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CMS 101: Intro to Content Management Systems Tech4Good Denver | 5.21.14.

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1 CMS 101: Intro to Content Management Systems Tech4Good Denver | 5.21.14

2 Agenda What is a CMS? Common features Best practices How to choose

3 What is a CMS (Content Management System)? A CMS is a web application that allows non-technical users to add, edit, and manage the content on their website. Content = text, images, graphics, video, sound, documents, etc.

4 What it means for you The goal of a CMS is to provide an intuitive user interface for building and modifying web page content. This means that you can make changes to your site’s content without needing a developer or someone who understands HTML code!

5 Common features Publishing Revision control User management Media management Moderation Reporting and submissions Plug-ins Themes

6 Tips and best practices WYSIWYG: What you see is what you get –Avoid copying and pasting from Word Open external links in a new tab Metadata: Fill in the titles, keywords, and descriptions for search engine optimization Actually use your CMS!

7 First step to selecting a solution What do you need? –What is important to your business? –What do you want to maintain control over? –How often do you need to make changes? –How often do you want to refresh your look and feel?

8 How to choose Open source: –Built and maintained by groups of interested people all over the world. –The source code is available to all, so anyone can modify the code and create new functionality. Proprietary: –Built and maintained by one company. –They typically don’t allow access to the source code.

9 Open source benefits Generally quick and affordable up-front Wisdom of the crowd: Larger developer user base and community Also large groups of people who can help you customize your product Often easier to port your content to a new system down the road Well-funded systems often have a lot of great features built in

10 Open source cons More generically created and designed based on a wide array of needs. Not as customized to your specific needs. System upgrades can be harder because open source systems have to support old versions. This also means that they may not have the latest in best coding practices. Pick one that is unlikely to lose public favor anytime soon. Security risks

11 Proprietary benefits The potential for a fully customized CMS based on your individual needs –The CMS can be structured around your specific business needs: unique content, design, etc. We suggest having access to the team that knows the CMS code inside and out, because they wrote the original code and can provide the best solution for you. Less security risks

12 Proprietary cons Cost is generally higher You must be comfortable with the company behind them. –They must have the size and expertise to keep your website running and be able to invest in the continual development of the product.

13 If you need a standard site with several pages of “typical” content If you have a smaller budget If you need customization based around your content Open source Proprietary Make sure you have ownership and access to design and content Either way

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