Important Things to Consider When Using a CMS or Content Management System to Manage Your Website
What is the Best Content Management System CMS – A CMS or Content Management System allows users to login and manage certain areas of their website from any where in the world as long as you have a computer and unfettered connection to the Internet. Most every CMS system uses a modular dashboard type of interface for easy identification and access to images, files and pages. And in every case pages or content are edited through an interface known as a text editor also know as a WYSIWIG, an acronym meaning (What You See Is What Your Get).
But nothing could be further from the truth. Some editors will strip out the code formatting most found in Microsoft Word documents, while other’s do not. This is why most text editors offer an HTML view so users may view the HTML in code view, to trouble shoot problems with formatting and spacing.
No CMS system is better than the other.
If someone tries to convince you otherwise; then they simply lack exposure and development experience In some cases a web company will push a their preferred CMS system on a client because it is the only CMS system they are most familiar with or allows them to bang out quick websites at a profit. Other companies will use an ‘open source’ or a ‘proprietary CMS system’ for web development purposes. Open Source CMS is fine but stay away from any ‘Proprietary CMS’ systems. A proprietary CMS system may ‘join-you-at-the-hip’ to an particular company and pose problems if you part company down the road.
Popular CMS Frameworks for Websites
We develop CMS based websites for Linux ( PHP) and Windows (ASPX) using; Joomla CMS web development, Drupal, Word Press CMS websites, Magento, Symphony PHP, Cake PHP, Dot Net Nuke, Silver-Light, Trellian, Share Point or MOSS and many others. There is no perfect CMS system. All CMS systems work off a web based connection and are a bit slower to work with versus editing over an FTP or Remote Desktop connection which is much faster.
In both situations the preparation for editing is always the same. For example, let us assume you are going to update a product page with new photos and text.
A. Obtain the new product photo and description.
B. Crop the photo for best viewing and format your text.
C. Login to your CMS system.
D. Navigation to your products section
E. Upload your new photo; then verify the upload.
F. Open your text editor; then format your text (size, colors, links, bolding)
G. Save ALL then open another browser and verify your changes.
H. Make adjustments based on what you see over the live website. ( I do this 3 or 4 times 90% of the time).
So if you have 10 products… then you repeat A through H ten times.
Managing Your CMS Website
Many people do not have the patience to manage a website, considering the steps and concentration it takes to perform these tasks. We manage many business clients throughout the U.S. who have hired us to do the regular web maintenance of their CMS based websites. Though many of these websites were built using popular, easy to edit CMS systems, these businesses simply want someone else to do this for them. They usually don’t have the time or patience to learn. Or is a better use of their time in running their businesses and making money.
If you have someone in-house who likes to edit and does a good job… then count your lucky stars! Otherwise we perform web maintenance on a regular basis for CMS and *non-CMS websites.
Also see: Be Careful When You Edit Your Website
* In most cases we can perform edits much quicker in a non-CMS environment having direct FTP access versus a slower web based access, but requires an in-depth knowledge of HTML and CSS.
The proper and correct editing of a website requires many different skills and talents to include; grammar, layout, eye-for-good-flow and page aesthetics. There is a BIG difference between a web page thrown together by a hack versus a professional with a discerning, creative eye. Ask yourself; “Does your website/ webpage’s reflect the look and feel of a slick Fortune 500 magazine or does it look more like a Clip-and-Save rag sheet found in the local pizza shop?” This is why Fast Company, Vogue, Time and thousands of other high-end magazines employ an army of artists, photographers and writers to produce a great looking magazine.
Grammar is Extremely Important
Many highly educated people will steer clear of contacting you through your website based on finding elementary grammatical errors. Ask yourself; “How many visitors have left your website and move onto a competitor due to grammatical errors?” No matter if you, your staff or your web company are editing your website. Take time to do it right. Your website is your 24 hour, 7 days a week open store front. Keep your ‘WELCOME’ matt nice and clean and (dun’t forgit to spel chuck).