What is a CMS?

what is a cms

A CMS is a set of software that may help you quickly and easily update the contents of your website.

cms concept

Briefly speaking, if your website has a CMS, you may update the web site contents easily, but does not need to know any technical details. You may update text, picture, video or even any kind of contents you can find on over the internet.

A CMS provides a user-friendly content edit interface, so that you can edit the content in a similar way as editing Office document. So it's easy to learn.

A CMS may significantly lower the web site maintenance cost and improve the work efficiency of your web editorial team.


Separating content with view

separating content with view

The core value of a CMS is content, not the visualization of the content. A CMS can be thought as a centralized content repository and the content stored in the repository can be visualized in different ways for different purposes. For example, the same set of contents in the repository may have different look & feel in computer browser, iphone, ipad, android and other devices.

This is called "separating content with view".

Obviously, by separating content with view, duplicated contents can be avoided, thus contents can be updated more efficiently. 


Content structure and multi-channels

content structure and multi-channels

In order to implement separating content with view, the content itself must be structured. In other words, the content stored in CMS shall be well-formatted. For example, for an article in CMS, its title, introduction, image, body and other attributes shall be stored separately. With the content structure, we can fetch required attributes for different visualization purposes. Take mobile phone as an example, since the display area is limited, we might need fetch introduction of an article for display, while in a computer browser, the body shall be used instead.

One advantage of content structure is contents can be exported to multiple channels. For example, we can export contents to a format that can be understood by a 3rd party software or to printing file format.