CMS (Formerly Content Manager): An Overview

5 min read
At its most basic, the CMS (Content Management System) is a central location to store and manage all of your site content. At its most complex, the CMS is:
  • The key to creating dynamic pages, so you can use one layout to display lots of different content.
  • A secure way to allow others to collaborate on content separate from your Editor. 
  • The tool that allows you to capture content and information from site visitors.
The CMS lets you manage content in one central place, and then display it on many pages. You can display your content in elements such as repeaters, with the same design and a variety of content. This approach is ideal for listings, portfolios, recipes, services, and more.
With the CMS, you minimize the amount of effort to build and manage your site. At the same time, you maintain your SEO standards. As a result, you keep visibility in search engines such as Google, no matter how much content you have.
Ready to get started?
Learn how to create a dynamic, content-filled site by adding CMS.
A screenshot of a collection in the Content Manager.

Manage all of your content in one place

With the CMS, you keep all your content in an environment separate to your Editor. This allows you to update your site's content as often as you'd like, without having to update the site design.
You store your content in collections. This may be content you create, content you capture from your site visitors, or both. The content is stored in a grid layout made up of items (rows) and fields (columns).
When you create a new collection, you should always set permissions for it. These permissions define who can access it, and what you can do with it.
A screenshot of a collection containing property listings that consist of text and image fields.

Collaborate by allowing others to work on your content

Give collaborators access to your content using the permissions settings in your CMS. This means you don't have to worry about them using the Wix Editor and risk altering your site's design.
When setting the permissions for your collection, you can choose from a list of permission types. Use these permission types to control the access privileges for various scenarios. Read more about changing your collection permissions.
Some of the scenarios covered by permission types:
  • Displaying your content: You can select the Public permission type for this scenario. With this setting, anyone can view content from your collection. Use this option for collections that will have your own content you want to display. 
  • Capturing content from site visitors: Select the Form Submissions permission type for this scenario. With this setting, anyone can submit content to your collection. Use this selection for collections that will store user input. 
A screenshot showing the permissions options for a collection.

Use one layout to display lots of content

With the CMS, you can use a single layout to generate as many pages as you want to create a site. These kinds of sites are called dynamic websites. They use dynamic site elements connected to your collection. They are ideal for showcasing projects, portfolios, and listings.
Once you've added the CMS to your site, you can add more dynamic pages and content from a number of starting points.
One such starting point is presets. Closely tied to dynamic pages, a preset is a set of ready-to-use dynamic pages that grow as your content grows. By using them, you can display as much content as you want on your site.
A screenshot illustrating how one dynamic page can be used to display multiple items from a collection.

Increase engagement - let site visitors submit content

Visitors can really engage with your site when you offer a form, so they can submit information and content. Use a variety of input elements to create the form. Then use the CMS to capture, store, display, and edit visitor content in a collection.
Consider using visitor generated content like customer testimonials. Not only can you store such content in a collection, you can connect it to elements on your page and display it.
A screenshot of a custom table made up of input elements including text input and buttons to navigate, upload and submit.

Display content by linking to elements on your page

Once you add the CMS to your site, you can connect page elements to datasets that connect to your collection items and fields. These elements can display content from your collection like text, images, and more. 
Not every element in the Editor works with the CMS, but every collection field type has at least one compatible page element. 
A screenshot of a gallery element in the editor. The Connect Gallery panel is shown with the connection highlighted.

Control how your content displays using datasets

You can control what content from your collection gets displayed by using a dataset. You can also control the order in which it appears, and how it gets sorted and filtered.
Think of the dataset as the link between your collection and your page elements.
Datasets can link single elements to a collection, like a text box or image. They can also link tables or repeaters - these elements display content from several collection fields. Datasets also allow you to capture content that site visitors submit using forms. You can store this content in a collection and display it on a page.
A screenshot of a dynamic list page with the Dataset settings panel open. A filter for number of bedrooms has been added.