Why every small website needs a CMS
You are about to get a website built for your business. Having found a good web design house, you are looking forward to seeing the results of their creative efforts. So far so good.
Once the website is setup, and the customers start rolling in, you will want to make ongoing changes. These could be very small, such as changing a phone number, or adding a news item. New products, or shifts in business direction, will necessitate larger updates to the site. Chances are, though, you will still be happy with the design, and it’s just the text that needs to be changed.
While the web design house did a great job, you don’t want to have to go back to them for every change. A hundred small changes in a year will leave you both frustrated, and is not economic for either party.
This is where a content management system (CMS) comes in. Sitting behind the scenes, it gives you the ability to maintain your own site.
No website larger than a few pages should be without a CMS to manage it.
What is a CMS?
A content management system is a software package specifically designed to manage a website. It is installed by the web designers, but intended to be used by you.
First off, it provides you with a simple, non-technical way of updating your content. This is typically (but not always) done via a web-based interface that works much like Word does.
Just point-and-click, type in the new words, and hit save. Your site is instantly updated.
Equally easy is adding new pages, deleting old ones, or restructuring the site to match your new business model.
The CMS also automates menial tasks, such as applying the same page layout and appearance across the site. Menus and other navigation are also automatically produced.
Along with the many other administrative tools, this leaves you to concentrate on the words, and not on the technology.
Written by James Robertson
James Robertson is the founder and Managing Director of Step Two Designs, a vendor-neutral consultancy located in Australia. James is recognised as one of the world-wide thought leaders on the topics of web content management and intranet strategy. He has worked with many organisations in both the public and private sectors, including Fortune 500 companies and Federal Government agencies.