You have finally made the decision to create a new website or redesign your current one – great! Now you just need to hone your web strategy, figure out the best methods to deliver your content, and dive into the technical details of how your site will be maintained and updated. Overwhelmed yet?
There is a lot of planning you need to do before your development team even touches any code; including figuring out how often you will be updating your content and who will be making the edits once your new site is up live.
What is a CMS?
A Web Content Management System (CMS) is an application, often web based, that allows you to access a database which stores content that appears on a website. Users log into an administration area (often referred to as the back-end) where they can create and manage content that shows up on the front-end of the site, where everyone browsing the web can view it. Editing a site without a CMS involves opening pages of code to make updates or hiring a development team to perform the maintenance for you.
Building your website using a CMS gives you many advantages:
- You are able to instantly update your website anywhere you have internet access. Through the administration area you have control over how your content is laid out as well as the ability to upload images, documents, and video.
- With the correct system, updating content is easy and does not require knowledge of web programming languages.
- Areas can be set up on your website to automatically pull in and showcase the most recent content items such as news and events. With a CMS you simply add the information once and it will automatically show up in multiple places.
- User permissions can be set so that some people are not able to publish items, but can write articles that a publisher will later approve. With multiple user accounts, anyone can be given access to help update the site.
- You will reduce costs spent on maintenance updates with the ability to update content yourself.
Why Wouldn’t You Want a CMS?
Being able to update your content and have complete control over your website seems like a win win situation. However, a CMS is not the best solution for every website.
- There is often a learning curve involved with learning how to use a CMS. Some systems are easier to use than others, but it can be daunting at first.
- It takes time to edit a site. You are the one inserting the content, arranging the images, and uploading documents to each page. There is a lot of planning required before adding a new content page so that you know the most effective way of linking it into your content.
- Content has to be optimized and properly inserted so that your pages appear on search engine result pages. This includes writing good titles, keywords, and descriptions for all your new content pages.
- The upfront costs of implementing a CMS are typically more expensive.
Many companies do not have the time or resources to learn how to use a new system and how to create web optimized content. In those scenarios they often invest in a CMS but do not end up using it, leaving the content on their websites to stale.
Keep Content Fresh!
Generating quality content for viewers is the most important aspect of a website. It is important to come up with a solid content marketing strategy and stick with it. Once you have made the decision to take control of managing the content on your website it can be very rewarding and beneficial to use a CMS! Having the flexibility to easily and quickly add content can really put you ahead of the competition. Providing great, relevant information that is updated often will keep visitors coming back to your site for more.