The Changing Tides in Website Design: CMS and How it Can Reduce Your Costs
Is Your Website Costing You Too Much Money?
You don´t need to pay a pro to construct or run your website any more. Don´t abide having a tired website full of washed-out materials just because you´re dreading the expense of updating it!
The character of website development is has changed quickly. A pile of education was necessary to be a web designer a decade ago. Website designers needed to be able to use HTML generators like Dreamweaver, and they had to be fluent in new programming languages like HTML and ASP.
There is a new technology, however, called a "CMS", or "Content Management System that makes experts much less important in the building and upkeep of virtually all small business websites. To be your own webmaster all you need is a casual acquaintance with computers using these systems. The Content Management System, or "point and click" site editor, is essentially just a consistent extension of editing applications that web site professionals have used for years. It can be used to append and get rid of pages. You can also edit pages utilizing what is often referred to as a "WYSIWYG editor" which is really just an exceptionally elementary word processor. Don't let the vernacular browbeat you! WYSIWYG is simply a nickname for "What You See is What You Get". It allows you to format the page, construct tables and upload photographs and other images. You can also change the overall experience of the web site by arrange pages by modifying the website's Navigation Menu.
In short, a Content Management System allows almost anyone to quickly and effortlessly do all the functions that required a expert programmer hours to do no more than years ago.
Practically every single major site hosting service offers a free or low-priced content management system with hosted sites. This is far more than most local businesses require. One of my favorite website Hosts, GoDaddy.com, has a superior CMS for hosting small to medium sized enterprise web sites. Retail site owners will find it straight forward to build "shopping carts" on their web sites by using an application like Paypal that connects effortlessly into a site. Intuit website templates already contain a shopping cart feature. Intuit is a large compnay that furnishes programs and services for businesses, accounting, and cpa firms and has lately branched into this fresh mainstream market.
The difference, of course, is cost. Most website designers are typically not as motivated as you are to get your tasks done in a prompt fashion and most make $25 or more an hour. It´s not unusual for waits on professional website design jobs to be a a month or more.
This doesn´t even include the time lost constructing the website. Constructing a web site from scratch can frequently take 200 hours or more. That means months of wait time and thousands of dollars spent. Content Management System site providers get around this expense by designing the websites in advance and presenting menus of "ready-to-use" website templates.
Loads of CMS providers are able to fine-tune their existing styles quite inexpensively (to better reflect your brand), if not straight-out copy your current website, for those website owners who already have custom-made websites that they've spent heaps of capital on and are very pleased with their sites (or just resist using "templates"). This may be a new technology but it's disseminating extremely fast.
Of course the difficulty with sites built in this manner is that, while low-cost and simple to manage, they often want for substantive content. Before you rush off to GoDaddy do a Yahoo search for site providers that focus on your specific industry. A whole side industry has sprung up surrounding the demand for industry focused content.
For example, let's say you´re an accountant. This happens to be in my professional expertise so it makes a good example. You will see a variety of companies that furnish sites specially for CPAs complete with Content Management System just by Googling the key phrase "CPA Websites".
IMHO CPA Site Solutions is the best of these. For more than 10 years we have created ace websites for CPA firms. We're also one of those content managemment system providers on the cutting-edge that can "fine-tune" their templates or copy existing websites. Scrutinize a sample accounting site and you'll understand what we mean when we talk about "industry specific content":
Note the tools chosen principally for site owners in the CPA business? Free reports, tax due dates, links to tax forms and publications, a portal for transferring accounting files, interactive financial calculators, email... Maybe a business consultant or financial adviser could use most of the pages but it would be useless for a business like a hotel. A site like this is not meant to be valuable to a wide smorgasbord of concerns. It's essentially only intended for accounting and CPA firms.
Many industries; retailers, contractors, education, non-profit, restaurant, and hotel, legal, medical... have comparable providers.
It´s worth the time and cost of retaining expert deigners for certain large highly specialized firms, but for most small and medium sized enterprises, especially in these tough economic times, it´s time to pay attention to new solutions. Using a CMS that suits your company will reduce your costs and at the same time increase your administration over your site.