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What is CMS Website Development

CMS became a buzz word in the web development industry because of its benefits.

CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a term and has not been endorsed with a solid definition. A CMS can have multiple meanings depending on the scenarios and the person's or project objectives.

To add to the confusion, an organization named AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) claimed the acronym ECM (Enterprise Content Management) and WCM (Web Content Management) as their creation and came up with their own definition that suites their organization's services. AIIM changed their definition of ECM a few times and submitted their definitions to Wikipedia, which is now published.

At the time of this writing, for most scenarios, when someone in the web development industry is talking about CMS (Content Management System), or ECMS (Enterprise Content Management System), he / she is more likely referring to either the first or second definition below.

In this article, I'll put the emphasis on the common CMS definitions and not the one created by AIIM. The detail of the purpose, use, and examples are all in the area of the commonly used definition.


Content Management System (CMS) Common Definition



The definition of a CMS is an application (more likely web-based), that provides capabilities for multiple users with different permission levels to manage (all or a section of) content, data or information of a website project, or internet / intranet application.

Managing content refers to creating, editing, archiving, publishing, collaborating on, reporting, distributing website content, data and information.

An example of a CMS application is a Web Application that provides the following administration, control panel or website management functionalities:

  • Create, Edit, Publish, Archive web pages
  • Create, Edit, Publish, Archive articles
  • Create, Edit, Publish, Archive press releases
  • Create, Edit, Publish, Archive blogs
  • Add / Edit events into an Event Calendar
  • Add / Edit Inventory (products), description, product specifications, prices, photos, etc.
  • Enter, Edit, or View orders and print packing slips and invoices
  • View reports and statistics site data
  • Create and Edit system users which have different permission levels to different section(s) of the above administration


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