CMS for the Common Man

Previously, we presented you with a post about the many products and services Lionbridge has to offer and a neat guide for how to choose which type of translation best suits your company's needs. As our previous post illustrates, when figuring out which type of translation service would be the best option for your company, there are several things you must first consider. One of those items is budget, and yet another is the technical capability of your staff.

Translation is just one facet that companies must consider when managing or expanding their content or marketing reach. Let’s take a couple of minutes to learn about a common corporate topic – content management systems.

What is a CMS?

Most companies store public-facing content in a computer application called a content management system, or CMS (not to be confused with a CSM, or customer success manager– I know, jargon). Sometimes a CMS is referred to as a web content management system, or WCMS – but for our purposes, we’ll refer to it here as a CMS.

A CMS is a computer application that allows for the creation, management, publication, and distribution of content and collateral. Examples of what may be found in a CMS include: text, links, marketing materials, blog posts, graphics, audio, etc.  

Even if this is the first time you’re learning about CMS applications, I bet you’ve either seen or used one without even realizing it.

Are you a blogger who routinely uploads and publishes posts using WordPress? Or have you built a website using Drupal? If you have, then you’ve utilized a CMS.

Other common examples of CMS platforms include Joomla!, Cushy CMS, and Magento.

Why Use a CMS?

Why use a CMS? What’s the point?  Well, there are obviously several benefits, including:

  1. It’s easy for non-technical users to add and edit content and manage the site.
  2. Templates and tools are available for use by non-technical users who don’t know how to write code. You don’t have to be an HTML whiz in order to use a CMS; in fact, most platforms have a range of templates to choose from. Then it’s just a matter of content input and organization!
  3. All added and edited content is immediately viewable in the CMS.

How to Choose the Right CMS

There are hundreds of CMS options from which to choose. The right CMS choice depends on the specific needs of your company – just like the right translation choice! Open source CMSs are (sometimes) free and simple applications that can be downloaded and managed on the web. This type of CMS is a good choice for those with smaller amounts of content to display. It is also a good choice if you have several people who need to work in the system every day.

Closed source CMSs, on the other hand, are usually more expensive because they provide increased security for users, and because users are not typically very tech-savvy, there can be a heftier price tag for augmented technical support. Closed source CMSs are usually available to fewer users because they are more costly and complex.

So, in order to choose the right CMS, you have to consider your budget and the relative technical knowledge of your staff. Are you really tightening your belt this year? Do you have several bloggers working off of one platform? Maybe go with an open source CMS. Are you in need of more security and support? If so, maybe spring for the closed source.

Content Workflow

There are four stages that content goes though before being displayed on a CMS. These stages are:

  1. Content Creation. This stage can either be fun (if you are a creative type) or miserable, if you prefer crunching numbers over all else. Time to fire up the computer and pump out those blogs, press releases, articles, and slideshows.
  2. Content Management. Which blog post is being published today? Which is being published tomorrow? Where are you going to display those photos? Should there be a dropdown menu for page navigation? These are all choices you have to make when managing your content in a CMS.
  3. Publishing. Are you satisfied with the organization of your materials? Have you checked for typos? Time to post.
  4. Presentation. Voila! Your content is now fully viewable in your CMS of choice. If you find a typo after publishing, no worries – you can pop in and edit at any time, and the content will immediately update within the CMS.

Once content has flowed through all four stages, the CMS immediately updates to reflect the most up-to-date material.  

Lionbridge has translation solutions for all that content stored in your CMS, be it open or closed source. Stay tuned next week for a  spotlight on a popular new product which can help easily and painlessly translate your CMS content. To learn more, visit the new onDemand website