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Why use a Content Management System for your web site?

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Building Your Web Site In A Flexible, Easy-To-Use, Extensible System

If you’re looking to build a new web site from scratch, or rebuild your current site, you may have heard about Content Management Systems (CMS).  Not just a buzzword, CMS offers a number of benefits to businesses seeking to create a modern and flexible web site.Let’s compare two common approaches:

Straight HTML Web Site Design Vs. Use Of A Content Management System (CMS)

Straight HTML web sites are fast to build and don’t require programming knowledge or special web server configurations.  Most small businesses and organizations either have a design-saavy staff member create a web site this way, or hire an outside designer.  This method is fast, and somewhat flexible (at least in the design stage).  It can also be cost-effective for very small web sites.  Site maintenance is usually handled by the person who originally designed the web site.  This can work adequately, however, what happens if the design-saavy staff member leaves, or the designer leaves town?

Now the business has to scramble to find someone who can take over.  This often leads to web sites becoming outdated, as no one can update the original work.  To be fair, learning Dreamweaver or HTML is not rocket science, however, consider whether it is appropriate for your a staff member to spend ten hours struggling to update your web site instead of working efficiently at his or her primary role at your company.

Enter a Content Management System (CMS).  Unlike Dreamweaver-built web sites, or for that matter, sites built with proprietary web programming, a CMS-based site is built on a standardized, unified system.  A web site properly built in a CMS presents a user-friendly, non-technical system for adding, editing and maintaining web content.

An abbreviated List Of The Type Of Web Site Content Your Business Can Manage With A CMS

  • Events listing
  • Staff directory
  • RSS feeds
  • Blogging
  • Content spell-checking
  • Properties for sale or lease (for property management companies, realtors, brokers)
  • Customer testimonials
  • Documents (white papers, instruction manuals, application forms, etc.)
  • Image galleries and image management
  • Work examples (home remodeling, architecture, fine art)
  • Audio and video for download
  • Capturing customer emails and sending email newsletters

While it is possible to present these types of content with an HTML/Dreamweaver-based site, as your business grows, your content needs will quickly surpass the ability of one designer or staff member to manage them.  Additionally, content is best entered by the person responsible for it.  For example, in a property management company or realty office, one or more administrative specialists will typically gather property information and these same staff members should enter the content in to your web site, rather than passing it on to the one person who knows HTML or Dreamweaver.

An added benefit to a CMS is the ability to draft content and save it for future inclusion on your web site.  That is, you may enter content in to the system, but leave it in draft mode.  It will remain for further editing and review, but will not display on your public web site until you explicity make this choice.  Some businesses will set up a simple workflow where one staff member enters articles, customer testimonials, or other information, and a different staff member reviews and approves this content, switching it to open mode, so it then displays on your public web site.

Techfern Web Solutions Pvt. Ltd. builds CMS-based web sites with Expression Engine, a flexible, extensible and easy-to-use product suitable for most small business needs.  These are the following advantages:

  • We provide phone + web-based training to you or your staff members in use of the CMS.  Additionally, we may include printed and video documentation on how to manage your web site.
  • When you enter content via our CMS, you will achieve predictable, repeatable results—that is, once you learn how to add a piece of content, be it a document, image, or customer testimonial, you’ll follow the same steps each time, confident that your content will appear on your web site right where is supposed to.
  • You will not need to call us (or pay us) to make routine changes to your web site.  We prefer to empower you to do it yourself.
  • With no special effort on your part, your web pages will feature user-friendly and search-engine friendly URLs that are easy to read and understand, for example:
    http://techfern.com/home/app-development
    You know what to expect when someone sends you a link to this page.

Learn more about how a CMS-based web site can support the goals of your business. Contact us to participate in a short demo of our CMS.