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How will a content management system (CMS) improve the effectiveness of my website?

4th January 2006

5-minutes read

Out-of-date content on a website disappoints visitors and frustrates the website owner. There is another way...

The downfall of many websites is that their content is allowed to become out-of-date. This disappoints visitors, who are looking for more than the old information they find. It is also frustrating for the website owner, who may not have the resources to enable more regular updates.

The facility to update a website’s content directly, without any reliance on a web development partner, is an essential tool for many business owners. Good use of a Content Management System (CMS) brings clear business benefits by improving a website’s effectiveness. How would you benefit by using a CMS to update your website?

What is a Content Management System?

Unlike much IT terminology, the definition of "content management system" is fairly intuitive: it is a system that enables you, the website owner, to update your website’s content. Most importantly, a CMS makes it possible to change the content on your website without the involvement of your web designer.

How could I use a Content Management System on my website?

The ability to manage the content on your website gives you the freedom to publish a variety of information. Typical uses for a CMS include publishing:

  • News, announcements and press releases
  • Articles and newsletters
  • Product details
  • Special offers
  • Testimonials and case studies
  • Vacancies and personnel profiles
  • Useful links
  • Online resources and downloads

How will I know whether a Content Management System will benefit me?

Various "symptoms" suggest that you will benefit from using a CMS:

  • Do you regularly ask your web designer to update text / images on your website?
  • Are you reliant on your web designer to keep your website in sync with activities elsewhere in your business, such as new product launches, price changes or marketing campaigns?
  • Do you find that the cost of paying your website designer to maintain your website is getting too high?
  • Are you frustrated that some of the content on your website is out-of-date or inaccurate?
  • Do you ever miss business opportunities by not being able to add timely or topical content in response to changes in your market?

If you answer "Yes" to one or more of these questions, you should use a CMS to update your website.

What are the business benefits of a Content Management System?

You will benefit by implementing a CMS for a number of reasons:

Lower website maintenance costs

The immediate benefit is financial. Updating your own website, rather than paying a website designer to make changes on your behalf, will save you money.

Using a CMS usually incurs a fixed charge which does not vary with the number of changes you make. Therefore, the more you use your CMS, the lower the "per change" cost. When a website designer makes changes on your behalf, they will charge for each change and so the "per change" cost is never reduced.

Using a Content Management System can reduce on on-going website costs.

Timely and topical content

A CMS enables you to make immediate changes to your website. Furthermore, many CMS’s provide you with the option of specifying a start and an end date for content, which means you can control exactly when something appears on your website.

You might want to show certain content at a particular time of year, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day, or at a time that coincides with a particular event (the World Cup or a general election, for instance).

Perhaps you have a series of events that run regularly throughout the year: a CMS could automatically remove the details of each event from your website as soon as it becomes out-of-date. This means you would not need to remember to update your website a specific times as the CMS would look after this for you.

Using a Content Management System enables you to add timely and topical content to your website.

Greater flexibility

Once content is added to your CMS, it can be used in a number of places on your website. This means you can be more inventive with your website and present relevant content to your visitors in various ways.

For example, you may have a News page, which includes all the news stories you have published, but also wish to show the three most recent news stories in a side panel on your Home page. Each time you add a fresh story to your website, the list of three most recent stories and the full list on the News page is updated automatically.

Using a Content Management System means you can display content on your website more creatively, which will engage visitors and make your website more rewarding.

Search engine success

Regularly adding fresh content to your website will attract search engines. New content, which includes keywords and phrases relevant to your market, you will improve your chances of search engine exposure and this will produce a higher number of website visitors.

Using a Content Management System to add topical content to your website will raise your site’s profile in search engines, which will encourage a higher number of visits to your website.

Ignorance is bliss

A CMS removes the need for you to understand the technicalities of creating web pages, while still enabling you to add rich content to your website such as formatted text, tables, images and links. By hiding this complexity, a CMS lets you focus on the content without needing to worry about its layout or appearance.

If you were to update your website without using a CMS, you would need to purchase some suitable web editing software for your computer and develop specific web design skills.

Using a Content Management System means you can update your website without needing to install specialist software on your computer or learn new technical skills.

How up-to-date is your website? Are you missing out on the benefits of using a CMS to add fresh, innovative content to your site? Are you paying your website designer to make updates on your behalf and you would prefer to be self-sufficient?

A Content Management System is an essential tool for many business owners and it can improve a website’s effectiveness by offering visitors timely, engaging content. Perhaps a Content Management System will help you transform your website… so your customers regard it as a valuable and vibrant source of information and you can depend on it as a regular source of business enquiries.

Jeremy Flight

Jeremy Flight

Technical Director

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