Maintain and Update your website with a self-edit CMS

With the recent explosion online of user generated content sites such as Facebook, YouTube & Flickr, the business community has been, repeatedly asking the question, ‘How can I update my website my self?”. The great news is you can and it’s achieved by investing in a Content management System.
While it must be pointed out that those previously mentioned free public sites are extremely limited in the kind of bespoke functionality that can be deployed. It is the custom development of a website that drives the bushiness market.
However the emergence of a multitude of Content Management Systems, or CMS, that have giving everyday business some control over their website content.

 

Why use a Content Management System?

To answer this you have to understand how people engage with the internet.
Surfing online is no different from shopping. In the physical world, shoppers prefer to walk into shops that have the latest products and appear to be clean & maintained. The same is true online.
What is also driving the regular updating of website’s, is search engines.
Modern search engine record your website and when they return in the future, can tell if the content on your website has been updated. Incidentally, search engines can also tell if the copy on your site was originally released on another website earlier and penalise you for duplicate content, or plagiarism.

The other obvious benefits of a CMS is that you no longer have to purchase expensive software to edit your website.
Being mostly web-based you can update your online brochure or shop from anywhere over the internet.

 

What Can you do in a Content Management System?

Modern CMS are very powerful, but like any powerful system, to gain the most from them you have to have a good understanding of how they work. Just as most people are lucky to ever use a fraction of the functionality in Microsoft Word, the same is true for a CMS.
There are many CMS’s to choose from.
For a List of Content Management Systems see Wikipedia.
One 3rd party (open source) CMS we have settle on is WordPress as it not only is it the most widely used globally. It offers great functionality and probably the worlds biggest directory of extra components (‘plug-ins’ etc) to extend the functionality
We also offer another couple of our own – see our CMS Demo Websites page for details.

We generally recommend that most generally compute savvy computer users should be able to do the following activities on their website:

  • Add new menu items
  • Move or unpublish menu items
  • Create new content pages
  • Edit or unpublish content pages
  • Link menu items to content pages
  • Modify their contact details
  • Upload images to a photo gallery
  • … if you run an online store:
    • Add new products to an ecommerce store
    • Changes prices & product information in their online shop
    • View recent orders in their shopping cart
  • and depending on user ability – many more details

 

What should you do in a Content Management System

Just because you have the power to change your website does not necessarily mean you should. Many businesses invest a significant portion of their budget in having our designers brand their website and then invest in our developers to implement the stylistic design in a pixel-perfect cross-browser compliant CSS template. Unfortunately when you return to some CMS website’s 6 months later, so much new material has been added that is not in style, unbalanced or poorly implemented that the website no longer maintains the professionalism it once did.

To ensure your CMS maintains it looks & fitness well into old-age, we recommend the following:

  • Invest in a Training Plan to you are equip you with the skills to operate you are CMS
  • Invest in a Support Plan to affordably access our teams skills to help keep your CMS on-track
  • If your serious about marketing your site online then invest in one of our SEO Plans
  • Do not change the website general layout = Template
  • Do not add new text style to the site unless you are a graphic designer – trust us – people can tell!
  • Employ us to install and modify any custom modules & components
  • If you plan to do anything a little ‘out there’ to the site maybe run it past one of us first…

 

At AVIP [WA] / Cyber Loft Design we are big supporters of CMS. That is why we have invested many hours in a number of CM Systems and why we have structured plans to train & support our client to interact with their website. As after all, they are the experts on their business. For more information on how your business can leverage the power of a Content Management System please feel free to contact us.