A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a Web site. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a Web site without needing the expertise of a Webmaster. The CDA element uses and compiles that information to update the Web site. The features of a CMS system vary, but most include Web-based publishing, format management, revision control, and indexing, search, and retrieval.

The Web-based publishing feature allows individuals to use a template or a set of templates approved by the organization, as well as wizards and other tools to create or modify Web content. The format management feature allows documents including legacy electronic documents and scanned paper documents to be formatted into HTML or Portable Document Format (PDF) for the Web site. The revision control feature allows content to be updated to a newer version or restored to a previous version. Revision control also tracks any changes made to files by individuals. An additional feature is indexing, search, and retrieval. A CMS system indexes all data within an organization. Individuals can then search for data using keywords, which the CMS system retrieves.

A CMS system may also provide tools for one-to-one marketing. One-to-one marketing is the ability of a Web site to tailor its content and advertising to a user’s specific characteristics using information provided by the user or gathered by the site (for example, a particular user’s page sequence pattern). For example, if you visit a search engine and search for “digital camera,” the advertising banners will advertise businesses that sell digital cameras instead of businesses that sell garden products.

Two factors must be considered before an organization decides to invest in a CMS. First, an organization’s size and geographic dispersion must be considered especially if an organization is spread out over several countries. For these organizations, the transition to CMS is more difficult. Secondly, the diversity of the electronic data forms used within an organization must be considered. If an organization uses text documents, graphics, video, audio, and diagrams to convey information, the content will be more difficult to manage.

List of the open source CMS

NameCategorySupported databasesComments
AriadnePortalOracle, PostgreSQL
bbPressForumMySQLA derivative of WordPress for forums.
Caravel CMSPortalOpenLDAP and PostgreSQL
Chlorine BoardsPortalMySQL, MSSQL, PostgreSQL, DB2, Access
CMSimplePortalOne unique HTML file
CMS Made SimplePortalMySQL
CoppermineImage galleryMySQL
CuteNewsNewsFlat text files
DotClear 2BlogMySQL, SQlite, PostgreSQLMulti-users, multi-blogs.
DokuWikiWikiFlat text files.
DriggDigg-likeMySQLPlug-in for Drupal. Very slow.
DrupalPortalMySQL or PostgreSQLSponsored by the University of Oregon.
eGroupWareGroupwareADOdbCollaboration tool
ElggSocial networkMySQL 5Building a social network with PHP 5.
FluxBBForumMySQLLightweight but complete forum, perfect besides a portal.
GuppYPortalFlat text files
IntraLibreIntranetMySQLCollaborative work and document sharing.
ItseasyPortalFlat text files
Joomla!PortalMySQLPopular CMS, fork of Mambo.
Lemon CMSPortalFlat text files.
LodelPortalMySQLElectronic publishing.
MediaWikiWikiMySQLWikipedia CMS.
Midgard CMSPortalMySQLFramework for CMS
ModxPortalMySQLAdaptable framework.
NPDSPortalMySQLContent and community management.
Nucleus CMSBlogMySQL
OpenPHPNukePortalMySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite
phpBBForumMySQLForum CMS with a lot of themes and mods.
PhorumForumMySQLEasy to customize.
PHPMotionVideo sharingMySQLYoutube-like CMS
phpMyFAQFAQMySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL Server and MariaDB
phpWebSitePortalMySQL or PostgreSQL
PhpWikiWikiFlat text files, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and more
PivotXBlogFlat text files, XML
PliggDigg-likeMySQLNews with score, still beta.
PmWikiWikiFlat text files
Prestashope-shopMySQL 5Open an online shop with PHP 5.
PunBBSee fluxBB.
SEO Toastere-shopMySQL, PHP 5SEO oriented, rich author interface.
SilverStripePortalMySQL, PHP 5Editor oriented
sNewsBlogMySQLBlog added to a portal website.
StorytlrTwitter/BlogMySQLGallery of photos and videos
TempleetPortalXML, MySQL and other BDs.
Typo3PortalMySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle
WordPressBlog/PortalMySQLVery popular and extensible blog CMS.
XoopsPortalMySQLPopular modular CMS.
ZikulaPortalMySQLApplication framework, formerly PostNuke.


Other languages

NamePlateformCategorySupported databasesComments
AmetysJavaPortalMySQL, PostgreSQLLDAP, DocBook, Multi-sites
Composite.NETPortalADO.NET and LINK
Daisy CMSCocoonPortalMySQL
DotNetNukeVB.NETPortalSQL Server.
ForrestJavaMySQLDocument sharing.
Jahia CommunityJavaPortalHypersonic, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL ServerDocument sharing.
JekyllRubyBlogNone. Static site générator.
MagnoliaJavaPortalContent repository API
MezzaninePython/JythonPortalPostgreSQLUses the Django framework.
MMBaseJavaPortalBlobs on the filesystem
NestaRubyBlogHTML files
OpenACSTCL, AOL ServerWeb App.PostgreSQL/OracleToolkit for community-oriented applications
OpenCMSJavaPortalMySQL, Oracle
PloneZopeBlogZODB, MySQL & PostgreSQL via Zope
TelescopeJavaScriptDigg-likeMongoDBBased on Meteor and Node. Real-time.
TWikiPerlWikiToute BD compatible avec Perl DBI.
XSMJava servletsStaticXML