Friday, November 9, 2007

Do we need a CMS?

What is a CMS and why does the W&M web site need one?
As Susan Evans (chair of re.web) discussed in her recent podcast, we've been looking at products, talking to vendors and staring at spreadsheets in windowless conference rooms. Why? We're trying to get our heads around what CMS products are available, what features they offer, and which of those features provide us the greatest impact for a dynamic and sustainable web environment. With the help of our friends at mStoner, we've been making progress.

In an attempt to broaden the discussion, and to establish a consistent vocabulary within the College community, let's discuss some of the features we're finding in these products, and how they might make things "better" within the W&M web.

Some Key CMS Features:

In this and subsequent posts, I will discuss specific features (or categories of features) offered by most of the CMS products we are vetting. Again, our goal is to explain the feature and how it is intended to improve our web site.

To get things started, today's post will cover a general definition of a CMS, as well as two important feature sets we've identified:
  • The Processing Engine and Data Repository
  • Users and Permissions
So, if you are unsure exactly what we mean by a CMS, or wonder how features such as these might be useful to the W&M web presence, read what we're thinking...

posted by Andrew Bauserman

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