Being able to change the contents of a business website ‘in house’ can be a major advantage depending on the area of your business. Take for example a publican. He might want to run an events list on the pub’s website, and change the food menu’s occasionally.
With a traditional website, all changes need to be made by someone who knows web design. Even simple things like prices are effectively “in code”. A content management system (C.M.S.) on the other hand has a section called a backend. This is a web page where the owner logs in to make changes to what the public sees. The backend allows changes to the content, layout, menus and certain other elements.
There are many different C.M.S. and a suitable one should be chosen. The top systems can cost thousands, however there are actually many free ‘open source’ systems that are regularly used for business websites. “Joomla!” and “WordPress” are two examples of currently popular systems. Also a C.M.S. website needs to start with the C.M.S. – it cannot be just ‘bolted’ onto an existing website.
Depending on the way the system is designed and how much training and practice you have, various things can be changed. Changing text and photos is pretty easy. Adding pages and menus is usually not much more difficult. Certain systems also allow extra functionality (e.g. an event list or Photo gallery) to be added using extensions.
To get any value from a C.M.S. it is essential to spend time learning how to use it and practising with it. A good designer should provide basic training but the more understanding in the company as to the role and operation of the C.M.S., the more value the company can get from it’s website overall.