Thursday, 8 November 2012
Probably the 2 groups that benefit most from a good CMS are website designers and the website end users/managers.
A good CMS speeds up the build process as the site is effectively built on a ready- made, but customisable foundation.
More importantly, once live, even the best designed website is likely to require ongoing changes as the marketing/trading environment evolves. The CMS allows these changes to be made quickly and easily – certainly easier than modifying a non CMS based one.
There are a huge number of CMS platforms available – ranging from the very simple ones suitable for very uncomplicated websites, up to those with huge numbers of set up variations, plus huge numbers of add on features designed to meet almost every possible business requirement. In addition, some CMS systems are built from the outset to be operated by designers and end users with little or no technical knowledge, whilst others require specific development or coding skills.
The choice of CMS for a designer therefore comes down to 2 things in the main:
Summarising – the designer benefits from a CMS by the fact that it speeds up the build process and makes ongoing site maintenance that much easier. This invariably leads to much happier clients!
Client end users, typically the website administrators gain because a CMS allows them to make changes to their own website. As the term Content Management System implies, these changes are typically to the website’s content, and as websites are becoming an ever increasingly important part of the marketing mix, it follows that keeping the site’s content up to date and relevant has also become more important.
Previously, without a CMS, these changes had to be made by the website provider. This involved additional costs to the website owners, and often frustrating delays waiting for the work to be done. In addition, some changes need to be made before they can be judged. Sometimes changes need to be undone if they don’t look right, or don’t bring the hoped for results. Website administrators without a CMS lose a vital control element of one of their key marketing assets.
As mentioned, CMS’s do vary in their scope and usability. As most websites play a marketing role, we feel that it makes sense to have the Marketing team within a company looking after the site. The less technical the CMS, the easier this becomes for the Marketing team, and it is our belief that wherever possible the IT department’s involvement is either minimised, or removed altogether.
Some CMS’s like Contegro go several steps beyond merely allowing content to be updated on the site by the website administrators. Allowing the user to ‘Test and Tune’ the site’s functionality and if necessary change it’s structure allows the website owner to really take control of the site’s performance. If feedback and research indicates that the site is hard to navigate by clients, then being able to simplify it easily in-house allows the problem to be rectified. If certain pages are overly text orientated, being able to add visual and indeed interactive elements, such as voting polls, feedback forms, even Blogs etc can do wonders for maintaining the clients engagement and ultimately steering them to taking the positive actions the site requires to justify its existence.
So the benefit to the website owner/end user? For the Marketing team in particular, having a good level of control over one of their key assets is vital in today’s environment. Websites need to be kept up to date and relevant if they are to succeed and the netter the level of control those people responsible for delivering the content of the website, generally the better the results.
Do we advocate CMS systems for everyone? Yes we do! Even if we talk to someone who says their site will never need any alteration, we’d still recommend a CMS for no other reason than it should bring the initial build costs down. Also, with the online marketing environment in such a state of ongoing change, who can say with 100% surety that their website won’t ever require alterations?