What is a Content Management System (CMS)

CMS Chart

A Content Management System (CMS) is a computer application that allows one to Create, Manage, Measure, Deliver, Develop, Optimize, Extend and Modify information or data. Content management systems are used to organize and facilitate collaboration for content creation. Users of CMS software are separated into 5 primaries groups or categories:

Creator – responsible for creating and editing content.
Editor – responsible for fine-tuning the content message and style of delivery.
Publisher – responsible for releasing the content for use.
Administrator – responsible for managing access permissions to folders and files.
Guest / End User – the person who reads the content after it is published or shared.

UXO Design and CMS Software

As stated above, CMS software is designed to make it easy to: Create, Manage, Measure, Deliver, Develop, Optimize, Extend and Modify information or data. Some CMS features that improve user experience (UX), include:

– Create content through an easy-to-use WYSIWYG website editor.
– Manage user access and permissions.
– Measure user traffic to the site through data gathering and reports.
– Deliver content to users.
– Develop tools to improve user interaction and experience, through polls, surveys, etc.
– Optimize content for search engines through proper software coding, automated rss syndication, etc.
– Extend functionality through modules or plugins.
– Modify content or software through editing tools.

CMS Software Tools Improve User Experience (UX) and User Interaction

Great CMS software is designed to improve the UXO value of a website through the following:

– Auto Reply
– Bookmarking / Sharing
– Categorizing
– Comments
– Forms
– Forums / Message Boards
– Mobile Device Friendly
– Navigation
– Newsletters
– Payments
– Permissions Management
– Photo Gallery
– Podcasting
– Polls
– Ratings
– Related Products / Services
– Reviews
– RSS
– Sorting / Searching
– Surveys
– Tests / Quizzes
– Upselling
– Videos / Images

SEO and CMS Software

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the implementation of strategies that improve rankings and visibility in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Good user experience optimization (UXO) promotes good SEO and vice-versa. Great CMS software is designed to improve the SEO value of a website through the following:

– Adaptive / Responsive Design
– Content Development
– Good Navigation Structure
– Image and Video Integration
– Load Speed
– Page Caching
– Page Comments
– Page URL Structure
– Rich Snippet Integration
– RSS Integration
– Search Engine Pinging
– Social Media Integration
– Statistics / Reporting
– Website / Page Description Meta-tag
– Website / Page Title Meta-tag

Examples of Content Management System Applications

Open Source CMS Software

Open-source software (OSS) is a free or inexpensive computer software with its source code made available for anyone to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone for any purpose. Open source CMS software can be developed using a variety of programming languages, including: ASP.Net, ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), Java, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails.

See Computer Programming Languages for Website Applications.

The following are open-source Content Management Systems with active support communities that offer a variety of benefits. Some would be better fits that others depending on a variety of factors. The list is organized by programming language.

ASP.Net / C# CMS
DotNetNuke Software, mojoPortal, Orchard Project, Rainbow Portal, Umbraco CMS

ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML)
Mura CMS

Java CMS
Alfresco CMS, Ametys CMS, Apache Lenya, Crafter CMS, dotCMS, Exo Platform, Hippo CMS, InfoGlue CMS, Liferay CMS, Magnolia CMS, Nuxeo CMS, OpenCms

Perl CMS
Movable Type, WebAPP, WebGUI

PHP CMS
CMS Made Simple, Contao CMS, Cotonti CMS, Drupal CMS, Elefant CMS, Elxis CMS, Joomla! CMS, Kajona CMS, MODX CMS, Moodle CMS, pimcore CMS, PyroCMS, Wolf CMS, WordPress CMS

Python CMS
Django CMS, Plone CMS

Ruby / Ruby on Rails CMS
Refinery CMS