How a content management system can help your website
If you are looking to get a new website built for your business, it is very important that you are aware of the various options available to you in terms of the structure of your website. If you’re looking for a simple couple of pages website advertising your business and services then a flat-file system is a straightforward and cost-effective way of getting your business on the web. However, if you need a little more advanced functionality and would like to update your website regularly etc then a content management system might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
A content management system (CMS for short) does exactly what it says on the tin. Broadly speaking, it is a system which is designed to help you to manage content on your website that allows you to add web pages, text and images etc. Content management systems come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from blog management systems to eCommerce systems, easy page-updating to dynamic content generation systems. The term is all-encompassing. What they do have in common however, is the way in which they are able to store, retrieve and manage data with ease and simplicity for technophobes.
A content management system consists of two systems – the front-end system and the back-end system. The front-end system enables you to manage your content and the end user to view it and utilise it on your website; the back-end system, which retrieves data and manipulates it in such a way that it can be easily utilised by the front-end; and of course also, the database. Which stores the data and allows it to be retrieved by the back-end system. Common database formats include MySQL for Unix-based systems and Microsoft SQL Server for ASP-based systems.
The most common use of content management systems is blog management. Blog management systems, such as WordPress, have a wide range of uses nowadays – way beyond that of maintaining a blog. WordPress, in particular, is very popular as a generalised CMS, allowing users to create simple text pages and interlink them in a way which makes maintaining their website much easier than it otherwise would be. Widgets, plugins and themes make setting up and maintaining a website with WordPress a breeze, and it is an increasingly popular option as a generalised CMS.
Of course, blog management systems such as WordPress are the best option if you are looking to set up a blog-based website. The management of blog posts is fully taken care of, from category management to sorting and ordering, archiving and commenting. Although your website may seem impressively complicated, a high quality content management system can make the whole process a breeze.
If you are looking to sell products through your website, you will almost definitely need an eCommerce system. WordPress do offer various ecommerce plugins, but we would only recommend using this option if you have very little products because the plugins don’t offer you great product management like oscommerce and magento do. Popular eCommerce packages, including Magento and osCommerce, make it easy for you to set up an online store and integrate your products with a payment acceptance solution. Services such as PayPal and WorldPay are relatively simple to set up and will allow you to accept payments safely and securely through your website in order to begin selling products and making money through the web. An eCommerce content management system will allow you to add, remove and update products quickly and easily, and makes managing your online store incredibly simple.
Whether you’re looking to launch a blog, build online store, or if you’re just simply looking for a way to update your website’s content quickly and easily, a content management system could be just the solution you need. You don’t need to be a whizz kid or have any kind of technical expertise in order to operate a well set-up content management system and can administrate an advanced form of website with relative ease. All content management systems come with easy-to-use front-end systems which will make updating your website, adding pages and tweaking products a walk in the park.
Content management systems do tend to be slightly more expensive than simple flat-file (html) websites due to the time they take to set up and calibrate, but the power which lies behind a good content management system like wordpress is truly unbeatable, and you’ll have a website which can maintain products and content easily for many years to come. Another powerful benefit you get from content management systems is they are also seo friendly. If you’re looking for a more powerful solution than just a simple html website, a content management system is just the thing for you.
To find out more about what a content management system can offer you and your business give us a call today on 028 9051 1328