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How to Make CMS Project: Writing Brief, Technical Requirements, and Essential Tools & Tips

Introduction: Key Characteristics of CMS

Amidst the rapidly evolving digital landscape, Content Management Systems (CMS) emerge as indispensable orchestrators, steering the effective management and publication of digital content. A CMS, in essence, is a comprehensive software application that offers a user-friendly interface for creating, editing, and publishing content, eliminating the prerequisite for profound expertise in web programming and design.

In today's digital milieu, CMS platforms wield a suite of features essential for seamless content governance:

  • Tools for creating and editing content: Empowering users to effortlessly add and modify information on a website without the need for technical skills.
  • Workflow management, approval, and content publication: Streamlining the workflow, ensuring meticulous control over each stage of content creation and publication.
  • Database for content storage: Establishing a centralized and structured repository for information, facilitating convenient access and adept data management.
  • User management and authentication features: Guaranteeing security and control over access to different system levels.
  • Customizable templates and themes for design: Enabling users to craft a distinctive design for their web projects, fostering individuality.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools: Elevating website visibility in search engines, a pivotal component of online presence.
  • Analytics and reporting: Providing insights into website traffic and content interaction, catalyzing continuous enhancement of the web project.

The cardinal objective of a CMS is to streamline the content management process, endowing users with intuitive tools. This democratization of content management transcends professional web developers, extending its benefits to non-IT specialists who can now adeptly create and edit digital content, manage workflows, and endorse the approval and publication of materials.

Key characteristics of CMS encompass a spectrum of tools designed for content creation and editing, simplifying the intricate process of modifying websites. Additionally, CMS furnishes tools geared towards managing workflows, approvals, and content publication, thereby enhancing the efficiency and control throughout the lifecycle of content creation and updates.

At the core of every CMS lies the database or content repository, ensuring centralized and structured storage of data, augmenting accessibility and expediting information retrieval. User management and authentication features form the bedrock of CMS functionality, fortifying security and governing access to diverse sections of the system.

Moreover, CMS bestows users with the flexibility to personalize their web projects through customizable templates and themes, fostering an environment where unique and appealing appearances are easily attainable. Integrated SEO tools further contribute to heightened visibility in search engines, a quintessential aspect of a triumphant online presence.

Inevitably, analytics and reporting stand as integral facets of CMS functionality, endowing users with invaluable insights into website traffic, content interaction, and other key metrics. This continuous feedback loop facilitates perpetual refinement, steering the web project towards optimal outcomes.

In synthesis, this introduction endeavors to illuminate the salient characteristics of CMS, underscoring its pivotal role in the contemporary realm of digital content management.

CMS Project Brief Template

This template provides a structured format for outlining the key aspects of a CMS project, including its goals, technical requirements, functional requirements, roles and permissions, design and interface considerations, additional features, and testing and deployment procedures.

Section Description
Project Name [Your project name]
Project Description [Brief description of the project goals and main functionality of the CMS]
Goals of the Project
  • Define Functional Requirements: Determine necessary functionality for content creation, editing, workflow management, etc.
  • Define Technical Requirements: Specify programming languages, databases, architecture, framework, etc.
  • Define Roles and Access Rights: Clarify user roles and access restrictions.
  • Define Design and Interface: Express expectations for UI design and usability.
Technical Requirements
  • Programming Languages: [e.g., PHP]
  • Database: [e.g., MySQL]
  • Architecture: [e.g., MVC]
  • Framework: [e.g., Laravel]
Functional Requirements
  • User Management: Registration, authentication, access control.
  • Content Management: Creation, editing, deletion.
  • Workflow Management: Approval process.
  • Analytics and Reporting.
Roles and Permissions
  • Administrator: Full access.
  • Editor: Content management access.
  • Guest: Content viewing access.
Design and Interface
  • Responsive Design.
  • Intuitive User Interface.
  • WYSIWYG Editor.
Additional Features
  • Search Functionality.
  • File Upload Capability.
  • Comment System.
  • Plugin/Module Management.
Testing and Deployment
  • Testing: Responsiveness, security, compatibility, performance.
  • Deployment: Choose hosting, server configuration, hosting deployment, testing in production.

