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Hosted content management is a service offered by a website hosting company. Content management is software used to allow firms to manage their website look, feel, and content without having to hire programmers. Hosting services refers to a business arrangement where a separate company is responsible for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the hardware and software required to run a website.
There are three different types of hosted content management firms: full service, content managed and support only. These arrangements have different levels of responsibility and as a result have varying costs. The level of support provided is detailed in the service agreement and must be clearly understood by both parties.
A full service hosted content management system occurs when the service provider holds the role of system administrator. The client reviews proposed design, page layout and website structure. Upon approval, the administrator creates the website, based on these requirements.
Once the framework of the site is operational, the website hosting company provides user accounts, passwords, and training sessions for selected staff. These staff members are responsible for the creation and maintenance of the website content, using the content management software. The approval structure and document version management is created by the website hosting company, based on the requirements provided by the client. Once this structure is implemented, the users are trained and instruction manuals are provided.
A standard hosted content management site is an arrangement where the content to the website is created and maintained by the website hosting company or related company. This type of arrangement is most common for websites that provide information on a wide set of topics. The client provides the format of the content, but the management of the content itself is the responsibility of the hosting firm.
Support only contracts are used when the client company has purchasing the website content management software and hardware, but have signed a service agreement with the website hosting firm. In these agreements, the website hardware is housed at the hosting company’s location. They are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the hardware and the operating system.
This type of arrangement is very common with large companies. They have the internal resources to manage the content and system administrator role, but not the hardware support. This is a specialized skill and it is more cost-effective to allow the hosting company to hire one person to manage a series of web servers.