What is a CMS?

A content management system (short CMS) allows you to structure your content into bits and pieces which can be displayed, searched, filtered or used in any way you need it.

How to structure content

The basic concept behind a CMS is always the same:

Content Types

Content Types (or sometimes called Post Types or Collections, in short CT) are ways to differentiate single entries of your content into separate “areas” so you can handle these types of content better.

Examples for Content Types are:

  • Blog-Posts
  • Team-Members
  • Projects

Each Content Type usually has its own set of fields, in which data is saved per entity.

Lets take “Team-Members” as an example. Therefore we could have the following fields inside the Team-Members Content Type:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Birthdate
  • Image
  • Job Title

So therefore we can create 2 “entities” inside the Team-Members Content-Type:

Kevin Pfeifer

  • First name => Kevin
  • Last name => Pfeifer
  • Birthdate => 08-05-1993
  • Image => <Path-to-image>
  • Job Title => Full Stack Developer

Jamil Bates

  • First name => Jamil
  • Last name => Bates
  • Birthdate => 23-03-1991
  • Image => <Path-to-image>
  • Job Title => Frontend Developer

Taxonomies

Taxonomies (short tax) are ways to categorise your entities inside your content type into more separate areas.

If we stick with the “Team-Member” Content Type an easy example for a Taxonomy is “Project-Team“.

Inside our Taxonomy we now create terms called “Website Devguide” and “Website DASVok” which we now can connect to our Team-Members.

Therefore we can assign Team-Member “Kevin Peifer” to the Project “Website DASVok” and the Team-Member “Jamil Bates” to the Project “Website Devguide”.

Common CMS systems and their default Content Types and Taxonomies

Lets take 2 of the most common CMS and explain their default Content Types and Taxonomies:

WordPress

Content Types in WordPress are called “Post Types” because WordPress originated as a blogging system and therefore pretty much every “entity” is a “post” inside WordPress.

As per WordPress 5.4.2 (June 2020) you get the following backend structure per default configured:

Posts” (CT) with 2 Taxonomies: “Categories” and “Tags
Pages” (CT) with no Taxonomies

Technically Media is a CT as well, because each uploaded media gets its own “attachment” entity but thats too far in the WordPress structure.

Of course, dependent on your used Plugins, you will get more CT and/or Taxonomies or even install Plugins where you can create your own CT and Taxonomies in the backend.

Drupal 8/9

In Drupal Taxonomies are called “Vocabularies“. Currently I don’t know why but I guess it has some historical reason, same like Content Types in WordPress are called Post Types.

As per Drupal 9 (June 2020) you get the following backend structure per default configured:

Article” (CT) with 1 Taxonomy “Tags
Basic page” (CT) with no Taxonomies

You can also enable the “Media” module which allows you to basically do the same with your uploaded files (images, documents etc.)

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