Does Your Small Business Web Site Need a Content Management System (CMS)?
When developing or re-designing a website, many small business owners wonder if they should install a content management system (CMS). A CMS is a tool designed to help non-web designers create, edit and manage website content (like articles, videos, images, etc) more easily.
To give you an example, ever heard of WordPress? WordPress allows you to select the look of your blog, write blog posts for the world to see, accept or reject comments, categorize your posts, and more. All without any knowledge of web development or design. Get the “techy” definition of a CMS here.
Reasons why you might need a Content Management System:
- You plan to update your site very often (like every week or every day)
- A non-web designer will be doing the updates to your site
- You need to make updates from a place other that your office
- You sell many items
- You have a blog
- You need to make changes or publish things sitewide quickly
Before Choosing a CMS, You May Want to Look For:
- Seach engine friendly URLs (not reallly long strings of gobbledy-gook text)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- are there specific tags describing each page, product, heading, image, etc
- is the page code minimal and not a jumbled mess (check with your web developer)
- Ease of use (for your staff and your customers)
- Speed (some load more slowly than others)
- Marketing/advertising options (if needed)
- Multiple payment options (if needed)
- Accessibility (can people with physical disabilities retrieve your information easily, for example using a screen reader)
You should research and try out several Content Management Systems online before you install.
How much will it cost? Prices vary, and some are available for free. You will probably need to enlist the help of a web developer or designer to decide which CMS is right for you. He or she will be able to install and configure your CMS for you, and can train you to use the software to manage your website on your own.
Does your company use a content management system? Leave a comment and tell us which one you use and why. Does it meet all your needs and function well?
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