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CMS Features

The large number of vendors in the content management space results in a dizzying array of features. A summary of common content management features includes the following:

  • User Management— Some systems assign roles to specify the set of permissions and features a user can access by creating classes and groups of users.

  • Templates— These are used in different ways. Page templates allow users a choice when creating new pages. Templates may define content objects in a system. Template editors specify content objects in a system or allow users to create and edit the templates to suit their purposes.

  • WYSIWYG Editor— This allows a user to edit the content (or Web pages) with an editor that shows exactly what the final Web page will look like. It uses an old printing term, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). This is helpful when the design and formatting of a page is a critical element.

  • Version Control— This feature keeps previous versions of a page to enable users to revert back to them if necessary. Systems may also highlight changes between file versions. Most systems will also ensure that only one user at a time can access a file.

  • Workflow— This defines the way content is approved and published in a system. Systems that support complex workflow will have a workflow editor responsible for defining or changing the flow as necessary.

  • Scheduling— This allows users to schedule when content will be published. Some systems allow scheduled content to expire and revert back to original content.

  • Reporting/Audits— This tracks information on users, content, publishing, and a variety of other system activities.

  • Statistics— Page hits, browsers used, and operating systems will be reported in a Web site activity log. These are accessible through the CMS.

  • Site Management— These are the basic functions to maintain a Web site (cut, copy, delete, rename, upload, download, search, and replace content).


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