Content management is crucial for keeping costs down in maintaining sites
Nowadays, content management is crucial for keeping costs down in maintaining sites and for keeping your site up-to-date in an easy manner. Keeping a high-volume web site up-to-date using low cost methods takes more than just a fancy HTML editor. It’s necessary to have complete support for reusable components, including plug-in support, easy administration of user groups and roles, and easy administration of the content on the site. These are only a few of the issues that a modern content management tool must handle smoothly.
First, we’ll go through some of the basics of content management, since you need to know quite a lot of definitions to understand content management environments. The primary focus for the first content management tools was to manage content. The first versions kept data in simple databases, and the editor was often a simple ASP (Active Server Pages) page with fixed fields for the title, introduction, and body text.
The area where content is displayed on a page is often called a placeholder or a content component. A placeholder can hold any kind of information. The most common kind of placeholder today is the kind that contains formatted HTML—transformed from XML. But, as you will see later, it can also contain charts, images, or even content retrieved from other web sites. There can be x number of placeholders on a page. Objects of a specific type are placed in a content component. These objects can, for instance, be of a particular type, say an article, and contain HTML code. Normally, you have flow layout of the objects in a placeholder, which means that they are added one after the other to the placeholder.
Content management is all about effectively collecting, managing, and making information available in targeted publications. Information is created or acquired, and then put into a master format (like XML). This information is then segmented into chunks, that is, content components or placeholders. Content components serve as metadata containers for the content that make it easier to organize, store, and retrieve the information. The content is then managed in a repository stored in a database and/or in files on the hard disk. To make the content available for the end user, the content management system (CMS) pushes it to target publications such as web sites, web services, e-mails, or newsletters. A good content management system helps organize and manage the publishing process. General reasons behind the need for content management tools are as follows:
- There is too much information to process manually.
- Many publications need to be created from the same source.
- Information is changing too quickly to be handled manually.
- Content and design need to be separated to be able to update the look and feel of the site without rewriting the content.