Week 3, What is a CMS?


A Content Management System, or CMS, is a tool to manage and create digital assets. CMS’ are typically used for web content management especially for complicated websites that get updated and maintained regularly.

Examples of CMS
  • Wordpress
  • Kirby
  • Squarespace
  • Semplice

A CMS has two parts: a front end user interface that is what everyone sees when they access your website, for example:

When you’re working as a designer, you’re typically designing this front end interface.

The front end is connected to a backend which allows the user (who might not know anything about HTML etc.) to edit their content. The way things are described on the interface are meant to be clear and to help anyone maintain their site.

The backend allows for the website to get converted into code that your server stores and your browser displays.

CMS are built in all kinds of different languages. Wordpress and Kirby are PHP, Labud’s custom CMS is built on Ruby on Rails. We’re using this custom CMS for our What Did the 2010s Look Like site.
CMS’ are really helpful because it keeps the code removed from the user/client so that they only have access to the things that are meant to be edited.

It’s also helpful for a user because it’s more efficient than having to go in and edit the code every time you want to make a small change.


How Our CMS Works

Logging in

Log in here (http://www.2010s.us/admin) with your newschool email address. Your password is 2020ParsonsP4RTY

To make a new post click on “posts” (your project will be a post). Then select “New Post” in the top right.
This is where you will compile your post. You will need to fill out a few required fields, you’ll get an error message if you don’t have one. Let’s try to get started.

To Add content, select the “Add Content Block” button and select a module type

Most of these should be pretty straightforward and match up to our sketch. We’re still missing the audio block, if you’re planning on using that, let me know! We’re also missing the text column block with the optional image.

One new one is the “embed” option which allows you to paste in files from YouTube, Soundcloud or Vimeo.

If you’re uploading a video directly to the website, make sure to upload a file that’s as small as possible. It should be reasonable! Aim for 20MB or less if possible (for videos up to a minute long).

Be sure to hit “update post” when you’re done (top right or bottom left) in between edits so you don’t lose any work.


Try to create a post and edit it!