The advantages of a massive online market has created a drive for small businesses to create an online presence. Not allowing for the ability to make changes from time to time can be a missed opportunity, however.
Many small businesses focus on the initial design of their web presence, without much thought regarding future changes. However, the true potential of modern web technology can easily be missed if you don't take advantage of powerful, easy to use content management capabilities that are easier than ever to integrate. If you have a business website, you either have a content management system at the heart of it, or you have a static site requiring technical skills to update.
This article will help clarify a few reasons why a content management system (CMS) in some form is almost essential for keeping your online investment paying for itself long term.
A CMS will allow you to update your website design, while leaving the content intact.
By separating your content in a database, the website code and design can be upgraded by different specialists without losing any content updates made between the start and implementation of the upgrade.
1) Non-technical people can update content
We all like to think of ourselves as super-capable people, but the reality is that there are very few people who have the ability to competently edit web code. Even amongst those that are, many aspects of website maintenance are just done more quickly with a CMS.
A content management system allows anyone who can use a word processor and has some basic computer literacy, to update their website, as often as they want.
2) It costs less
This may sound counter-intuitive when you consider that it will always cost more to have a content management system built into your website. Of course the cost benefit isn't the up-front development cost, it's value is in not having to pay a developer to manually make changes to the site, which of course can be time consuming, and therefore expensive in billed hours. A skilled web developer or is better utilised creating new functionality than editing text on a page.
3) Separation of content from code
Let`s say you design a great site, populate it with three years of material, by which time the technology used to build the site is outdated. If your content is interwoven with the site itself you'll be throwing out the baby with the bathwater if you upgrade your website. A good content management system will allow you to completely overhaul the presentation and application logic of your site, while maintaining your content in perfect separation from the mechanics of the rest of the site.
Content management systems allow non-technical people to make changes easily.
By removing the technical and process barriers to creating new content, you are limited only by your desire to create content, and your motivation to do so.
4) Uniformity of design
When you have a content management system built for you, every page it displays is created by the same code generator. In fact, in many cases, you are simply seeing the exact same "page" every time you view it, the system just displays different content, and sometime in a different layout, according to your requests. This creates a consistent presentation of your content across your site. There`s nothing worse for a site visitor to have to do than have to figure out where everything is for every page they visit. A confusing and disorientating site will seldom get repeat visitors.
5) Security, upgradeability and maintainability
The most popular CMSs are used by millions of people, meaning security flaws are usually quickly rectified and your site can be upgraded and protected quickly, often before being affected. Additionally, as functionality and features are added, you can start using them immediately with minor implementation costs to you. CMS standardization also means that when you need maintenance done, there are enough qualified people who can do so reasonably easily and cost effectively for you.
6) Currency of content
By removing the technical and process barriers to creating new content, you are limited only by your desire to create content, and your motivation to do so. It should be no more or less difficult than opening a word processor document and getting started, except that with this solution, the world gets to see your work once you have previewed and published it.
In short, if you don`t have a content management solution in place for your business website at the moment, you effectively have an online marketing brochure. That may be sufficient for your purposes, but a good CMS will make a huge difference to the relevance and value of your site to your customers and potential customers, and save you a lot of money in changes along the way.