Content management systems

A CMS is a piece of software that manages website development. It can keep track of all changes to a website. It will record who changed what, and when, and can allow for notes to be added. A writer can create a new page (with standard navigation bars and images in the same location on each page) and submit it, without using HTML software. An editor can receive all the proposed changes, and OK them, or send them back to the writer to be corrected. If you are working in an organization that’s changing its website more than once a day, with several people working on it, using a CMS can bypass a lot of annoying problems, and save a lot of time.

This web (www.andnepal.org.np) is based on CMS. It is developed in PHP. It has its own framework for CMS which is developed by Mr. Rajendra Man Banepali (me) just recently. It has new concept of CMS technology that is standard in WEB 2.0. There are Component, Module, Templates and Business Layer which form complete AND-Nepal web site. It is complete of CMS for AND-Nepal.

That comes at a cost, of course: a possible cost in money, and a big cost in time – for everybody to learn how to use the system. The up-front cost of content management systems ranges from zero to a million dollars or more. But if your organization is a large one, perhaps with hundreds of web developers (such as a university) the cost of the software is a small component of the total cost of the system.

There are hundreds of CMS to choose from – partly because it’s not very difficult to write one. Partly because of this range of choices, what is difficult is to find a system that suits the organization well. Though a CMS is meant to make life easier, in several organizations we’ve worked with, the adoption of a CMS seems to have had the opposite effect – by creating new rigidities that need their own work-arounds. Sometimes, a huge amount of effort in a CMS seems to have gone into devising ingenious ways of stopping people from doing things that they want to do. When this happens, a CMS can end up wasting more money (in the form of staff time) than it saves. And because IT people are defensive about systems they’ve spent a lot of time developing, and situations are constantly changing, it’s very hard to be sure that a CMS has improved efficiency.

1. How content management systems work

A typical CMS works like this:

1. A professional web developer designs a web page format – typically with a logo at the top, and standard navigation options across the top, down the left hand side, and/or at the foot of the page.

2. This new format is used to create a master template.

3. All the web developers in the organization get to use special software that lets them add text and images to web pages, automatically using the master template.

4. Each completed page is submitted to an editor, who might make changes or send it back to the writer for revision. When the page is OK, the editor clicks an on-screen PUBLISH button and uploads the page to the web server, so that the world can read it.

5. Each page is usually saved on a text database. Most web pages have file names that end in .htm (usually implying Microsoft origin) or .html (usually implying Unix), but sometimes you will see pages ending in other file extensions, such as .php or .cfm or .asp. These are often generated by content management systems. However, some CMSs will generate plain .html pages, which are more easily found by search engines.

6. The CMS also generates indexes, showing what files have been changed when, who updated which file, and so on.

The more elaborate CMSs perform a lot more functions (such as archives, built-in search engines, permission control, and workflow management), but the above ones are basic.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s