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Managing Web Content with a Content Management System

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Okay, you've got a great, efficient web site - pat yourself on the back. But don't get complacent, because someone will inevitably want to change it! With a content management solution, changing the format or the content can be relatively painless, as Shawn Shell explains in this article.
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This document is targeted at developers and business users alike who want to understand what content management is—and to a certain extent, what it isn't—and how it can be used. By the time you finish reading this article, you should know what content management is (at a high level), the basic principles behind it, a little about workflow and how it fits with content management, some reasons to implement a solution, and some of the players in the space. This document doesn't get into the specifics of products and/or the actual implementation thereof.


As we all know, the web is full of information. This information can be helpful and provide a good research source for everything from investment information (such as Fool.com) to how to build a sand castle (such as Sand Castle Central). However, one pervasive problem on the web is that information contained within sites tends to become outdated quickly; the content become old, stale and, in short, useless.

Almost everyone will agree that there's a lot more to publishing on the web than basic HTML skills. Web surfers are looking not only for good content, but excellent design, ease of use, and good load times (how long it takes for a web page to appear on the client's machine). Unfortunately, few web developers have all of the skills necessary to deliver a quality site that meets all of these criteria. Further, non-developers often contribute the content of the site. Herein lies the problem: How does a site maintain both a good appearance and up-to-date/compelling content, without burdening one particular group of people with complete management of the site (design through content)? The answer: implement a content management solution.

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