If it’s time to redesign your existing website, it may also be a good time to look at the technology behind it.
For example, a website that was created years ago may still be using good old-fashioned HTML as its backbone. While that’s not always a bad thing for smaller websites, it can often limit your options when it comes to adding new functionality. It can also make certain layout and content changes more expensive.
Adding a content management system (CMS) to your website can be a smart investment. It’s a piece of software that serves as a foundation for your website. A CMS separates the actual content of your site from the design. It streamlines the process of updating your website, thus making it possible for you to make updates to the content (if you’re so inclined).
For most cases, the CMS I recommend these days is WordPress. Over 14% of the web is now using this free and powerful software. You can learn more about WordPress here.
Even if you’re not the one making updates to your company’s website, there are still plenty of advantages to using a CMS:
A system like WordPress has lots of great features out of the box. But, it also has a large number of software plug-ins that add new functionality. Features such as shopping carts, interactive polls, bulletin boards, members only content, photo galleries, classified listings and social networking can all be added to your site. In fact, there is a plug-in for pretty much anything you’d want to add on your site. The best part is that most of the plug-ins are FREE!
It used to be that if you wanted featured news headlines on your home page, it would require multiple updates:
1. Create a page (or pages) for each news item.
2. Add each news item’s headline to your home page.
3. Create an archive page for old news items.
With a CMS such as WordPress, the process is streamlined down to:
1. Add the content of your news item into the CMS.
Everything else is taken care of automatically. A CMS can be setup so that your updated content automatically gets placed wherever you’d like. Archives are also generated on the fly. At the end of the day, it means a faster, cheaper update process.
With a CMS, you’re not locked into a particular design or layout for life. There are two separate components to a website using WordPress:
1. Database – This holds all of your content and settings.
2. Theme – This controls the actual look and design of your website.
When you want to redesign your website, you simply create a new WordPress theme. For the most part, your site’s content will just adapt to the new look (a few tweaks here and there may be necessary).
Better Search Engine Performance
Software like WordPress is built with search engines in mind. That means if you produce solid content on your website, WordPress can help optimize it in a way that will be easier for search engines to index. The use of a few special plug-ins like All In One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps can help ensure that your content is getting properly indexed.
The vast majority of websites I create these days are built using WordPress or other CMS packages. If you’d like to update your own website, I can provide both in-person training and custom video tutorials that you can use as a reference.
If you’d like to discuss adding a CMS to your website, please contact me to setup a consultation.