In order for today’s content professional to organize multiple platforms for content and work efficiently throughout the production process, a content management system is a necessary tool. So what actually is a content management system, or CMS? For starters, it’s a major category of content technology.
TechTarget defines CMS as this:
A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a website. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a website without needing the expertise of a webmaster. The CDA element uses and compiles that information to update the website. The features of a CMS system vary, but most include web-based publishing, format management, revision control, and indexing, search, and retrieval.
Forrester calls WCM the backbone of your digital experience, and that analogy is spot on. CMSs have a supremely important role within the customer journey by helping users track, organize, and control content. A 2015 survey by Software Advice found that “A majority of respondents rate their CMS as ‘very important’ in overcoming content-related business challenges, such as distributing documents and tracking changes.” While there are many CMS options out there, WordPress has nearly a 60% share of the global CMS market. As of January 2017, Built With ranks the top 10 CMS technologies as:
Google Search Appliance
Adobe Experience Manager
Anyone working in the digital space knows how important a CMS is to organize the production process. In simple terms, we like to think of CMS as any platform or tool that implements the production of content within an overall content strategy. But, before you think there’s a one-size-fits all solution when it comes to CMS, there are trends to consider and different platforms that work for different people and organizations. Picking the right CMS software for you and your company requires careful consideration.
The complex reality of users’ omnichannel experiences can also be served by a web content management system. Consumers don’t care if they make a purchase or inquiry through a company website, social media channel, or other touchpoint; their experience is coherent to them, regardless of what platforms they interact with the company on.
CMS also enables companies to serve up more personalized content, and this will continue to be a key differentiator between content management systems and the success of organizations. Johnson & Johnson CMO Alison Lewis shares, “Getting the right message to the right person at the right time has never been easier, driven by digital and data. Content needs are exploding as we move to a world of precision marketing and 24/7 engagement.” While some CMSs provide personalization capabilities out of the box, others integrate a third-party cloud service. Regardless, it has never been easier to deliver personalized content.
The projected growth of the CMS industry appears limitless, and it’s projected to almost double in the next five years. With many companies publishing content on a regular basis and setting up a strong system to manage assets–including images, text, graphics, and audio, help search, customization, and user interaction–CMS is a reality of the digital age. For most content professionals, the sooner you can integrate CMS within your company and learn its functions and capabilities, the better.
This video helps breakdown the web content management technology available, and emphasizes the importance of having an expert in-house on the platform you select.
That was the message Ezra Klein articulated about his decision to leave The Washington Post for Vox Media. The custom-built CMS played into his decision, and The New York Times further explains:
“It was, in essence, about content management systems, Mr. Klein said. ‘We were badly held back, not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,’ he said of daily newspapers … While The Post is an excellent publication, he said, he felt that the conventions of newspaper print journalism in general, with its commitment to incremental daily coverage, were reflected in publishing systems, which need first and foremost to meet the needs of printing a daily paper. And he wanted to create something entirely new, which is why he and two Post colleagues ended up at Vox Media, a rising digital empire that includes sites like SB Nation and The Verge. Vox, he said, had the tools he was seeking.”
Can a CMS make or break a business’ success? In a word … yes. One thing we know for certain in the context of content and technology is that change is constant. But change can be a good thing with emerging technology transforming the basic CMS functions into a content lover’s dream with easy-to-use platforms and advanced publishing capabilities. The Next Web provides insight on when to change your CMS here. The right CMS for your content needs can help save you time, money, and most of all frustration throughout the entire content process. CMS allows you to build sites, publish content, archive, edit inventory, view reports and products and is essential for modern content professionals, no matter their industry.
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