Why do I need a Content Management System?
In this article we considered the balance between design and content in a website and the importance of keeping your site dynamic and up to date. Having a Content Management System (CMS) on your website allows you to ‘log in‘ to your site and make changes. The simplest systems allow you to change wording and add or remove pictures etc. While more sophisticated systems (including the Open-Source options discussed in this article) can offer almost unlimited functionality. If you want it you can have it! Many businesses want to make modest changes to words or pictures on their website – the sort of updates that should take no more than a couple of minutes – but they get frustrated trying to track down their web developer and then finding they are charged significant amounts for even the smallest amendment. Having a Content Management System on your website makes day-to-day updates much simpler. It is possible to do many updates in house with only minimal training and no knowledge of HTML coding. Even if you outsource your web updates, A CMS makes most changes quick and easy – and cheaper!
Content is no longer king? It’s rapidly becoming commodity
Moving on from the time and money benefits of being easily able to keep your website up to date as your business evolves, the ability to manage the content on your site goes much further in today’s marketing environment. E-mail and social media offer fantastic opportunities to get your message out to your market, but they require a stream of high quality content. I’m currently reading the book “The Content Code” by Mark Schaefer, and in it he hypothosises that in today’s world of content marketing, content is no longer King! After climbing back on my chair thinking all I held true to be a lie, I read on and the point he makes is that today, great content is a must; but that is only the start! It’s getting content seen and engaged with that is the issue. So what has this to do with the issue of CMS? Well, generating the content needs to be easy, you need to be able to focus on the content itself and how it is shared and disseminated, rather than the technicalities of getting it onto the web in the first place. A good Content Management System is THE most important tool for doing this.
The power of website collaboration
As you might have guessed, I like content management systems, but as well as being an essential tool, they can also become a source of frustration! As you develop a desire to manage and evolve your website, it won’t be long before you start to say “If only I could……”. CMS systems are great, but at the non-technical level, they can be a little restrictive. This is where the concept of “Collaborative Websites” come in. by partnering with a marketing company that understands your CMS, when you to that point where you are saying “If only I could……”. it will probably not be a big issue to tweak the system so you can (especially if you are using something like WordPress). In this way, you can do as much of of the work on your website as you want and have the knowledge to, and bring in the experts only when you need to, keeping you in control, and costs down.
To finish, a few words about Search Engine Optimisation. Gone are the days when you need an SEO technician to “optimise” your site. Technical optimisation can now be built in to your CMS. Focus can then shift to making sure that your content is going to get the position it deserves on search engines. This in now much more about covering the right subjects, making sure your content is structured correctly and contains the right keywords (yes they are still important), and that it gets shared extensively. Again a good CMS with SEO functionality (We tend to use the Yoast Plugin for wordpress) is a great tool for this. Build & forget is no longer a viable website strategy. The best way to avoid this in the real world is to have and use a flexible CMS to ensure that your site is where it should be – At the core of your Joined-up Marketing Strategy.