Content management systems these days are not just for publishing online newspapers and magazines; you can also use content management systems to manage your regular web sites, shopping cart items, and of course to publish your blog. The choice of the content management system depends on what you want to achieve with it and how many people are going to use it. A content management system basically helps you create, control, publish, and manage content using a friendly interface and a database as the backend.
Some content management systems have very advanced content management features such as version management and multi-author editing and revision. The choice also depends on what sort of platform you are going to use to run your content management system. Some content management systems have been written in PHP, some have been written in Python, and some use the .Net technology. It also matters what sort of content you want to publish through your content management system: text, images, videos, or audio.
If you simply want to publish a blog you can use blogging software such as WordPress, MovableType or Expression Engine. The software has been specifically developed for publishing blogs but these days people are also using the software to publish their web sites and even small scale magazines. Otherwise in order produce a large-scale content website you can use something like PHPNuke, Drupal or B2Evolution. Commercial content management systems available in the market range between $100-$10000 for small and mid-range businesses.
Some more things to consider before you choose your content management system:
- Does it take care of your SEO requirements?
- Does it let you create static web pages?
- Does it let you save multiple versions of the same document?
- Is the content management system hosted under your own domain are is it hosted on a third party domain?
- What support is available in case you need it?
- How steep is the learning curve?
The best CMS system I have yet to find is CMS made simple, I would be interested to hear what you use.