Why choose a semantic CMS?

A semantic CMS offers a lot of benefits over more traditional page centric content management systems.

The evolution of content management systems

In traditional content management systems, content is managed according to how it's used on a webpage. Content is organized according to a hierarchical structure, more or less using the same metaphor as files and folders on a computer. This worked fairly well for a time, but the world has moved in a direction where such systems are inadequate. A website isn't just a collection of article pages any more.


The figure above shows the generations of content management systems. The first web CMS systems on the market had the content and the presentation mixed together. This led to a lot of problems, so after a while, new systems where the content and the presentation was separated, showed up on the market. A big improvement on the first generation, and the majority of the systems in the market today falls under this category.

While the second generation was a huge step forward for web content management in general, it still has a number of problems as most systems are tied to a page based structure. The problem with a page based structure is that the content is forced into a structure that is ill-suited for storing semantic content. By storing the content in such a way, you lose most of the meaning of the content.

In Webnodes CMS, the content is stored in a way that not only keeps track of meaning of the content, but it is also able to infer meaning from metadata that's automatically generated in the system, giving a clear separation between content, presentation and the meaning of the content. When you have an easy way to find out the meaning of a piece of content, it opens up a whole lot of possibilities.

A semantic content model for YOUR business domain

Webnodes CMS is able to retain the meaning of your content, by creating a content model that fits perfectly with the content of your business domain. By describing the different types of content and the relationships between them, you're creating a content model, or ontology as it is also called, that fits your needs.

Using words and terms that you normally use when you're describing the content brings many advantages. Existing employees will quickly understand how the content is structured as they already know the domain. This makes training  of end users very simple. Visitors with knowledge about the domain will also feel instantly at home on your website, fixing the biggest problem on websites today: finding the content.

The future of the web

The graph below illustrates the past, present and what many people believe will be the future. The web revolution started in the 1990s. This often called Web 1.0, and was about publishing information on the web, with a one-way communication. The Web 2.0 describes the last 10 years on the web where user generated content and 2-way communication has been the main drivers. Blogging and social media are the examples of user generated content that has become extremely popular in the last 10 years.

Web 3.0 or the semantic web as we prefer to call it, is about making the information on the web understandable for machines. While that might not sound terribly exciting, it opens up for a lot of new uses and ways of working. 

Image courtesy of Radar Networks, Nova Spivack