Value of Using a CMS

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

In my multimedia online writing class, we’ve been learning about content management systems and the value of knowing how to operate one. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually an easy way to save a lot of time and money. In short, a CMS is a template that web sites use to input content that helps organize the layout of the site.

People use content management systems all the time without even realizing it. Have you ever updated your status on Facebook? If so, you’ve used Facebook’s CMS to add content to a web page.

In class, we experimented with WordPress’s CMS by adding headlines, summaries, categories and tags to our posts. The CMS interprets what each area of the web site should look like depending on where each set of data is entered. For example, if all headlines are supposed to be bold and located at the top of the page, the CMS will bold all content that is put in the “Headline” spot and put it where it belongs.

After working with WordPress’s CMS, I realized that I’ve been using a similar program for the last two years. I work in event planning, and the database I use to update event details is much like a content management system. Certain details go in specific spots in the template, depending on how I want them to appear on the event order. Althought it’s not updated to the Internet, the concept is similar — enter information in a certain way to make it easy to read and understand for the consumer.

A content management system would be valuable for any company with a web site.  It makes updating content quick and easy — anybody can do it. Without CMS, companies would need to hire an IT staff or computer programmers to change the HTML code every time something needed to be changed. It would be difficult to keep content updated in a timely fashion, which is crucial when readers are looking for the latest news online.

There are many different types of content management systems. If you’re looking to develop your own, I suggest reading Clay Schossow’s Eight Very Important Content Management System Features to ensure that your CMS will be a good fit for your company.

Using a CMS is a skill. When it comes to preparing for the job market, any skill job seekers can use to market themselves is valuable, especially when it involves using the Internet. That being said, I’m glad that we had the opportunity to add this tool to our skill set so that we can be better prepared for the future.

Have you been using a CMS system without realizing it? Do you think this is a valuable skill to have?

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Comments
  1. Ellen Mrja says:

    I believe you understand the importance of having some skill at working with CMS’s – and I’m glad you’ve already been doing so at your other position. Thanks for the two great links, as well. What a good writer you are. You end the blog posting by asking questions and that’s a wonderful way to start conversations online. -10-

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