One main advantage of using CMS is one will be able to manage the contents of ones websites without having to deal with complicated technical tasks. Imagine that you are a very talented writer but you can't show your writings online just because you don't have any idea how to write webpages thatconsist of HTML tags.
With CMS, a writer only needs to type her works in an editor as if she does it with a word processor. Then the CMS itself that will show her works online. It is a great time saver for a webmaster to create and maintain her website. The installation process is also very easy since many web hosting services have offered special features such as Fantastico where a user can install a CMS with just a few clicks of mouse. The process is done automatically.
Basically, a web content management system consists of two main parts, a front-end and a back-end. The back-end is a section where you can do many administrative tasks such as inserting and editing articles, giving privileges to some people, managing the look and feel of your website, and so on. The front-end refers to what visitors see. It is the face of your website.
In choosing a CMS, you should know what is the main purpose of using it. There are CMSs which are intended to build portals. Other systems are mainly used to build photo gallery, forum, personal or even corporate websites. Then you need to know what kind of features they have. For example, Drupal, an open source CMS, provides a feature where you can gather fresh contents from other sites by adding the sites' feeds. You can even filter any items so that you only show the items that contain a specific keyword.
Usually, a CMS also offers additional modules that will enable you to use additional features without having to put your efforts in programming. Just download the module you need and install it in your hosting server.
Don't forget also to know your own desires and abillities in modifying a CMS. For instance, Mambo should be sufficient for you who don't want to deal with some PHP coding. Mambo has already provided many modules to accomplish specific tasks. It also offers ready-to-use templates you can choose. On the other hand Typo3 is the right choice for people who need a very robust and flexible system.
It is necessary to know that there are so many commercial and free content management system available. Vignette and FatWire are the example of two commercial systems while PostNuke, Drupal and Mambo.are free to use.
And, of course there are other things you should consider for finding the right CMS. So please do a good and thorough analysis before deciding which system to use. Choosing the right Content Management System from the beginning is very important. Make sure it would best fit your needs.