Goals and Objectives for CMS

The purpose of writing a brief for the development of a CMS project is to clearly define the requirements and tasks that will be addressed in the process of creating and implementing a content management system. Below are the key goals and tasks of this stage.


  1. Definition of Functional Requirements: Determine the necessary functionality of the CMS, taking into account the key needs in content management, user management, and system settings.
  2. Definition of Technical Requirements: Specify technical aspects such as programming languages used, databases, architecture (e.g., Model-View-Controller), and the chosen framework (e.g., Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, CakePHP).
  3. Definition of Roles and Access Rights: Clarify requirements for user management, their roles, and access restrictions to various functional blocks of the system.
  4. Definition of Design and Interface: Express expectations for the look and feel and user interface, including content creation and editing, as well as user management functions.


  1. Architecture Development: Describe the key requirements for the architecture of the CMS based on the selected programming languages, databases, and architecture (if applicable).
  2. Framework Selection: Specify which framework will be used, justifying the choice based on the project's needs and the team's skills.
  3. Backend Specification: Specify the functions that the CMS backend should perform, including user management, roles, and CRUD operations for content.
  4. Frontend Specification: Define requirements for the user interface, including layout, style, content creation and editing forms.
  5. Data Management: Clarify requirements for the database, including the schema for storing user data and content.

Writing a brief for CMS is an important stage that ensures a clear understanding of all aspects of the project, reduces risks, and contributes to effective communication between the client and developers.

Once your CMS is functional, you can add additional features. These features may include:

  • Search Functionality: A search function to simplify content search.
  • WYSIWYG Editors: What You See Is What You Get editors that simplify the creation and modification of content.
  • File Upload: The ability to upload files, such as videos or images.
  • Comment System: A comment system allowing users to leave feedback on content.
  • Plugin and Module Management System: A system for managing plugins and modules.

Testing and Deployment of CMS

After completing the development of your CMS, the stages of testing and deployment play a crucial role in ensuring high functionality and accessibility of your web project. Below are additional details of this important stage in the CMS project lifecycle.


  1. Ensure Responsiveness and Usability: Testing should include checking the CMS on various browsers and devices to ensure responsiveness and meet user needs.
  2. Ensure Security: Conduct security testing to identify and eliminate potential vulnerabilities and ensure the protection of user data.
  3. Check Compatibility: Ensure that the CMS is compatible with the chosen framework, database, and other technological solutions.
  4. Performance Testing: Evaluate the performance of the CMS in handling different volumes of data and loads, as well as identify possible bottlenecks.


  1. Testing on Different Browsers and Devices: Includes checking the display and functionality of the CMS on popular browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and various devices (computers, tablets, mobile phones).
  2. Security Testing: Professional penetration testing, security audits, and compliance checks with web application security standards.
  3. Compatibility Check: Ensuring the CMS works with the chosen framework (e.g., Laravel) and database, as well as conducting compatibility tests with other used technologies.
  4. Performance Testing: Conducting load testing to assess system performance under different load conditions.


  1. Choosing a Hosting Provider: Determine a hosting provider that meets your project requirements and supports the chosen framework and database.
  2. Server Configuration: Configure the server considering the requirements of your CMS, ensuring security and stability.
  3. Hosting Deployment: Upload your CMS to the chosen hosting provider, following installation and configuration instructions provided by the hosting provider.
  4. Testing in the Production Environment: After deployment, perform final testing in a real environment to ensure the system's functionality and responsiveness.

Thorough testing and subsequent deployment ensure the smooth operation of the CMS, guarantee high performance, and meet the expectations of both the client and end users.


Creating your own CMS can be an interesting and exciting project. Following this step-by-step guide, you'll be able to create your own CMS that meets your needs. Remember the importance of regular maintenance and updates to ensure the security and relevance of your CMS. And, of course, don't forget to use popular website builder CMS platforms like WordPress and Wix if you need to quickly create a website without programming.

Pop Art Studio

Digital agency
PopArt is a full-service digital agency which provides you with graphic & web design, development, and marketing solutions.

Download free CMS project brief template

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