CMS, its Features and Types With Comparison
What is a CMS?
CMS means Content Management System. It is used to manage and maintain the content of a website i.e. it enables a web administrator or a web author to create, delete, organize and edit web pages.
A CMS includes the functionalities of:
a) Content Creation:
- Getting content from FTP or other tools
- Aggregating information from RSS Feeds
- Offering an easy-to-use editor like WYSIWYG
- Templates and Tags system
b) Content Management
- Workflow for authors, editors and administrators
- Localized information, translation services
- Personalized information based on user habits
c) Content Delivery
- As a website
- On PDA or phones
- Through RSS Syndication
- Web services
- Accessibility issues should be addressed for the disabled.
Features of a CMS may include one or more of:
- Photo/Video Gallery
- Events Calendar
- Contact Form
- Shopping cart (including payment gateways)
- Full Text Search
CMS are either open source or proprietary.
Open source CMS – Joomla, Drupal, WordPress
Proprietary CMS ($$$$) – Vignette Web CMS, Autonomy Interwoven TeamSite
Open Source CMS:
Although open source CMS has the greatest advantage of being FREE and OPEN source, the lack of support and uncertainty makes corporate companies go for proprietary CMS so that they might customize the CMS to their requirements and maintain it for a long term. Open source CMS have been questioned for their security issues and support levels.
Joomla is one of the most popular open source CMS currently. It works on PHP/Apache/MySQL. It has the greatest open source community support. It is extremely easy to implement, learn and use and is quite stable. It has the maximum number of features either included in the initial package or as community add-ons, mostly free.
Drupal is also another popular open source CMS that works on PHP/Apache/MySQL. It has a huge open source community. Drupal is preferred over Joomla, more by web developers than by web designers. Drupal is much more customizable than Joomla. So if you plan to start small and scale up and have the programming resources, Drupal may be a better choice although the learning curve is quite steep. It has several add-on modules to support every kind of enterprise level websites.
WordPress started off as a blog tool, but is now gaining popularity as a complete CMS with add-on features installable from the open source community. Its advantages include the simple setup procedure and extreme ease of use. Although advanced features like groupware, profiling, project tracking are not available, it might be a good choice for non-programmers for developing simple websites.
With Proprietary CMS, the initial cost and ongoing maintenance costs play the biggest role. When your website features grow, the add-ons may or may not be available, and will cost extra.
Vignette Web CMS is a Java based program that runs on DB2 but also supports Oracle. Vignette has highly efficient Content Aggregation and Delivery functions and offers a customizable workflow interface. It is used for many corporate websites, news sites etc. It also offers complex personalization and localization capabilities. It is one of the most popular and expensive CMS. It costs about US$ 200,000, but with new subscription models, you can start with $9,000 per month with a one-year commitment.
Interwoven Teamsite is also a Java based CMS. It is very easy to use and offers most CMS features either inbuilt or as a free Add-on, although for some features like advertising, management may cost some extra. It starts from $63000, but do contact the sales team for pricing details.