Over the past several years, we have observed a strong trend towards using content management systems in website design and ecommerce development. Increasingly, clients ask for the ability to manage their own website.
First of all, what is a CMS?
CMS stands for Content Management System. As the name indicates, it is a back end tool (invisible to the website visitor) that allows you to update text, pictures, and links without any knowledge of HTML. Some CMS systems even allow you to add audio, video, and PayPal buttons.
Why use a CMS?
If you frequently update your site with news, product information, product pricing, pictures, or other information, a CMS makes sense. It also makes “cents!” Having a CMS allows you to update your content, and focus your budget towards filling holes in your web strategy. For example, have you considered how much potential business you are losing by not having a search engine optimized site? Or, for ecommerce websites, adding expanded product profiles and user interface improvements (like picture zoom in/out) can increase your sales.
Can a CMS work with any website?
There is a CMS for every major website language.
- HTML: we recommend Contribute, Adobe’s (formerly Macromedia) best selling editor. It is simple for us to integrate with any HTML website, and is unmatched in ease of use. Features include the ability to include PDF’s in your web pages, add audio/video files, include PayPal buttons, and more.
- Example of Contribute in use: Zahr & Associates
- PHP and PHP eCommerce: we recommend Mambo, an open source CMS. It is widely used and widely documented, which allows us to adapt it for just about any need. Mambo is our CMS of choice for eCommerce web site design.
- Example of Mambo in use: Billygoose.com
Implementing a CMS
Whether you already have a website, or are just about to get going, a CMS is an important tool to consider. It gives you freedom in managing your own website, and allows you to redirect budget dollars towards essential improvements of your website.