Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content Management Systems (CMS) are a collection of processes and technologies that enable the compilation of data and media for easy management and uniform presentation. Gone are the days when a web site owner needed webmaster skills or had to employ a web designer. I fact today, most web designers have little to no HTML skills because they no longer need them, thanks to CMS like DNN, Drupal, Joomla, Moodle and WordPress.

CMS is commonly used for all types of web sites - from home pages to corporate and blog sites. The main advantage of CMS over sites that are comprised of individually-made web pages is that once the system is installed onto a website, no html or web development experience is required to add new content and create new web pages. It will also help a site maintain a professional look and conform to a corporate or otherwise pre-ordained design policy.

CMS usually involves a database from which individual data and page content is drawn to fill templates to create the web pages on the fly (as and when required). For example the most basic CMS page would be comprised of a header, menu, main body and footer. The page would then be built on the fly according to a request sent to the database such as a topic name. The database response would be to provide the heading and main body of information and as the page loads, it would assemble the templates in their order and drop in the information where it is designated.

There is no limit to how sophisticated a CMS can be or the features that can be added or removed at any time from the administration pages. Any changes to the templates can affect every page on a website, enabling a CMS administrator to completely change the design theme of a site by altering a few settings.

CMS enables several sites to share a common theme regardless of the contributing authors. It also enables several different-looking sites to share a common database and resources. Restricting access to web-site content is easily managed within a CMS because it only needs a single insert on each page to enforce password protection and other security restrictions.

Content Management System vs DRM

CMS and DRM can be similar but different. CMS is a solution for providing easily managed web pages with access  controlled by membership and password. While ArtistScope DRM provides easily managed media with access controlled by DRM (computer identification) that cannot be shared.

ArtistScope has in the past provided a variety of DRM protected CMS for web pages and webmail, but today most web sites use the more popular CMS like DNN, Drupal, Joomla and WordPress, so CMS development by ArtistScope was a conflict of interest. Now, instead of trying to add DRM to a CMS, web site owners can use their favorite CMS and add CopySafe media by way of add-ons that ArtistScope provides, leaving access control to the membership system provided by the CMS.

Web developers can easily add DRM by customizing their CMS code to check for Computer ID and require that the ArtisBrowser be used which reports the Computer ID of each computer.

Adding copy protection to CMS is easy if you have a virtual server because you can purchase and install the ArtistScope Site Protection System (ASPS). Otherwise, copy protection can be added to individual web pages on a hosted web site by using CopySafe Web.

To add copy protection for media displayed on your web pages you can use either CopySafe PDF, CopySafe Video or CopySafe Web. To manage DRM of PDF documents in-house, instead of using the free ArtistScope DRM portal, companies can purchase the DRM portal software and have it installed on their own web server.

Choosing a CMS

There are many factors to be considered before deciding to invest in a CMS. While all of the out-of-the-box software for CMS share many similarities, they do  have different options and limitations. It is important to consider the level of control both administrators and end users will need when using the CMS.

CMS Software Vendors

There is a huge variety of both free and subscription based CMS offerings available. Consequently the most popular CMS are free:

  • DNN -- A free and open source framework based on ASP.Net that requires Windows web hosting. DNN, formerly known as DotNetNuke, is commonly used by web developers with C# programming experience.
  • Drupal -- A free and open source framework based on PHP and MYSQL that requires Linux web hosting. Some developers prefer Drupal over the other CMS.
  • Joomla -- A free and open source framework. Joomla is written in PHP that requires Linux web hosting. It offers features such as caching, RSS feeds, blogs, search and support for language internationalization.
  • Moodle -- Another free and open source framework based on PHP and MySQL that requires Linux web hosting. Moodle is commonly used by educational facilities for its course management features. It is more complex to use than the other CMS and not suitable for general web site building.
  • WordPress -- Another free and open source framework based on PHP and MySQL that requires Linux web hosting. WordPress can be included as part of an internet hosting service, or it can be deployed onto any computer or server that can run PHP and MySQL. WordPress is very popular because it is included in economical hosting packages..

The CMS listed above are easy to use and usually do not require web developer skills unless you need to customize them. All of them are supported by large  communities that provide a wide range of plugins and extensions to cover almost every web site feature. Other CMS like WIX are not customizable and only have a very limited range of plugins as their solution is server bound and provided with hosting packages only.

Most corporations tend to roll their own CMS to include a higher level of security than what is obtained by using a CMS backend that is known to everyone including those who may want to exploit web sites and cause mischief.

Copy Protection Plugins for CMS

The following web sites provides examples of CMS using ASPS, CopySafe PDF, CopySafe Video or CopySafe Web add-ons which enable site owners to add copy protection for media from the CMS online page editor:

Drupal demo web site  Drupal - web site showcasing ASPS and all CopySafe solutions 
Joomla demo web site  Joomla - web site showcasing ASPS and all CopySafe solutions 
Moodle demo web site  Moodle - web site showcasing ASPS and all CopySafe solutions 
WordPress demo web site  WordPress - web site showcasing ASPS and all CopySafe solutions