Why Learn HTML When Content Management Tools Are Available
There are many opinions on the subject, but the reality is that the debate may be short lived. As Web content managers come more on the scene, it is easier and easier to put up Web pages with no knowledge of HTML.
What is a Content Management System
Content Management Systems come in all shapes and sizes. Chances are, if you've put up a Web page on a free Web page server or ISP you've had access to a rudimentary content management system.
Several years ago, when I worked at Netcom, they had Personal Web page space, and to add to your pages you had to use a tool called "PBuilder". PBuilder allowed anyone with a Netcom account to create a Web page from a template and put it up on our Web server. It was rudimentary, but it didn't require knowledge of HTML and you could have a page up quickly and painlessly.
Companies then saw that this could be useful within an organization. For example if a PR department needs to get a press release up on the Web site, often it has to go through numerous steps:
- Write the release and get it approved
- Send the release out on the wire
- Send the release to the Web group
- The Web group then converts the document to HTML and puts it on the Web site
- Most larger companies have some sort of staging server where Web documents sit until they are pushed live
- If a press release has sensitive information, it can't be released to the Web group until it has been sent to the wire, but often upper management wants it on the Web site immediately
This situation causes a lot of stress for both the Web group and the PR team. It would be a lot easier if the PR team could post the release to the Web at the same time that they post it to the wire services. But, often they don't know HTML or don't have access to the Web site. This is where a content management system comes into play.