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What is a CMS, And Why You Want One

May 8, 2014, 13:43 PM | Published under Web Design by Andy Meng

Anyone who is interested in a new website, whether it’s the owner’s first or fifth, should be aware of Content Management Systems (CMS).

Content Management System

A CMS is an interface for the administration or the development side of your website. It makes the design, maintenance, and use of a website much easier. Its benefits stretch out to everyone who touches that website from the owner to the end user, and everyone in between, such as digital marketers, like myself.

How does it do that? Well, if your marketing team decides that they need to add a few pages to your website, or if you decide you want to reformat a page, unless you know how to develop that website, you will have to re-hire that web designer to make those changes for you… that is, unless your designer put your website on a CMS.

On a CMS you can go in yourself (assuming you have basic understanding of computer software), and edit content on your pages, add pages, remove pages, do everything a web developer can do for you. You’ll still need the developer to get your website up and running initially, but once it’s complete, if it’s on a CMS, getting the password to the system is like getting the keys to a car. You can drive it however you want to.

Another benefit of having a CMS is that everything is streamlined, and there’s less room for error. For example, let’s say you want to make some changes that encompass your entire website, like increase the size or font on all the titles of your pages. Without a CMS it will take a lot more time, effort, and therefore money, to do it. That’s because first you need to make the changes on the style sheet, the document that gives formatting instructions to all the pages on the website. Then you will have to go back and verify that every page is “calling” the style sheet. It’s quite primitive.

By contrast, the style sheet is always being called on the CMS. There’s no chance for programmer error, it’s faster, cleaner, and more efficient to make any changes you want to on your website when you use a CMS.

Another nice feature is the ease with which you can create a 301 redirect, which is how you move a website from one address to another without losing all the credibility it has gained over time with search engines. Without a CMS you would have to hire a website developer because it involves creating a text file, saving it in a specific format, and adding specific code to the body of the file that tells search engines to redirect all searches for the page from one address to another.

With a CMS creating a 301 redirect is as easy as typing the old address into a text box, typing in the new address into another text box, and clicking on a check box. You are done in about two minutes, and it’s much cheaper!

Which CMS Should I Use?

There are so many out there, how do you know which one to use? At Infront Webworks we use several CMS solutions, and we're skilled at determining the best fit for you based on your business needs, the goals of your site, and of course your budget.  Get in touch today by filling out the form here or calling us at (719)574-4404.


About the Author

Andy co-founded Data Made Accessible, the predecessor to Infront Webworks, in 1994. DMA became Infront Webworks in 1999 and Andy presided over the business as his company grew for nearly two decades to become the premier online agency in Colorado Springs. Andy and Joan Meng sold Infront to Matt Palis in April 2011, and Andy remains as the “Director of Business Development” for Infront.

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