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A content management system (CMS) is an administration area which allows the updating of a website directly by the website owner/administrator. This is done through a normal web browser and is an easy to use, form-based system, requiring no specialist knowledge. Most content management systems are linked to a database and as a result, dynamic content also becomes possible.

Benefits of using a CMS:
Any amends made are instant, keeping the website content fresh and up-to-date, and can be made as frequently as needed
Login through a browser at any location. No specialist software is required so amends can be made away from the office/home
The CMS is a bespoke solution, tailored to suit each project. The extent of content needing to be updated in-house changes from project to project and 'off-the-shelf' solutions to content management may be unnecessarily expensive and/or not flexible enough to fulfil all a client's requirements
No specialist skills are required to manage content
Eliminates the need to commission a specialist whenever a change is required - saving money
Website visitors are more likely to return if the content is dynamic and changes frequently
Setting update privileges allows individuals or departments to update different areas of the site
Information from the database can be downloaded to a csv file for importing into a spreadsheet off-line
An administrator/supervisor can be informed that a change has been made or file has been uploaded and can authorise content before it goes live to ensure quality control
The areas which most benefit from a CMS are those which change frequently and could include:
product details or categories for an on-line catalogue/e-commerce site
a latest news section. This could contain date dependent actions - showing or hiding items depending on the date
downloadable assets such as a monthly brochure in pdf format (files such as documents or graphics can easily be uploaded through the CMS)
a facility to manage and send emails to those users who have signed up for an email newsletter
a members only section with member details amendable by the members themselves

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