Web content management – what is it?

Software for web content management varies from open source products, home products to enterprise level products.  I was lucky enough to start learning about WCM with my first company – Documentum. They innovated products and had good WCM systems back in the day.  Documentum Web Publisher was the first WCM product I used and it was innovative and easy to use.

From there I’ve learned to work with FatWire and Adobe CQ.  You have to pick the tool that fits or work with the tool the company you work for selects. I was lucky enough to have some input on purchase of new systems.

Review of WCM systems should include front end and back end development teams. I looked at things like the basic functionalities we needed, on demand publishing, “versioning”, roll-back, import, editing views, workflows and notifications.

How files are added to the system is another item you should think about.  For some systems your folder structure has nothing to do with the URL, Path a file has on your site – which has it’s benefits, but overall I found it hard to manage enterprise content with that functionality.  It was very hard to find files in a system set up like that.  My pick is systems where the folder structure you set up defines the paths on your site – that way groups can always find content.  It’s much easier to see path of file and dig right into the system to get to it – rather than using some helper search tool, that pulls up ID number of item, then you have to do a search by file type using ID.  It’s just cumbersome and not intuitive and let’s people at circumvent standards do so more frequently.

Make sure you can easily add content such as free form HTML to the system as that is something some systems don’t want.  I always know there will be some vendor created micro site that will need to get on your company site ASAP and there will not be anytime to fit it into a web template.