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What is a Content Manager?

Ken Black
Ken Black

A content manager is an individual who manages a website that likely is updated with content many times a day. Though the position is similar to that of a webmaster and the two are sometimes used interchangeably, a content manager is usually different in some ways as well. Whereas a webmaster may need to be well skilled in HTML and other advanced web applications, the content manager may need to only know some basic HTML to perform job duties.

The fact that a manager may not need to know as much HTML code as a webmaster does not mean the position is any less skilled, however. It simply means the skills are in other areas. For example, a content manager looking after a news site may need to have a keen sense of what will be major news and what will not. Those types of judgments often will help determine story placement.

Content managers and web administrators often need skills in online marketing and social media.
Content managers and web administrators often need skills in online marketing and social media.

Furthermore, a content manager is often responsible for making sure all content on the website is up to date. This involves a periodic review, if not a constant review, of different materials on the site. Due to the nature of some websites, this may be a nearly constant review of the material. In other cases, the review of the material may be spaced apart over greater time frames.

To help the manager focus on grammar and other issues relating to content, there will often be a content management system. This system will automatically put stories and other features on the website, meaning the manager only has to worry about the material itself. Leaving the design to the content management system, which will likely be based on a predesigned template, can save a lot of money and give the opportunity for expertise to be put in other areas. However, these systems often give up the chance to make major changes or provide a great deal of uniqueness to the site.

Depending on the type of website, more than one content manager may be needed to keep the site up properly. This will likely depend on the workload each individual site requires and the level of expertise of different sections. For example, a medical website may have a content manager each for its oncology section and cardiology section, just to name a couple. This web content provides the value for advertisers and other users attracted to the site, which helps support the manager's salary.

Discussion Comments


@miriam98 - I have a friend who worked as a document specialist at a major corporation. He was only responsible for his department, but basically his job was to scan all vital paperwork, faxes, pictures-anything important that needed to be digitized for easy retrieval-and store it in a document content management system.

I think it’s similar in concept to a regular content management system, except of course it functions more as a database or repository, not as a website. They also incorporated their system into their workflow so that as documents were passed from one worker to another for updating or revisions, the system would track the documents and build a history for each document.

His job sounded interesting, and kind of hinted at the dream of the paperless office which everyone talked about since the dawn of the computer revolution.


@nony - I don’t know what kind of content management system you used, but I’ve used some of the open source content management systems and these applications are amazing.

I don’t typically use open source software, but the systems are quite mature, with easy-to-use modules that can be customized so that you don’t need to do any programming whatsoever. As a result you’ll have a website done in hours as opposed to days.

I’ve also found the open source systems to be easy to administer as well. I was able to easily add dashboards replete with widgets and gadgets so that I could monitor my metrics. I could also upload any kind of content, from articles to blogs to podcasts.

What I liked most about the system was its extensibility. There are hundreds of modules which enable me to do just about anything I want, without the need of a webmaster.


I applied for a position as a subject matter expert at a popular website once. They needed someone who could write articles about database security, and I had some knowledge of that subject. I was interviewed for the position, and the interview process involved a two week trial run using their web content management system.

Basically, I had to learn how to use the system, how to upload articles, place them in certain categories, and of course write original articles on the subject matter. It was an interesting experience and I grew to like the content management systems, more so than I did website software.

Web content management software is much more user friendly, and as this article points out, lets you focus more on the content and less on layout and design.

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    • Content managers and web administrators often need skills in online marketing and social media.
      By: bloomua
      Content managers and web administrators often need skills in online marketing and social media.