What is a Content Management System?

Although websites are made up of a series of computer languages, you don't have to know HTML and how to code to manage a website.​

A content management system (CMS) handles most technical aspects of a website, allowing you to focus on text, images, and functionality. It also has a variety of components that you can use to convey information, interact with audiences, and draw students in. A CMS allows you to:

  • Create pages.
  • Add and edit content (text, photos, videos).
  • Organize content through information architecture.
  • Design and publish pages and sites.
  • Interact with your target audiences.

Mason is moving toward using two systems: Drupal and WordPress. Eventually, we hope to have all Mason sites in Drupal.

As we've brought various sites into the CMS, we've built custom tools to improve their usability and to make content management intuitive and easy.

And by standardizing the systems we use, tech services will be able to build their expertise in Drupal and provide strong support for the digital eco-system. Currently, they support many CMS types, all with different operating systems.

The CMS applies standards that unify all Mason websites, making it clear to visitors when they're on our site. For example, the main menu is always in the upper right and the university logo is always in the upper left.

We've also established a color palette for our sites. You'll be able to make your site uniquely yours, yet by using the Mason template and components in your site and page design, visitors will always know they're on a gmu.edu page.