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Content Management Systems – Chaos into Order

September 5, 2010 | Comments Off on Content Management Systems – Chaos into Order


By Kenneth Middleton

Are you drowning in the stormy seas of content chaos?

It’s a position most web based business owners dread. Some guy has just placed an order for one of the most obscure and most expensive products in your line. And he’s done it based on a two year old price. A two year old price on a page that should have been updated, well, two years ago. So what do you do, push the E&OE angle and walk away with your wallet unscathed, your reputation wrecked and a thick layer of egg on your face? Or do you soak up a couple of thousand dollars in losses and chalk it up to the learning curve?

This type of sad situation happens all too often and is made more tragic by the fact that it doesn’t need to happen at all. Fact is administering a large, dynamic business site or even worse, several sites, is no easy task and the sort of problem described above can easily creep in if the situation gets on top of you. So what do you do? Maul your payroll burden and bottom line by hiring someone to take care of your site content or just kiss you family life goodbye and work around the clock to do it yourself?

Life raft to the left, Popeye.

The answer is neither because amidst the icy waters of the administrative tempest there is a welcome harbour in the storm. A content management system (CMS) can represent a life line for website owners desperate to create and maintain order in their web content without having to incur the expense of additional staff.

The CMS packages available today range in complexity and functionality from small database management examples to larger more complete applications that can fulfil many different content management functions. Although most differ in one or more areas most share the following common features.

• Decentralizing and streamlining the authoring of new content.
• Improving on site navigation.
• Preventing duplication of content.
• Boosting security online.
• Ensuring consistency.
• Streamlining workflow.
• Boosting growth potential.

OK, so how do I steer this thing?

Most examples of content management systems are not particularly intrusive considering their power and functionality. Full autonomy is maintained by the users at all stages of the process and all the applications do is facilitate easy control. The production of new content is carried out via an authoring facility which not only streamlines the process but also archives and keeps track of both completed work and flags for upcoming updates. Because of the ease of use of CMS applications collaboration across large organisations is made easy as is input integration in multiple site scenarios.

Busy site owners who are mired down by the content mill-stone owe it to themselves and their businesses to check out a content management system as soon as possible before the waves swamp the boat completely.