Imagine a content management system that gives you the ability to update your business website in real time or add new pages or business information to your live website within seconds. Sounds quite innovative right? Well that’s exactly what we think! Sure by this point we have all heard about the numerous benefits of having a content management system. But for this truly innovative tool and its far reaching effects, it’s worth mentioning again. A CMS is basically a platform that allows even a non-technical individual to edit, modify or even publish specific content on a website. These updates or modifications can actually be made in real time with just a few clicks of a mouse. Adding new products, blog posts or additional press releases to your website becomes a breeze. Nowadays a content management system is a common addition to most newly developed websites and also part of the value proposition offered by web design agencies on custom web products. We do however, want to bring up a few things that sometimes get overlooked.
First of all, websites do not automatically come with a content management system. In fact, most of the websites in existence don’t have one. Without a CMS your company is actually tied down to that specific web design agency for the life of your business. Unless you have an in-house developer you’ll need to rely on that agency for any and all changes. It’s definitely not the ideal or most cost effective solution as your business may be quite active in the online world and require weekly or even daily updates. For businesses that have an eCommerce website, this is especially true. All sorts of updates and changes to your online store can be facilitated through a robust CMS and eCommerce solution, including product description, product images, quantity, pricing, shipping, taxes and various other attributes.
Some businesses also ask us if there are any drawbacks to having a CMS. While we don’t see any real drawbacks there are a few items to keep in mind. One item to note is that not every CMS is created equal. There are various options available but even within the best 4 or 5 CMS solutions there are vast differences. Some are better suited for complex functionality and equipped with robust, feature rich options. Some are better suited for eCommerce websites or provide greater flexibility for future growth, while others handle just the basics without all the bells and whistles. Obviously knowing how much functionality your new website will require and your business goals will help determine the right CMS. In addition, you’ll want to consider data uploads or integrations with your ERP software or additional databases when scoping out requirements.
Another interesting item to keep in mind is that not every CMS is user friendly. Some are easier to use than others and of course “user friendly” is quite subjective. WordPress for example is considered the most popular and most user friendly CMS available. Many clients actually prefer or even request WordPress as the CMS for their new handcrafted website.
Lastly, a content management system in the hands of an inexperienced individual may lead to headaches. Unless you know what you are doing the changes you make to your live website may not look good or turn out as anticipated. It’s always best to have an experienced individual assigned to manage your CMS and all updates as you don’t want just anybody playing with your live website. Sometimes your changes may cause a shift in the alignment or accidentally delete content or even break a specific website page, all of which get seen by the online world instantly. So unless you’ve been properly trained or know what you are doing we recommend leaving CMS access exclusively to experienced individuals.
Even considering the few items we have mentioned here, overall the benefits of a CMS clearly outweigh the drawbacks. Clients love the freedom and flexibility that a content management system provides. Businesses enjoy and even demand the ability to make important changes without having to rely on an outside party. We are certain the CMS will continue to be a popular addition to business grade websites globally.