This section is for content editors and authors and includes both new and experienced content creators.
The content author/editor is the person responsible for uploading content to the site; editing content as and when necessary; carrying out updates and removing content as requested.
A content management system (CMS) enables content authors/editors with little or no technical skills to manage content on a website. It also prevents duplicate content from being produced.
The CMS editing environment or dashboard is where the content author/editor manages a variety of content, e.g. text, images, videos etc. Single sections or entire pages can be amended and then passed through a series of workflows which monitor the sequence of these and other tasks.
An important feature of any CMS is the ability to work on a document, safe in the knowledge that no one else will be doing so at the same time. These systems have a document management feature which enables a single author/editor to work on a document whilst others are presented with a ‘read only’version.
These documents also become part of a version control feature in which they are assigned a number so that an author/editor knows which version they are working on. This is useful for documents which require frequent revisions or there are occasions where it is necessary to return to an earlier version.
A CMS will have a document ‘check in/check out’feature which prevents more than one person working on the same document. This plus an ‘access rights’ feature means that it is possible to assign particular types of content to individuals as well as being able to monitor this process.
Collaboration is an important aspect of any team and many CMSs will have a feature which allows this to take place. There will be the option to set up groups so that authors/editors can work together and use a variety of tools, e.g. forums, wikis, blogs etc to discuss content with each other. This is important for building relationships between team members as well as helping to improve the quality of the content.
Content is created using a WYSIWYG editor which allows dynamic content, e.g. video clips to be inserted into a page. This and other types of content are inserted into pages via ‘placeholders’ which act as a marker for content to be retrieved from another source.
This editor works well with all major browsers and can be extended if necessary. It also means that the author/editor can access the site from any location and via any web browser.
There are tools available which help the author/editor to organise and structure content such as global search which enables them to locate a piece of content quickly and with the minimum of fuss. An added bonus to this is being able to find data which is related to a particular piece of content which engenders a greater understanding and awareness among other users.
For those authors/editors who work with a large, corporate website, an important aspect here is globalisation. We live in a global marketplace and consequently, many companies market their products to different locations around the world.
This means multiple language versions which can be accessed by users in other countries via a translation feature. Users can select their language from a range of options on the site before they proceed any further.
Cultural, economic and business needs will have been taken into account when developing these multiple versions as well as the importance of maintaining the corporate brand in whatever location and market.
But what is equally important is managing the access rights to these multiple versions. Different authors/editors will be given permission to edit pages in their language, e.g. French, but not those of the main site.