Content Workflow Management - An Overview

When it comes to content management for websites one of the more curious aspects of the entire process is how few people actually create the content in the content management systems (CMS) themselves. As this blog explores, an increasing number of providers (including Contento) are finally bringing everything under one roof.

Alan Gleeson - CMO Contento

Alan Gleeson

Co-Founder / CEO

June 24, 2024

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5 mins read

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When it comes to content creation for websites the workflows are ‘odd’ to say the least. One would naturally assume that a content management system (CMS) would offer this as a key table-stakes feature. However, the reality is very different. For most, the content is created and managed elsewhere - with a ‘cut and paste’ into the CMS being a common task. In this short blog, we explore why this is, and how it is finally beginning to change?

Content Creation Process

Like many content writers, I have my own process. 

Honed over years of trial and error, and writing countless number of blogs. 

For me, once the idea is clear I start writing in Google Docs (Microsoft Word represents a popular alternative). The benefits are clear. The user interface is something I know intimately. The power of Google means my work gets autosaved and I don’t have the fear of losing all my work playing on my mind. The feature set is relatively modest but is reassuringly familiar and meets all of my needs. 

As an aside, I’ve also written from within the Contento CMS something I find I am doing on a more regular basis as the feature set evolves.

Anyway, back to my usual approach. I start the writing process. I pause. I put on the kettle before continuing. And maybe pause again coming back to it later, all safe in the knowledge it will still be there. 

Once completed I copy and paste it into the Grammarly App to flag any clumsy phrases or grammatical errors. From there, I’ll usually invite a colleague to review and leave comments. I’ll add a section at the top related to metadata and SEO elements and then it is another ‘cut and paste job’ into Contento, our CMS.

Once published I index via Search Console, add some internal links and register the new content (and associated keywords) in a specific Google Doc designed to track content ‘by keyword’. At this point either aHrefs, SEMRush or SE Ranking come into play to track performance.

Challenges with this Approach

While this approach works well for us there are some inherent limitations with the approach. 

For one, the content production process takes place somewhat in a vacuum. Until I share the content there is no visibility as to what I am working on, how long it is taking me to produce or a clear sign off process (particularly important in regulated industries).

Once the content is live most CMS are not well equipped to provide easy access to some core data points related to the content:

  • When did it go live?

  • How well is it performing?

  • When was it last updated?

  • Who signed off on the content?

Of course, this data will be captured somewhere. But it is back to a core issue. Modern feature-rich CMS are finally beginning to do a better job of the basics.

An ideal situation for most content creators is to have all of the core features of a Google Doc, Grammarly (or equivalent) and content workflow features all under the same roof. Add SEO into the mix and all of a sudden the range of different tools needed to deliver an end-to-end process is eliminated. The good news is that this is increasingly the direction of travel for most modern CMS.

Contento and Workflow Management

Unlike other Headless CMS, Contento takes a very assumed position that the primary use case is for managing websites. While seemingly a fairly innocuous distinction, it is quite material, and means that with Contento the needs of the content creator are elevated compared to the developer-centric approach taken by most other Headless CMS solutions.

Similarly, the UI/ UX is non-threatening for non-developers. Again this is an important nuance, as the Headless CMS category has primarily catered for the needs of the buyer up to now (tech lead) rather than the primary user (the content creator). Hence usability is a real challenge for most content creators when it comes to using modern Headless CMS (although the widespread adoption of visual preview functionality amongst most leading vendors has certainly helped in recent years.)

At Contento, alongside a more intuitive interface, we have also baked in dedicated content features like advanced SEO, URL management and also a content workflow management feature.

Naturally, this will evolve over time.

For now, it enables users to assign due dates, and statuses, as well as to flag for review all from within the CMS.

In short, with Contento you get an overview of all your content, who is working on it, what status it's at and when it's due all in one handy place.


An increasing number of Headless CMS are turning more attention to content workflow management. This is long overdue. Contento is one of those taking the lead here. Unlike the developer centric nature of most Headless CMS, Contento has elevated the importance of the primary user since inception. The inflection point for all modern CMS will be when their main users start the process from within the CMS. As content workflow management features evolve that day gets ever closer. And it is long overdue.

Alan Gleeson - CMO Contento
Alan Gleeson

Co-Founder / CEO

Alan Gleeson has 15+ years extensive B2B SaaS experience working with several VC backed Startups & Scaleups in the UK, US & Ireland.

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