Quality content is essential for every stage of a website’s success. Well-written content improves user experience and adds a sense of authority. Good content can turn casual visitors into paying customers. A Content Management System helps manage changes to the content easily and quickly. In short, it puts the power to update the website in the hands of the client, instead of the web developer. You will be able to make regular content changes in order to fine tune your message without having to keep making requests to your web developer.
For example, if you have a list of prices associated with a list of services or products, you may wish update this list often with new price levels. A well designed CMS system would allow you to do this with just a few clicks. However, there are other considerations to think about:
- Having a CMS system set up for your website will cost you more. The level of expertise required to build a bespoke CMS is typically much greater, and thus more expensive, than HTML and CSS authoring. Will a CMS be cost effective for you?
- CMS systems tend to make the structure of the site more complex, so while a CMS will make content easier to update, more general structural changes to a site may require expertise with the particular CMS and specific implementation. This will likely come with a cost attached.
- If you have a basic level of technical expertise, it is worth considering free open-source options like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. They are easy to install and come with ready made themes to use as a basis for your design. There are also many plugins available to add more complex features to your site. The only drawback comes when you want to change things around. You may find them inflexible and cumbersome.
- One pitfall of CMS’s that is often overlooked is the opportunity they give to ruin the look of a site. The temptation is to keep adding more and more content, or to change the size of a header, or to change the colours of the titles. Any or all of these amendments have the possibility, without the user realising, of undermining the compositional unity of a well designed website. So be careful!
Think about the areas of your website you will want to update most regularly. Can you get you developer to build a simplified CMS just for these sections? Alternatively, is there a way of adding new content to your site without the need of an elaborate CMS? What about a blog section? Could this be simply appended to a more conventional website structure?
One of the many aspects of good Search Engine Optimisation is your site’s ability to show fresh and relevant content on a regular basis. A CMS can help you achieve this. Now, more than ever, keeping on top of your content is key to beating your competition and showing your potential customers who the experts in your field are.