Earlier, for a small business offering a few services a good way to get online is creating a 5-10 page static website. This was easy to do-it-yourself with a simple html editor, some web space at a hosting provider and a domain name. Website maintenance was a breeze and a single person could handle it.
So When do you need a CMS?
But now your business has grown and so has your website. There is a lot more to show and manage on the website than earlier and there are multiple stakeholders who influence the website. Usually these are
1. The top management 2. The IT department especially the hosting and design teams. 3. The Marketing department especially the SEO and Usability teams. 4. The content department who have to publish content.
This is the time you need to have a website you can manage in a more streamlined manner addressing the following key areas.
1. Proper user management 2. Content management 3. Design management 4. Marketing your business.
Enter the content management system
A content management system known as CMS for short is built for easy management and maintenance of websites.
Most CMS have the following key facilities
A template or templates to apply design to the website.
A database which stores content.
An engine (program) which delivers the requested page.
A system for managing the page content.
A system for managing user access.
Plugins or components to extend the system functionality.
The CMS engine ensures that the delivered page is
Populated with its content dynamically.
Has a relevant template applied to arrange display of this content.
This resolves most of the problems which you face using a static website. The plugins or components help your website become as rich as any corporate website.
Some widely used CMS systems
While there are numerous CMS systems and new ones being developed all the time, the most common ones used are the open source ones. These include
Joomla started out as an outcrop of Mambo, an older open source project. With millions of websites Joomla has seen growing demand. Their rich collection of extensions makes the Joomla CMS the most extendable of all CMS systems.
Drupal has been a major CMS for over a decade. While more complex to implement than Joomla, the Drupal CMS has greater stability and superior user management and security. It has been used extensively for massive websites.
WordPress has been the newest kid on the block starting out mainly as a blogging platform. But over time it has evolved to being a competent CMS in its own right. The WordPress CMS is perfect for small business websites with less than 1000 pages and having a small base of users. It has a huge collection of plugins to extend its capabilities.
So, if you are planning on taking your static website to the next level you can choose a CMS to get going.
Dharne & Company, a website design firm has helped many small businesses across California and across the US upgrade to Joomla CMS or WordPress CMS for easier website management.