What is a CMS?

A plain english explanation of what a content management system (CMS) is and what they're used for.


A content management system is an application designed to empower non-technical people to manage a website's content as well as allow developers to easily add business logic and extend the system's capabilities. A CMS is used to create, maintain, and publish digital content including web pages, articles, images, videos, and other digital assets. These type of capabilities have built in or extensible workflows depending on user permissions, roles in the organization, and custom business processes. The CMS also serves as repository of content and digital assets. It typically provides versioning capabilities to allow creating and reviewing of content, and the option to restore previous versions.

Applications and Business Benefits

A CMS is used for websites, intranets, and extranets that rely on management and delivery of content. It can also be used to maintain end user generated such as forums, blogs, wikis, polls and other social content. Business benefits include:

Common Components

A CMS provides common functionality used for websites, intranets, extranets and even online communities. This allows developers to focus on extending the system with custom business rules instead of reinventing the wheel. Some common components include: