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As I am sure you would expect, throughout this course I'll be referring to content management systems, or CMS for short. Content management is a bit of a loaded term, and it's used in many systems and many processes all over the world. In fact, there are multiple types of content management systems, so to avoid causing any confusion over that term, I want to clarify what CMS will mean for this title. A content management system can refer to any process or system that allows an individual or an organization to manage content.
These systems can be online or offline, open source or proprietary, and focus on a single content type or manage a range of different types of content. It's not uncommon to encounter the term CMS across multiple industries or disciplines, even if they're referring to entirely different processes. That's why I think it's helpful to understand at the outset the narrow focus of this title. Many CMSs are proprietary and are very powerful enterprise-level systems that are designed to manage content for large organizations, across multiple media types and distribution channels.
Our focus will be on the smaller, often open-source CMSs that are primarily focused on managing web sites and their content. These are sometimes referred to as web content management or WCM systems. Although that term is probably more accurate, most web designers and developers simply refer to these solutions as a CMS. Because the term is so widely used across industry, it's the term I am going to use for this title. Just keep in mind that we're exploring a very specific segment of the CMS world.
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