First up, what is a CMS!? CMS stands for Content Management System and is a program that works behind the scenes on your website so that you can upload your own content.
You log in, find the bit of content you want to change, make your alteration and hit ‘save’. This can cover all sorts of things, from something as simple as changing the wording of the introductory paragraph on your homepage to something more complex like managing a photo gallery that resizes any images you upload.
What’s it going to cost?
A CMS sounds like a no-brainer but it involves extra work for your web designer, which can push the cost of a project up.
The good news is, a CMS can be as comprehensive or as lightweight as you need it to be: just that header on your homepage? No bother! Control over all content on your site? A blog with a commenting facility for your readers? A photo gallery with albums? An online shop? Fine!
More control and features will mean more cost but it’s a good idea to check this against the alternative.
What’s the alternative?
The alternative to a CMS is to email your web designer your content and ask them to upload it for you.
This will usually be charged at an hourly rate and if you’re going to be sending them content regularly it will probably be much more cost effective to go down the CMS route.
Ramp it up
The beauty of a bespoke website is that there’s always a middle ground. If budget is tight it can be a good idea to start small and add features and functionality to your CMS over time.
A CMS isn’t just for content updates – it can also serve as a robust framework for common security weak-points like contact forms, so if you want a contact form on your site (a great way to encourage visitors to get in touch) I’d recommend a CMS installation that can be built upon at a later date to protect your site against any potentially crippling security breaches.
What’s best for me?
So your both your business’s needs and budget will dictate how best to approach your CMS. Will it be:
- comprehensive and feature rich;
- limited to a few content items with a view to expanding its scope in the future;
- best avoided!
Give me a shout for a chat about which approach would be best for you and your business.