Content Management Systems (Tools of the Trade)
Content Management Systems (CMS) automate the process of creating, publishing, and updating web site content. They make maintaining and updating the content of a web site easier, giving the content contributors, not just the web team, the means with which to manage their own content. They are usually made up of a front-end editor for inputting content, a back-end system for storing the content, and a template mechanism to get the content onto the web site.
From the Publisher
This book will guide you through the process of arriving at a content management solution, including the background knowledge you need to know, how to go about getting a solution, implementing the solution, and migrating existing content to it.
About the Author
Dave Addey - who has experience in building and implementing we systems, and now runs a CMS consultancy
James Ellis - writer of a CMS article on alistapart.com
Phil Suh - who has experience of building and evaluating CMS. He also co-founded the cms-list (cms-list.org)
David Thiemecke - who was the architect for QuantumCMS, and co-founded Algonquin Studios
Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Four geeks in search of a CMS solution, by Paola DI MAIO
By A Customer
CMS technology (Content Management Systems) is becoming increasingly important, but surprisingly a lot of people still haven't heard about it, or more importantly, the majority is still trying to understand what CMS are all about.
The recently published book Content Management Systems, about 190 pages for eight chapters, is written by four geeks who offer the sharp perspective and the insights gained through hands on involvement, and targets the vast audience of newcomers to the field who are trying to define the most important parameters and schedule priorities for their CMS implementation.
The bottom line of the problem, writes Phil Suh in the first chapter , is that websites are a nightmare to manage unless built with CMS technology.
Interestingly, the second chapter written by James Ellis, addresses the concept of `content as asset', and presents it from a process viewpoint: take stock of what you've got, work out the processes associated to the assets you are trying to manage - basically design the workflow . Here Metadata is labeled as an `enabler' and the reader is reminder that calling someone an `author' is not intended to offend.
Chapter 3 written by James Ellis explains how to handle templates and highlights issues relating to content presentation, while in chapter 4 David Thiemecke
Discusses the various technical implications of online publishing processes.
Dave Addey in chapter 5 and 6 - the latter co-written by Inigo Surguy - weighs the considerations underlying the tough decision: to build or to buy? And in chapter 7 he gives an array of advice on how to setup up an implementation schedule, and related production and testing issues.
In Chapter 8, co-written with Alyson Fielding, he advises on best practices to assist the project manager who needs to migrate content from heteregeneus formats - a vary common instance - into a new, uniform CMS environment.
Overall, the book tackles crucial technical issues that anyone involved in a CMS must face, but the pitch is accessible to most readers interested in the highly complex , and highly fascinating world of CMS
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
A must-read for those involved in web content deployment
By A. Shiell
This is a very comprehensive book which manages to be both technical enough to keep developers happy and yet clear enough to be understood by managers. As a web developer with experience of working on a number of intranet and extranet projects under a variety of managers I would thoroughly recommend this book to all those involved in any aspect of managing a content-driven website or intranet.
A Content Management System, whether it's an actual application or a set of procedures, is absolutely essential for the delivery of a large amount of content in a consistent and structured manner. Once a website or intranet reaches a certain size, the benefit of having a rigid application in place as opposed to relying on people following procedures becomes clear. Every single piece of information on the system is catalogued, it is known who is responsible for it, and it can be easily found. Even when a website is small, adopting a content management system early means that the growth of the site is tightly controlled. Furthermore, there is a clear division between content and presentation, so that they can be changed independently of one another, which is an essential business requirement. And of course, the ultimate benefit of a CMS is that the responsibility for putting new content live and maintaining existing content can be handed over to the business users whom the content is meant to serve, thus freeing up valuable web developers for other projects.
A CMS can be a very complex beast, which must be tailored to the exact requirements of an organisation so that it best serves their needs. Additionally, an organisation must clearly define their needs and be prepared to modify their business procedures around the proposed system. This book goes into detail about how to go about how to help an organisation define their requirements and proposes a number of operating models for them to consider.
The question of whether to buy an off-the-shelf solution and customise it or develop one in house is one which lies at the heart of most systems management decisions - and CMSs are no exception. Which option to go for depends on a number of factors which are unique to each organisation - this book discusses these factors in detail, then goes on to describe all the things to consider when buying or building a CMS.
And that's still not the end of the story! Once the system has been purchased or built, it still needs to be implemented and the existing data needs to be migrated. This is a process that needs to begin long before the system is complete. This book shows how to divide up the responsibilities for migration and implementation, and discusses all the relevant issues.
Take a look at the authors' section, and you will see that this book has been put together by people with a serious amount of experience and expertise in this field. It has been thoroughly well researched and really does cover the entire process of choosing, building and implementing a CMS.
I will stress again, it is a must-read for all those involved in deploying content over the web!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Just what we needed...
By A Customer
As a developer of a sprawling website with thousands of hand-crafted HTML pages, we knew we needed a CMS, but didn't know how to start the process. This book was a perfect read, exactly what we needed.
The first chapter about the foundations of CMS defines the problems with an unmanaged site. The chapter could have been written from interviews with our organization--they hit the nail on the head.
The rest of the book provides practical advice on what to expect with a CMS, what features to look for (whether you are buying a system or building your own), and the implementation and migration processes. This is a quick read, but packed with solid information and little fluff.
This book is not a review of current specific CMS software (there are websites that keep up to date on these things.) Nor does it provide any cut-and-paste code for developing your own (although it provides helpful tips on platform choice, open source solutions, etc.)
If you are tired of hand-coding HTML and think, "there must be a better way", read this book.
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