Web Design & Development

Content Management Systems

Let's start at the beginning, what is a content management system (CMS)? - A content management system is a system used to manage and publish web content, i.e. the content of a website, without having to manually edit HTML code. A CMS can be a custom built system, template sites, site builder sites, or blogs. 'Wikipedia' is a good example of a site that uses a content management system.

Everyone thinks: "I can save money if I update my website myself." Not necessarily! If you want to update your site daily then, yes, a CMS could be the answer and we could certainly arrange it all for you. But many people do not need to update their site more than once or twice a month. The costs of a good CMS will far exceed the cost we would charge for updating text and graphical material that infrequently. Additionally, we have heard of many instances where the client goes back to the designer, after running with an expensive CMS for only a short time, saying that an unforseen change is now needed beyond the scope of the Content Management package and they need the expertise of the designer! An example of this is the massive increase in mobile usage. Many CMS users have found that their websites are not 'responsive'. Responsive coding -(coding which transforms the view of the website to suit the screen size of the user) - is a lot more complex than basic HTML.

Let's look at the pros and cons of CMS:

CMS Pros

  • Allow for multiple users
  • Ability to easily add/edit web content
  • Allows for frequent updates
  • Users do not need to be able to write code
  • Allows user to easily learn the basics of html
  • Web-based CMS can be free or very low cost
  • Provides a central hub so all users can keep up to date on site changes
  • Sets the stage for uniform pages, so multiple users don?t stray from the overall design
  • Some provide attractive templates and imaging.

CMS Cons

  • Limited Search Engine Optimisation functionality
  • Restricted HTML editing
  • Design limitations
  • Not keeping up to date with new web standards & innovation
  • Difficult to switch web hosts
  • Website can look dated
  • Website can look like a ?CMS website?
  • Price - Can be very expensive if building a custom system

(Artwork with thanks to NastPlas)