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Content Managed Websites – Pros and Cons

We have a number of requests to get a content managed system (C.M.S). This is a website whereby the client is able to log in and update and write content, new pages on their own website. Thus keeping it up to date and fresh. This is now becoming the standard style of website that businesses today.

CMS websites are great idea, but a few things must be taken into consideration when you are looking into getting a website of this style as opposed to a “static brochure website” whereby the pages are created in a format that can only be edited by either a web designer of a kid with good web knowledge.

Content management is about being able to edit content, but its a lot more that that it actually allows you to edit the whole site, the menu system, the layout, the colours, the design, everything!

Now here’s the But. . . this is all great but a few factors we would suggest would be required in getting involved in this.

  • Time
  • Creativity
  • Experience in Desk Top Publishing or Graphic Design and Layout.
  • E.C.D.L

Time: Being able to change a websites content is wonderful and really puts power in the owners hands. That’s of course if the user assigns time to the project and we have found that the more time the users give to their website management the more they will benefit from this tool. And that’s all this is, a tool to editing the site, so depending on how you use it will depend on the results.

Creativity: Say you edit the text and insert only a few words about a topic. The search engines will see that this is all you know about the topic. Don’t keep this knowledge in your head, put it on the site. Write about your chosen topic and remember you are not writing a book, Think of it as a magazine, you need to understand you reader and the time they have to scan down through you content.

Layout and Design: Ok so now you have the time, you’ve inserted the content. How does it look? Does it look like a long back and white page or have you used indents, bullet points, italic, bold, remember you online users scan down through the content so grab their attention and highlight words for them.

ECDL: These types of courses are great to give the user an understanding of the methods that can be involved. But do note that content management is not MS Word, Its a thousand time more. We think of it like comparing MS Word and MS Excel to Content Management and An Accounting System.

If you post an invoice on an accounting system you can not just click “back” and start again, you have to insert a credit note to minus the invoice. Its a little more structured but there is method and reason for this.

Content management systems are similar to this as you can’t just click back, they are online applications that need to be closed properly otherwise you lock a document. And once the document or page is locked it may not be accessible to edit by another editor. A Desktop application like Word etc can close and you can open it again it may have tried to so an auto-save.

So to sum up, think about your design skills, your time and your typesetting skills.

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