What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
Simply put, a content management system uses templates, web-based tools and a database to create and manage the web pages on a site. It allows a business to manage a diverse web presence while maintaining a common look and feel and ensuring maximum site efficiency. Due to the unique needs of individual businesses, responsibility for site maintenance falls to many individuals in different locations and with varying skills who need controlled access to their sites to update specific information. Currently, most client sites hosted on rocketportals.com (our dedicated web server) have the functionality to easily update content without requiring changes by a person familiar with HTML and/or graphic design.
A content management system facilitates ongoing site management by separating content creation/updating from the design and technology associated with maintaining an online presence. By empowering those who create the content to easily update it, the publication process is streamlined and the maintenance workload of an organization’s staff is drastically reduced. From WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) input areas similar to Microsoft Word, to function-rich modules, to auto-checking for broken links, a solid CMS can mean the difference between old content and relevant content for your end users.
What are the benefits of using a CMS?
Speed and ease of content updates
Keeping information current, relevant and consistent can take hours when there is no central mechanism for making changes. Changing formats requires going back to every page and editing. Updating content requires touching every page where that piece of static content resides (or risk having old content on some sites and updated content on others). It also involves a great deal of communication between businesses and their web provider as each piece of content is updated.
By putting content into a CMS, it becomes possible to make site-wide (global) changes because information is stored in one central location, yet able to be displayed on any number of pages.
With a CMS, there is a tremendous advantage in the time it takes to react to breaking news or disseminate information via the web. Information can be written, edited and published in a matter of minutes without having to wait for an available web master or programming team.
Content stays timely
Authorized staff can specify dates and times for the content to go live and be archived or removed. This means that site content can be kept fresh and relevant and be distributed in a variety of areas while residing in one central location.
With a CMS, it becomes very difficult for content to be on the site accidentally or incorrectly. Any updates must pass through creation, editing and one or more predefined signoff steps before the system will publish it. The resulting audit trail provides accountability for each action.
Automatic link maintenance
If content is removed or archived, the CMS will ensure that the remaining content is still structurally consistent, without leaving orphaned links to the deleted asset. In other words, sites within the CMS will not have any broken links – they will be automatically updated as content is moved or deleted. (Note: Links to external sites -- ie: www.cnn.com -- will need to be manually checked on a regular basis to ensure their integrity.)
A CMS allows for extensive version control. This means that authorized staff know what content is supposed to be live today, what is sitting ready to go live next week, and what is being prepared for the week after, and keep them separate on a piece-by-piece basis. It also means that one version of a news story can be live while one is being written to update it in an hour's time, and one incorporating the press release which is embargoed until later.
Should material inadvertently be approved to “go live” and need to come down, you still have the older version to available to publish ASAP.
Work flow and staffing
Another feature of CMS is that different types of work can be separated and done by the people best at them. This feature is known as distributed authorship and is a key component of the CMS. Web designers can make the site attractive, database programmers can handle the linking and logic, and editors and writers can handle the content. This allows for a more professional web site, as one person can’t be expected to excel at design, programming, writing and editing a site.
In addition, the CMS is developed for the non-technical person to be able to maintain a professional web site. The content area is similar to Microsoft Word, so any person experienced with document preparation will be able to maintain the content on the web site.
How will using Rocket Portals CMS benefit my business?
Since the content management system is implemented on the http://rocketportals.com server and sites hosted on that server will be the first to benefit from our CMS. Rocket Portals and Focus Media Concepts, Inc. will work closely with you to create or recreate web sites within the DNN / CMS framework using licensed modules to customize your web site experience to meet your specific needs. Our designers are experienced in creating custom designs and skins for creative, effective web sites that feature a level of functionality previously unavailable to most businesses. The DNN / CMS platform also shortens the delivery time on most web sites due to the fact that we can use existing modules for site functionality instead of writing complex (and expensive) custom code. In addition, FMC’s staff will train end-users on the CMS and provide account management support throughout the site development cycle. This process will allow individual businesses to have more control over their web presence and will allow for a more efficient use of dedicated web resources. As always, FMC will continue to provide technical support after your web site is launched.
For more information on using the CMS or developing web sites within the rocketportals.com server, please contact Allen Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 865.971.6891.