Web design companies throw the term “content management system” around a lot and many small businesses may not know what it means. It is actually a pretty straight forward term; a content management system is a system that manages website content. It allows someone to access the backend of a website and make updates to website content relatively easily, without the need to know any HTML coding.
What are some situations in which a company might need a content management system?
Your company has a news section
If your company has many different things going on that would be useful to your clients and customers or garners attention in public news, then your website should have a news section. If the news is to be updated frequently like 4 or 5 times a month on average, it should be updated through a content management system. This will allow an in-house employee who may not have technical know-how to update the website news section when necessary. This will help keep your news section fresh and will streamline updates rather than having to contact your web provider to make news site changes every week.
Your website has a blog
If your company website has a blog which is being updated and maintained on a consistent basis, then you definitely want to integrate some sort of content management system. It makes it a much easier task to add fresh blog content to your website and it also allows other non-technically savvy users to add their own blog posts as well. WordPress is a great system for updating consistent blog posts with several users at a time.
You have an ecommerce website
If you are using an ecommerce website to sell products and/or services, you will need to be able to update products/services/specials etc. For example, when prices change or products are discontinued, the information will need to be updated quickly. Similar to stocking a shelf in a Target store for example, you wouldn’t want to have to call your outside website vendor to make continuous updates to your online store. An ecommerce content management system would work perfectly in this instance.
What are some disadvantages of using a content management system?
Quite often, content management systems are “out of the box” and sometimes have limitations on customization unless you have some serious technical know-how. Ultimately, you would still need to contract a professional website design company to properly design and develop it to your specifications.
A content management system can also be tricky when it comes to search engine optimization. Ideally, when optimizing a website, an SEO company would like to have full access over the raw code of a website because this allows access to all meta tags, content, code and other parts of the site. Depending on which content management system the website is integrating, it can sometimes not allow full access to certain aspects of the website needed for SEO. There are ways around it, but it is more difficult than the standard HTML website.
Content management systems are very effective in certain situations. As listed above, it can work in harmony with your website when used correctly. As with anything, there are downsides, mainly with customization and the potential difficulty with SEO. There is also a learning curve, but the long term upside definitely outweighs the short term work involved in the beginning.