Since the release of WordPress, web users have customized this blogging software to suit their own needs. On of the most established needs in today’s computing world is the need for content management, particularly, a Content Management System (CMS). With its rich set of features and flexibility, WordPress can be customized into a major CMS.

Content Management System

Content management can be described as the process of creating, managing and publishing online content sans any programming or technical skills. If used properly, content management saves time and money. An effective content management can be attained by utilizing a content management system.

A content management system is a web-based application connected to a database that allows users to update a website without having to know any HTML (Hypertext Markup Language, standard language with which all web pages are built). It is software used to manage websites and web content. A CMS facilitates the maintenance of content but not the design on a website.

Without CMS, updating a website say, posting a new article would involve manually changing the home page and archives and creating a new page from scratch for the article itself. Coupled with this, if a user wants other pages to link to the article like a list of current articles in the sidebar of pages, he has to change all these manually as well.

With CMS, a user just logs in and adds the article heading to a specific category. He then enters the content and ends by selecting some tags to describe the article. The CMS will automatically put the title, date and the first paragraph on the home page. He then constructs a new page for the article and adds the article to an archive by date and category.

As can be gleamed, CMS does away with inconvenient manual tasks and streamlines the updating process. A CMS manages content efficiently from the time of creation to publication. A content management system establishes a definitive approach to effectively publish, store and organize content for the users.

Content management systems offered by different vendors have varied benefits and functions that a user can select from according to his needs. A CMS can be expensive or absolutely free like WordPress. It really depends on how complex the site is and what needs to be done.

Most blogging software programs are considered a particular type of CMS. They have CMS features for creating and maintaining a blog. They make publishing on the Internet as easy as writing an article, giving it a title and setting it up under one or more categories. Basic blogging software provides an interface where a user can work in an intuitive manner while the blogging software handles the presentation and publication. A blogger gets to concentrate on writing and the blogging tool functioning as a content management system takes care of the rest of the site operation. WordPress is an example of blogging software.

WordPress – An Overview

WordPress is a well-structured personal publishing system written in PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor, a popular open source server-side scripting language constructed specially for integration with HTML available in Windows, Linux and Mac OS X) and backed by MySQL (open source Structured Query Language database implementation). WordPress is licensed under General Public License (GPL) and is available for free. WordPress started in 2001. Since then, it has grown to be the biggest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, utilized on a multitude of sites. WordPress focuses on ease of use, speed and a wonderful user experience. It is an open source program. Hundreds of people all over the globe are working on it. It offers a service in that lets a user get started with a free WordPress-based blog in seconds.

WordPress is an advanced blogging software program that provides a sophisticated set of features. Via its administration panels, a user can set options for the presentation of his blog and be published on the Internet instantly. WordPress focuses on aesthetics, web standards and usability.

WordPress as a Content Management System

A distinct characteristic of a CMS is that it singles out content from presentation. Content consists of text, images or other information shared in posts. This is separate from the structural design of a site which provides the foundation into which the content is inserted and the presentation of a site which involves graphic design. Content is stored in a database. A user can change the look of a site with a few changes to style sheets such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and other layout features that define the font styles and sizes, colors, backgrounds and positions. In like manner, WordPress stores content in a database and the WordPress Theme (layout/design) controls the look of how the content is displayed.

A CMS has control over what content shows up and where ads, related posts, comments and other interactive elements appear on a web page. But with the plug-ins and add-ons available in WordPresss, a user can also add these features to his blog. A user can turn WordPress into a full-fledged CMS with the many options, customizations and controls accessible to him.

There are a number of options a user can use to make WordPress works like a CMS. Most CMS sites control what articles appear on the front page. In WordPress, a user can make use of the Semiologic Opt-in FrontPage Plug-in that lets him choose which post will appear on his front page. Podcasting, videoblogging, adding music and images are possible with WordPress. There are plenty of elements that a user can add to WordPress to enhance connectivity and functions. Signing up for mailing lists, newsletters and other information to be disseminated can be done with WordPress. A user can even set up e-commerce with WordPress. Adding ads to a WordPress site is as simple as placing the ad information into the proper template file. Forums and bulletin boards are integrated with WordPress. Every WordPress user has a role that determines his rights within the application. This is particularly useful to control the flow of certain content. Another valuable feature of WordPress is its built-in moderation feature. This allows the user to approve messages before they get posted. The WP-ShortStart Plug-in renders Statistic monitoring. Lastly, a user’s CMS site won’t be complete without a way to handle external and internal links. WordPress has a number of plug-ins that can be used for this purpose.

Simply put, WordPress has sophisticated features that make it a powerful content management system.

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