What is a CMS – The Basics
CMS stands for Content Management System, but it is also referred to as a WCM (Web Content Management) or WCMS (Web Content Management System). A CMS is used to manage all the content on your website. This includes, webpages, images, whitepapers, videos, and any other assets that you would want to put on your site.
Think of a CMS as a filing system. Every asset and page is tagged and filed into a specific directory, making it easy to find what you are looking for. For example, images and assets are located in a shared repository, while pages are found in another location. Assets can also be tagged, for example, by asset type and by product.
While a CMS is a great tool for organizing your website, it is also a great tool for managing your website. Gone are the days where a website is solely managed by developers. Content Management Systems offer the ability for non-technical personnel to also manage the website, and if large enough, even have a dedicated role such as a content manager to own the website content. Code is now separate from the display, sheltering content providers from the overwhelming fear of <html>.
A CMS is designed in such a way that the developers can create a “shell” of the website, leaving the content and design to everyone else. Developers now create templates which non-technical teams can use to create pages.
Within the templates are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors so content providers can add, create and edit the content, just as they would do in Microsoft Word. Content editing is made easy with inline editing and drag and drop features to change layouts on the fly. There are even tools within the CMS to help improve visibility in search engines. Lastly, to truly ease any fear of publishing, controls are in place to help content managers ensure the right content is published, with version control and approval workflows.
More than just Content Management
Content Management Systems are so much more than a way to organize and manage website content. Now that content management is made easy, content management systems have evolved to become a platform from which you can manage the overall experience of your website.
How do they do this? With integrated experience management tools, marketers not only provide the content, but are now able to truly understand how their visitors are interacting with their site. With capabilities such as A/B testing, marketers can test out such things as which messages resonate more, which layouts or calls to action lead to higher conversions and more. Integrated analytics takes traditional web analytics to the next level by connecting the website behavior to individual contacts, making 1:1 personalization more tangible than ever. With these tools integrated within a CMS, marketers can do what they do best… drive growth.