What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

by Matthieu McClintock

CMS, WCMS, CRM, CCRM, CEP, ERP, the list goes on and on…

So many acronyms that most of us know a brief amount about, if at all, let alone the meaning of those three little letters we hear so often. Today the focus is on an acronym that is a central part of the enterprise software market, CMS, or Content Management System. To the non-technical reader, this term may seem extremely vague. The objective of this article is to clarify what a true CMS product is with the intention of helping guide you past a complex, piecemeal ecosystem of enterprise software offerings to the right CMS solution to suit the needs of your business.

So it’s called a Content Management System, content being the operative word. Let’s start with that, what is content? Technically, the previous sentence is content as content engulfs anything that can possibly be displayed on a web page such as text blocks, images, videos, sliders, people, transactions, products, the list goes on and on. The question is how does a CMS Product manage such a large and diverse array of content and distribute it in a way to meet your business goals?

Traditionally, enterprises have forked out hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars for their online web presence to be built and managed, almost exclusively by third party agencies, developers, and designers with no intricate knowledge of the day-to-day operations of your company. Let’s say you own a chain of restaurants. You hire an agency to build a website for you for $50,000 and it looks great. All seems well. Then your menu changes at certain locations. Your logo changes. You need different landing pages for different restaurant locations. You want to add a blog, social media buttons, and a reservation seating app to your site. Perhaps you want to switch out some images or update your staff page.

Unfortunately, you already paid for the product you asked for. Everything else is extra. More work, more hours for who you hired and you can add a large expense to your balance sheet. This is where the need for a robust CMS comes in. Before you end up in this predicament, feel free to read our white paper on what to look for when making one of the most important business decisions of the 21st century, selecting the right content management systems for your organization.

Let’s discuss seven critical factors when selecting a content management system for your organization.

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