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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:

  • Security
  • Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Flexibility

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.

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