||When you are looking for a web design company or a hosting company that does Content Management Systems, you need to be carefull for the traps.
Content Management Systems greatly help a company or individual take control of their site. If you aren't interested in using Dreamweaver to make your own updates or pay someone to do them for you, then the Content Management System is a PLUS. You can update your own pages at will, and you pay no one any money to do it.
A win-win situation, right? Not always.
Don't fall into the content management trap:
- If you have a small site, you don't need a high-end Content Management System.
There are scripts that can be written so a user can log onto the page itself,
make their edits, and leave. This can be done with html pages, which should bring
the costs down from a management system price, to more reasonable one. The scripts
are relatively cheap compared to some Content Management Systems and extra Web
Hosting prices. Know ahead of time how big your site is going to be and know your
- If your site is big, but you only have a few pages that you will actually
update reguarly, then why not opt for scripts on those pages for a fraction of
the cost? Do you need to pay the cost for a whole site under a Content Management
System for just a few pages to be updated? The answer is obviously, NO!
- You have your site designed, you want to make some structural changes, the
costs for some of these kinds of systems can be high because they are using a
psuedo version of an already developed program.
You need to be sure that what you are getting upfront can be easily manipulated
structurely, and not something that will cost large amounts of money. Case in
point, a customer wanted to take their products page (all products on one page)
and break them out to groupings on different pages. In HTML this can be done realatively
quickly. The Content Management System being used was one developed on top of
Cold Fusion. The company held control and the costs for making the changes were
- A good Content Management System should allow the owner of the site to take
it to whatever web hosting company they want, without losing the site itself.
If you end up not liking the service of a hosting providor or web developer, you
are often times stuck because the content management program was modified to become
their own version. So the site you paid for either stays where it is, or you pay
to have another site developed somewhere else.
To make sure you can take it with you to another web hosting company offering
the same platform (unix, windows, linux), get it in writing before you sign with
the company. Don't take no for an answer, and if they offer excuses, use your
- Search Engine Optimization is another worry. If the Content Management System
you are using only allows one set of keywords, 1 description and 1 title for every
page, your site will be severly compromised for search engine results. Google's
Webmaster tools, once you have set up an account, will call these out as errors.
It will come into play on all pages being indexed into the search engines. Keywords,
descriptions and title tags MUST be different for every page of your site. Again,
get it in writing, or have them show you examples where they change the tags on
every page. It shouldn't cost you more to be able to change the tags on every
- Earlier I spoke of psuedo programs. This would be a developer or web hosting
version of a program already developed. You need to find out beforehand if this
is what they do. Cold Fusion, Drupal, Joomla are all great Content Management
Systems. But they work best when they have been left alone because you will be
able to move the site to any web hosting company that offers the platform it was
built on. Godaddy is a great web hosting option when you have a developer in place
already and you just need a web hosting company.
In the end, a Content Management System can help you immensely, or it can limit you and cost a fortune. Would you want to update, or pay someone to update every page because you changed the navigation? A site of their size needs a Content Management System. You may need one also. Just take the time to ask questions so you can find the correct Content Management System for your site. Not one that is best for the developers and/or hosting company's wallet.
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