If you have a website, and follow any SEO or internet marketing news, your have undoubtedly heard the mantra repeated over and over again – content is now the key to rankings and online performance. But, for busy business owners with limited resources how do you easily and frequently update your website?
The answer lies in a Content Management System or CMS. A CMS (like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or other custom applications) allows you to update content, images, and links all within an easy to use framework. This makes it easy for a variety of employees to update content on your site, and provide relevant valuable, and timely information to your site visitors.
With all of the different varieties of CMS solutions out there, how do you choose the right one for you?
Here are a few considerations to help you make your selection.
Open or Custom
Open CMS platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.) are free to use and openly distributed to users. These systems use common coding structures and frameworks to provide a universal platform to build your site on.
Benefits of Open Systems:
- Low cost of ownership (the are free)
- Lots of online help is available
- Pre-developed plugins reduce integration time and cost
- Themes can be built on or customized to provide a unique web experience
- Scalable to support websites of any size and customization
Drawbacks of Open Systems
- May have security risks
- May be tougher to integrate proprietary features without coding cost
In our experience, the benfits of open CMS systems far outweigh the drawbacks. Custom systems are often very expensive and take long in development than an open CMS.
Some CMS systems are plain easier to use than others. Many of our clients opt for WordPress because it traditionally has a low learning curve (but is still very powerful). Drupal is often a good choice for those with more technical expertise and are looking for more control over content display and user actions.
It is important to consider your technical expertise and comfort level in choosing the best CMS system for your needs.
Your CMS system should allow you to update posts, pages, and create a running dialog with your users. There are many other features you may need, and it is important to make sure the CMS system you choose can handle these. Before choosing, here are a few important factors to consider:
- How often will you update content?
- Do you need users to add/edit/or modify accounts?
- Are you using a shopping cart?
- What special features do you need?
These are just a few of the basics that you will need to consider when choosing a CMS platform for your website. We offer a CMS consultation as part of any new website we develop, so feel free to contact us for more information.