CMS Analogy

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What is a content management system? In simple terms, it is typically known as a website generated by data stored in a database. The idea is to store information in a database and serve it up as web pages. So, any system that stores your web page information in a database and presents that information in dynamically generate web pages can be called a CMS. But how do you know which CMS is right for you? One way to determine which CMS is right for you is to use an analogy. So let's us a transportation analogy. If you state “I use personal motorized transportation,” you might be referring to a motorcycle. Right away you can see challenges when you need to carry more than just your self. You can add components (sidecar, trailer) to a motorcycle and make it more versatile. Now you have a multi-function form of motorized transportation. But, you could have been referring to a flat bed truck designed specifically to carry whatever you need. You could add cargo bins, a camper, seating for friends and family, and so on. You have the power of the truck so when you add features you probably have the power to handle it. You can see from this analogy, motorized transportation is not created equal and neither are content management systems when it comes to supporting complex information architectures and interactive functionality. In order to stay competitive, most open source systems will say they are content management systems because they are. But what did they are start out as? Is the CMS you are considering a motorcycle? Is it lean and simple? Or is the CMS designed as a flat bed truck able to carry whatever configuration you need?
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