Due to this issue it can take a lot of man hours for someone to maintain their own site and they constantly have to go back to a web designer to ask for changes which they get charged for and then their lovely site they were so proud of becomes old and stale and a money pit.
To get around this problem ask for your web designer to give you a web site that uses CMS. CMS stands for Content Management System. A CMS based site is known as being dynamic which means that it is plugged into a database which the site uses to store images, content and data that is served to the webpage when you view it. Each page is stored in the database which allows the site owner to use simple built in editing tools via a browser, similar to MS Word, to alter their site as and when they want to.
This simple word type editing is converted into the code the site needs by the CMS so therefore no special skills are needed to alter your site or update. More importantly it removes the need for a web designer for everything other than major changes like going to a new hosting company or something similar.
A CMS makes it so easy to update a site, look at the following to see how.
First we will show the text we want to change in the image below:
The code to edit for changes using the traditional HTML method
Using a CMS WYSIWYG editor to make changes:
You just type in what you want and add pictures like you would in MS Word!
A CMS also has the useful feature of having pre-made plugin modules that you can upload to use without having to use fancy code. Such plugins are things like:
-Email lists and Newsletters.
-Logins and Passwords.
Some good plugins are available for free and some cost a wide range of prices, but generally you can get what you need for nothing.
Why should you use a CMS?
-A CMS site makes the web far more useful.
-It allows an individual to get the site they want quickly without fuss.
-Cheaper than a web designer, some good CMS systems are opens source and free.
-If you can use Facebook or Linkedin or AWDPyou can use a CMS site, they are both CMS based sites.
-If you have spelling mistakes or want an image change you can do it yourself in minutes.
-CMS products are well supported, stable and established.
-Multiple users can make changes.
-Good for SEO, CMS based sites are optimised for search engines and generally perform better in rankings.
-You have more control over how you want your site to look and feel.
-Sometimes using a designer can be slow painful and expensive.
-An huge technical boost to a small business that doesn't have a huge budget.
-A world class website for about £2 a day over the first 2 years for the whole complete package with hosting and skin design.
-A world class site for about 41p a day over the first 2 years if you just pay for the initial template and install the CMS and content yourself.
-Easily expandable, add pages at will if you have a new service or product.
What are the catches?
A CMS system can cost, although their are good ones available for nothing, if you are a professional organisation perhaps you want to use a top end CMS packages, these can be anywhere up to £15,000 but on the whole the open source software available is more than good enough for 95% of businesses. All thats lacking in the open source versions is the paid for support and user certification services, which we think aren't always worth it anyway.
Taking time to learn the CMS, of course as the site owner or administrator you will have to spend a couple of weeks learning your way round the site but thats not a big issue as there are plenty of resources to make this easy out on the web, including videos, manuals and tutorials.
Backups, with a site as powerful as a CMS based site, its obvious they hold a lot of important data, therefore it is important to backup your site at least once a month or if you have made important changes. We think the pain of learning to do this outweighs the pain of losing a site into the ether somewhere.....
If you dont know how to create a CMS template or an initial design you will have to find someone to do this, usually its best to go to a designer who has CMS experience. This need not be expensive anywhere between £30-150 for an off the shelf design or £250-500 for a bespoke skin.
CMS systems can seem expensive compared with normal static sites at initial outlay but they more than make up for it over a sites lifetime in savings.
Author: AnodisedBlue / Posted: 16-05-2011