What does CMS enable you to do?
What should be a standard capability of every “ordinary” editing system and what features are “luxury” extras? The following overview of basic and advanced functions can help you choose a system.
A universal editing or publication system ideal for all situations does not exist, and so you should choose a system according to the needs of your project. A corporate web portal in several languages will not require the same system as a “who we are, what we do and where you can find us“ website of a small company or an extensive web community. Nevertheless, in this article I will name the functions that a Content Management System (CMS) cannot do without, and other functions that allow you to do more:
A “basic” CMS system should allow you to
- manage your website from anywhere;
- create a page;
- add content to it (formatted text, links and tables);
- insert images and connect other files;
- edit (make adjustments) to content, with the help of WYSIWYG editor;
- publish a page;
- rename/move/rearrange a page;
- delete or (or cache) a page;
- edit URL pages;
- make adjustments to SEO features (such as description, title and keywords).
With CMS with luxury extras you can
- retain the structure of the pages;
- create a photo gallery;
- edit images (e.g. change their size or rotate them);
- insert videos;
- create boxes/components that can be used in more than one place;
- ensure reference integrity;
- edit style (the layout and appearance of features);
- create and edit layouts and templates;
- carry out content versioning;
- manage workflows;
- set times for content publication and deletion easily create lists of pages (menu, navigation menu),
- initiate and moderate discussions;
- manage users, rights, groups and roles;
- create and manage several language versions;
- create and manage several websites;
- create and edit forms.
Of course, there are many other functions used in enterprise solutions (back-ups, synchronisation, analytical tools for marketing and similar features), but these are beyond the scope of this article.
Important “hidden qualities” include:
When choosing your CMS, bear in mind what it can actually do for your project. You should also check whether CMS can handle a function you naturally regard as basic. The above list can only help to make sure that you do not overlook anything.