There are many who think that building a website is all that is needed for a successful online presence, however in reality, a website needs to be continuously updated and maintained. Today’s society is fast paced and the demand for up to date information in real time has tremendously increased when compared to a few years ago. This is an important point to keep in mind when thinking about building a website. Earlier websites used static HTML pages which meant management and maintenance were very resource intensive. It also made it impossible to keep up with the current demand for accurate and updated information.
Content management systems (CMS) make managing and maintaining websites a whole lot easier.
A CMS is a powerful and dynamic web application used to accomplish common tasks like adding, updating and deleting content and pages from within a web browser. A CMS user is not required to have an extensive knowledge of web technologies and coding, as it overcomes the problem of requiring a technical person to perform these simple tasks.
Let’s explore the difference between a static and dynamic website with this simple example:
To get a better idea of the benefits that content management systems provide, let’s explore the task of adding an item to the site menu using both approaches. With the static HTML page approach, developers would have to programmatically update each recurring section throughout the site. This means that if your site had 15 pages, 15 updates would need to be made. Also if different developers worked on different updates at different times, each with their own programming style, your website code would continue to become harder and harder to manage due to inconsistencies.
With the CMS approach, any user can simply go to the menu section and add an item with no programming involved and this updates all sections of the site at once. Dynamic websites like ones that use CMS technology solve many of the problems that static websites suffer from.
Here are some of the benefits of using a content management system for your website:
- Easy Content Updates – Non-technical persons can create, edit and publish easily through WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) components. This affords users the option to focus on the content rather than the code for formatting.
- Reduced Cost – Most popular CMS are available to the public free of charge i.e. available under the open source licence. This increases the innovation on the particular CMS product as a larger number of persons within the community can continuously work on improving it. Additionally, cost is lowered because there is no longer the need to hire technical persons to update or modify the website’s content.
- Easy Extensibility – A number of tasks can be accomplished by extending the CMS through the use of plug-ins. There are a large number of plugins available for most CMS platforms which allow website owners to react faster to the changing functional needs of the market.
- Dynamic Site-wide Changes – Unlike static websites, changes are made immediately. Also content is more flexible; if a change is made in one section, it can be effected throughout the website. For example, changing the name of a menu item.
- Better Management and Organization of content – CMS is a powerful tool that allows revision control on content, collaboration of authors and checks, and strict controls by setting permissions for persons who will be contributing to the website.
- Centralized Media libraries – It facilitates the adding, deleting, editing of images and pdfs all in one place.
- Additional features – CMS allows for multisite configuration i.e. running more than one instance of a website on the same installation. This makes it possible for multiple websites to share the same code base and modules. There is also multilingual support through the use of plugins.
- Active Community – Contributors are continuously working on improving and developing the software for each CMS.
We don’t want to completely rule out static websites because they definitely still serve a purpose and are still quite useful however we hope this article has shed some light on the advantages of using a Content Management System. Let us know what you think.