CMS for Small Business: Content Management Systems


Did you ever want to make a change to your Web site but it’s ten past five on a Friday and your developer has left the building? Have you ever wished you could make that small text change rather than paying a developer? Have you ever wanted to easily add pictures or video to your site?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then I may have a future as a sales letter copywriter. Oh, and you might be ready to upgrade your static Web site to a content management system (CMS) platform.

Since the beginning of the Web, site owners have wanted to be able to update and manage their own Web sites, but without having to learn HTML or additional programming languages. Early WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors added a lot of bulky code to Web pages that resulted in slow load times and vastly different user experiences depending on the Web browser the visitor used.

Today, by comparison, you can build or rebuild your site on an open-source CMS and have nearly complete control over your site with elegant code that works well in all modern browsers.

Why Upgrade to a CMS?

Control Your Web Site. With a CMS you’ll be able to make most changes to your site: add, edit or delete a page, update an events calendar, add photos or embed a video, update the navigation, the list goes on. You can easily take your email newsletter and create a Web page archive. You’ll never again be at the mercy of a Web developer’s schedule.

Control Your Costs. There are some excellent open-source CMS platforms out there like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. That means the software to build the site is free, although you’ll probably still need to hire a professional to design and develop your site, or convert your current design to a CMS.

Since you’ll be able to handle your future updates inhouse, there’s an obvious cost-savings there as well. Many features that take extra time to develop in a traditional site—such as a site search or a blog—often come bundled in a CMS. If they don’t, there’s always a free or low-cost plug-in that provides the desired functionality.

Finally, because of the way CMSs work, design changes can be completed in a fraction of the time of a traditional site; that means that your future redesigns should be considerably less expensive if you’ve built your site on a CMS.

Control Your Search Engine Visibility. Early content management systems weren’t known for their search engine friendliness, but times have changed. Many CMS platforms use CSS instead of tables, which most experts believe helps with search engine visibility because of the cleaner code.

In addition, most CMS platforms now give you control over your title tags, meta-descriptions and can even create site maps for your SEO pleasure.

Finally, search engines rank Web pages, not Web sites. This means that the more quality pages you put out, the more opportunity you have to rank well for a wide variety of keywords. Since you can create your own Web pages for no additional cost, there’s no reason why you can’t target desired keywords to your heart’s content.

Control Your Membership. OK, “control” may be stretching it. However, many CMS platforms have membership features built in so you can offer member benefits in the form of password-protected content on your site.

A Control Center for Your Social Media Presence. Most open-source CMSs offer some a blogging tool—in fact, WordPress is a blogging platform that has evolved and matured into a full-fledged CMS. Why does this matter? A blog is the hub of your social media presence as it provides a specific place for people to visit that is interactive and allows feedback and conversation.

Beyond the blog, most CMS platforms offer other pillars of social media, such as RSS feeds and built-in tools that allow site visitors to bookmark and share your content, enabling viral marketing on your behalf.

In Conclusion

There are few Web sites out there that wouldn’t benefit from being built or rebuilt on a CMS platform. Take control of your Web site and Internet marketing by making the move today.

If you’d like to talk to someone about whether a CMS makes sense for you, or which platform would be the best fit for your business, contact flyte today.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media