What do I need to know about ‘CMS’?

So you want to know what CMS means, well it stands for a content management system.  A CMS or ‘content management system’ is exactly what it sounds like: a system for managing content! They have become essential marketing tools in recent years. Nowadays, virtually every business has some kind of presence online. In order to appeal to web users, satisfy SEO requirements and boost awareness, optimizing your web content is absolutely essential.

CMS systems like WordPress or Joomla are typically web-based and come with a variety of features designed to help streamline the content management process:

  • Tools for posting, editing, archiving and sharing content  
  • Multiple permission levels (Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber, etc.) for managing submissions, data, coding, structure and so on
  • Plugins for adding additional functions (such as SEO management, caching pages, increasing loading speed, improving security, filtering comments, etc.)
  • Online calendars and scheduling
  • Galleries for images, videos, polls and advertisements to pages
  • Search and indexing functions to help users find content based on tags, publication dates, authors and so on
  • Revision features which allow managers to track when users have made changes to specific posts
  • Data-tracking functions for providing users with customized experiences (such as one-to-one marketing)
  • Integrated support for users and employees
  • Forums and discussion boards
  • Ready-made and customizable templates to help with publishing
  • Multi-language support

CMS systems are designed to make it easy to manage content online. A large part of this relates to convenience. By having multiple users on the same system, it is simple to transfer documents, collaborate on articles and track employee usage data.

This is also related to ‘enterprise content management (ECM)’ and ‘web content management (WCM)’. ECM and WCM systems have a lot in common. For example, each will feature a ‘content management application (CMA)’ (a graphical user interface (GUI) designed to allow users to create, remove and modify web content regardless of whether they are familiar with coding languages like HTML). They will also feature a ‘content delivery application (CDA)’, a component designed to enable back-end service management for the sake of supporting content management and delivery. In other words, they are both important tools for content marketers.

In order to choose the right CMS for your own purposes, it will be important to know the characteristics of your audience. For example, depending on the geographic distribution of your users, you may require multi-language or 24/7 support. Similarly, if you are planning to have a large number of employees helping to manage your CMS, you may need to make sure that your chosen system can assign different levels of seniority. Finally, keep in mind how technically minded you and your staff is; if necessary, you can always invest in a package that will provide you with ongoing technical support.

Read more about the best-known marketing acronyms.