A Content Management System (CMS) is open-source application software that is developed by third-party software companies that allow our clients to easily update website content using only a web browser such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Chrome. Content Management Systems also offer an editor that typically looks like a Microsoft Word interface that allows for easy editing of content. The most popular Open Source Content Management Systems include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Expression Engine.
InteractiveWest typically includes a Content Management System as a foundation for every Web Development project that we undertake for a variety of reasons including:
No Software or Training Needed
A Content Management Sytems eliminates the need to purchase software or provide additional training to maintain your website. Dreamweaver or Contribute are software programs that have been the most popular way to maintain static websites. A Content Management System eliminates the need to purchase Dreamweaver ($399.00) or Contribute ($199.00) plus time and expense for training needed to effectively use the software. To edit or add content to your website, all you need is a computer with a web browser and Internet connection.
Little to No HTML Knowledge Needed
Content Management Systems are designed with non-technical users in mind. People with average knowledge of word processing software (ie. Microsoft Word) can edit and create content, add images and upload multimedia files easily. Little to no html knowledge is necessary to maintain a website utilizing a Content Management Sytem.
Decreased Web Maintenance Costs
A Content Management System eliminates outsourcing of web maintenance services to an outside web developer. Because staff members are able to easily edit or add content, our clients are able eliminate the expense and turnaround time it takes to outsource website updates.
Maintaining Consistency of Website Design
Because content is stored separately from the design of the site, new content is presented with the same consistent design throughout the entire website.
Easily Updatable Navigation
Menu navigation is easily updated and changes are generated automatically and adjusted within the Content Management System. You can typically reorder navigation using a drop and drag method.
Website Content is Stored in a Database
Since your website content is stored in a database, that means that content can be reused or featured in different places on the website and reformatted for different devices including mobile phones, ipads and printers without having to retype content.
Lowered Costs to Enhance Your Website
Thousands of pre-programmed modules, components and plugins are available that add additional functionality to your website such as forum, polls, ecommerce applications, site search, photo galleries, event calendars etc. Most of these are free and where commercial versions typically run under $100.00. To provide similar website functionality outside a Content Management System, typical costs for custom programming can range from $250.00 to $2,500.00.
Multiple users can access the backend of the Content Management System to make updates at the same time. User Management assigns roles and permissions for your staff to update website content and also prevents them from making updates or adding content to the website which they are not authorized to change.
Meets SEO Requirements
A Content Management System is the best platform to develop websites that meet all the Search Engine Optimization requirements. We can easily turn on Search Engine URL's so Search Engines can crawl site and include links for all pages within the site. It also allows InteractiveWest a way to easily do SEO markup that is necessary to increase Search Engine Rankings.
Cross Browser Compatibility
There is nothing more frustrating and expensive than making your website coding view the same in a variety of browsers that include 4 versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome on both a Mac and PC operating systems. Content Management Systems typically offer free updates to keep up with the ever-changing web browser software that is used to view websites.
Using Content Management Systems to build and manage your website help minimize your website cost and expenses and sets your website up as a foundation for future expansion. This gives you the chance to spend the money you save on where it matters most: which is marketing and lead generation.