Some updates are scheduled improvements for new features while others are security updates. This means that you will need to regularly update the back-end to your website. This will involve backing up the data and installing new files. This can quickly become onerous if the updates are frequent and/or if you need to FTP the new files to your server.
Is a CMS the Right Solution
The question of whether a CMS is the right solution for your site can only be answered by you. If your site is small and does not need to be changed too often you are probably best using a static site. The static site is easier to understand and troubleshoot. A static site will also consume considerably less disc space, server time and bandwidth. However, if your site needs to be updated frequently, will contain many articles, or needs to be updated by several people then a CMS will probably be your best option.

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