Industrial Revolution has come and gone. Things that were handmade have been adapted for mass production. Standardization of products and components has become the norm. Knowledge repository has ensured there is less need for reinventing the wheel and lesser need to learn things by trial and error. Today, we live in an age of streamlining the processes and ensuring uniformity of actions geared towards a common goal.
When you let an individual work his own methods, you will end up having as many methods as there are individuals. While workmanship has its sway over handicrafts, painting and similar creative fields, in such places where things are mass produced, or components that need to be interchangeable, you will define rules and bring in standardization of specifications and processes. Website designing and development is one such field, where you need to marry standardization with creativity.
In earlier days of creating websites by hand using the HTML language, no two website were alike in coding. And everything started from scratch, resulting in wasted man-hours on such activities that could be standardized between different websites. Instead of focusing activities on bringing out the individuality of a website, lot of coding went into building the foundation and structure of it. No matter how different two models of cars might look, the chassis would be more or less similar. More the need to hand code, more are the chances of going wrong and the need to debug. Such a small act as updating the copyright year or updating a page’s filename, resulted in a lot of work that could only be done by a specialist.
Advent of Content Management Systems, in short CMS, put a full-stop to such fooling around with codes. CMSs were built-in with modules for almost every aspect of a website. If a website has a special need, there would be a plug-in just for that need. You update the copyright year within its respective module, and it is updated across all the pages of the site within seconds. If a website is a 5-6 page boutique site or a 500,000 pages monster of a portal, its just the same. One would just need to focus on the User Interface and particular needs of the website, rest would be taken care of by the CMS.
Content Management Systems is helpful for a variety of digital properties, websites, ecommerce sites, intranets, extranets, etc. There are many utilities, some common for every websites and some needed only by particular type of websites. Drupal for instance, an extremely popular open source CMS, can be used for a variety of websites. If a website is going to be an ecommerce portal, you tag Drupal with Ubercart, a shopping cart application, and the ecommerce site is ready! Using CMS, a non-technical person can manage the day-to-day functions of a web property without much difficulty. In spite of the seemingly air-tight control over what can be done using a CMS, open-source CMSs lend freedom to bring in ones genius and improve the CMS or program a suitable plug-in for a particular need.
CMS Harbor is a directory and review portal of CMSs. It features a large number of CMSs, their underlying technology, available features, examples of properties created using a particular CMS, and people/organizations that specialize in them. Each CMS comes with its own special features, relevant for a particular need. CMS Harbor lets one compare and choose between CMSs as suitable for the need on hand.