If you have ever had a website that has had more than a few articles posted on it, then you are probably already familiar with just how difficult it can be to keep your content under control. A lot of website owners find that after just a few short months, content becomes out of date. It becomes hard to find. The appearance of the site as a whole looks old or dated.
Worst of all, you have no idea what is even on your website at all any more. Are you duplicating content? Should you be writing an article about such-and-such? Just what should you be doing?
You should be getting on board with a content management system, commonly referred to as CMS.
A content management system is an all-encompassing system that will help you create, manage, distribute, publish, and archive all of the content that you put onto your site. From the very creation of a document to its final, dwindling days on the front page, a CMS can manage and control every aspect of the operation.
Other than simply managing an article that you may post to your site, most content management systems also help you structuralize your site so that it makes sense. Suddenly you’ll be able to create a site that’s easy to search and navigate – and trust me, this plays a huge role in whether or not people bother returning to your site at all.
Some of the benefits of a CMS are:
A more streamlined writing process
Consistency to the website
Better site navigation
Increased security of your site and its content
The reduction or elimination of any duplicated content
A reduction in site maintenance costs
How CMS Works
The CMS process can basically be broke down into four separate categories:
This may differ from program to program, but most content management systems allow its users to create content without having to know HTML (which is a huge benefit to business owners!). It simplifies the process of creating a site structure, especially as most content management systems now offer a web-based authoring environment.
Whenever you save a page in CMS, that page is saved in CMS until the end of time. This makes it so much easier for you to keep track of each version of each page that you’ve had, as well as keep track of who changed the page and when.
A content management system also helps streamline the content approval process. For example, let’s say someone writes an article and submits it. The CMS will then send that page to the manager for approval. The manager can approve it and the page will then be whisked away to an editing team. Once the editing team has worked its magic, a CMS can then send it to the legal team for final approval, and then it will be posted to the website.
A CMS should allow for both web-publishing and intranet publishing, and it should be intelligent enough to apply any site or page layouts automatically to the page that you’re publishing. Once the site or page design has been created by a web developer or graphic designer, you can then apply that to your CMS so that each article is presented in that format.
There are a number of things that a content management system can do in terms of presenting your content. One thing we’ve discussed is enhancing the navigation of the site. Different systems may offer different perks, so read up on all of the details so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
How to Choose a Content Management System
Choosing a content management system will take a bit of homework. If you’ve already been looking around at different systems, then you know full well just how many different systems are out there and the different tools that they provide. My best advice to clients is this: once you understand the basics of a content management system, start thinking about how you want to make it work for you. What does the system look like when implemented? What sort of tasks does it do? How do you want it to make your life easier? Questions like this will help you consider what you want from your CMS and then determine which one is worth investing in.
For more tips and ideas on what you can do to better manage and design your website, download our free Ebook, “Website Redesign 101”.
There’s no question that CMS can definitely streamline your whole content management process. It will save you time, headaches and, in the long run, money.
If you're interested in content management but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.