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Separation of content and presentation + easy updates.

I believe the main benefits of a CMS over a static HTML or "site builder" style sites is the fact that the content is separate from the design, so you can change your design as many times as you want without losing any content. AND the fact that you can update your site with any web browser on any computer without any knowledge of HTML.

cms diagram click to enlarge

1. A CMS web site is database driven.

This allows you to create and store hundreds or thousands of pages in the database without the need to update each one of them.


2. Separate design and content.

The design of the site template is separate from the content. This allows you to change the design any time without affecting the content stored on the site.

3. Use cascading style sheet (CSS) to control site appearance.

Altering one CSS file will allow you to change the design and/or color of your CMS site. The consistency of the design can be preserved.

4. Multiple authors

If you have different authors that wish to contribute to your CMS web site you can set up multiple user access in the administration panel. They can just login and begin adding their content.

5. Access from anywhere

Authors and editors can access the site from any computer with an internet connection. This means users can update the site at the same time from any location in the world.

6. Web site management panel

The backend administration panel not only provides the ability to add content but also to add modules such as polls, banners,
forums, shopping applications, news management and menus.

Authors can be given limited permissions to prevent them from editing content which they are not authorized to change.

7. Schedule automatic content updates

Publishing content can be controlled by creating a page first then set a later publish/unpublish date. This is handy if you know you will be offering a special in 2 weeks that will last for 3 days. The page will publish itself on day X and unpublish on day Y.

8. HTML knowledge not required

A CMS site allows non-technical people to add content. They just need to login with a user name and password then use the web editor that’s built into the CMS to add their content.

9. Saves time.

If you were using a static site to add content from multiple authors, each author would have to download the pages from the server to their computer first, update them using special software, then upload them back to the server. This would be very time consuming and could generate a lot of errors.

10. Create search engine friendly pages

The separation of content from design allows you to easily include keywords in the URL of each page. If the title of your article was “Content Management System Benefits” your URL would be written as:

http://www.domainname.com/content-management-system-benefits

Some CMS sites automatically generate the correct meta tags for each web page which would help them to spidered by the search engines.

11. Attracts visitors

A CMS site attracts visitors because it can be constantly and rapidly updated. It not only generates pages that are search engine friendly but can produce lots of links from the new content that is added and syndicated.

12. Create automatic RSS Feeds.

RSS or really simple syndication is integrated automatically into many CMS sites. Every time you create a post or make a comment it creates a feed for it. This allows visitors with RSS Feeders to read the post at their own leisure.

Conclusion

A content management system is a powerful tool for businesses that want to be able to make updates, prsent a great look and gain lots of visitors. It also has the capability to expand as your business grows by adding new features and applications.

Additional Info


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What can I say, you get what you pay for.

Choices you have when starting a Web site

The technical choices you have when starting a Web site can be overwhelming. The situation isn’t helped by shady characters trying to rip you off and well-meaning but ignorant Web designers who don’t know as much as they let you think they do. Both types will take advantage of your lack of knowledge. One tries to deceive on purpose, and the other tries to give you help that I wouldn’t wish on my competition.
(well, okay, maybe I would).

Below is an easy-to-understand list of choices, but first, a little vocabulary to help you out:

Platform is a word we use to describe the base underlying technology or software that allows us to create and manage a Web site. For example, this site runs on Joomla, but others run on Drupal or WordPress (among others). Creating a Web site out of HTML pages and uploading those files to a Web server is not a platform. Software like Dreamweaver or Expression Web is not anything like the WordPress software. Dreamweaver runs on your computer. WordPress runs on your Web server.

need_help_with_websites

CMS is a Content Management System, a way to store Web site content and visual design information that lets you create and modify site content yourself, without paying someone else to do it for you, and usually without requiring you to know complex code. CMSs store all the information about a Web site in a database on the web server. The platforms I describe above are all CMSs.

Web server is the computer that stores your Web site files. It runs software just like your computer does, but for letting the public access your site’s pages on the Web. You pay for this as a service from a Web hosting company, just like a store would pay rent for its retail space. Your choice here is important because different hosting plans will let you do different things with your Web site. To confuse things, this is often referred to as a platform, too! For example, you may have a Windows platform or a Linux platform. Windows may sound comfortingly familiar, but most CMSs run on Linux. When in doubt, choose Linux for your Web server.

Web Site Platform Choices

The DIY software Web site

This is the “homemade” Web site done in FrontPage, Expression Web, or Dreamweaver.

Advantages:
  • Total control over content and appearance
  • Self-reliance
  • Don’t have to pay anyone to do it for you
Disadvantages:
  • You have to take expensive classes or read books to know how to use the software
  • The learning curve can be a bit steep, because you’re essentially becoming a Web designer, when what you wanted to was just have nice Web site for your business
  • You are NOT a Web designer, and chances are your site will look like it
  • Popular software choices for which training exists are expensive (original purchase plus any future upgrades)
  • Extremely time-consuming to create and update site

Page Creator Web Services

These are becoming more popular as the technology behind them advances to make them easier for the layperson to use. How they work is you build a Web site through an online interface that is supposed to be easy to use. They are a combination site builder and CMS. Often, these are available from your Web hosting company. They are starting to be available as third-party services. Some of them have ecommerce capability.

Advantages
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • The service upgrades for you
  • Better than you could do yourself
Disadvantages
  • Limited choices and options
  • Limited templates (creates the visual look and content structure) means your site will look exactly like many others
  • You don’t control your own data or design

Web Designer/Developer

This is the classic “pay someone to design your website” scenario. It has a good chance of giving you what you need, but also a decent chance of you getting relieved of a lot of money in return for a lot of frustration. Make sure you read some articles about how to choose a good Web designer before you give anybody your money! I am not saying that they’re all crooks or ignoramuses, but some of them certainly are! You need to know the difference, and that means you need to educate yourself. Part of that education includes this article you’re reading now.

Advantages
  • Custom work can give you exactly what you need
  • Smart designers/developers will use a CMS
  • If a CMS is used it's features are expandable with added software
  • If a CMS is used you can start with the basics and add features as time and budget allow
  • Smart/good designers will use XHTML/CSS
  • You have control over all aspects
  • May have a blogging component to it
Disadvantages
  • Everything depends on who you choose
  • Often can be overkill if a large-scale CMS is used
  • Not specialists in blogging, social media, may have a dated approach
  • If no CMS -- possibly outdated design and SEO (search engine optimization) practices
  • if no CMS -- expensive and tedious work to update, edit, or change the site
  • If no XHTML/CSS, then the code and the design are outdated and will fail a validation test
  • Static or CMS's can be expensive (especially for ecommerce or large sites over 25 pages)

Final Thoughts

Only you can decide what’s right for yourself. Having a trusted advisor is extraordinarily valuable in preventing you from making mistakes and wasting huge amounts of time and money, but it’s still up to you in the end. And of course, sometimes it isn’t what kind of site you have at all, it’s what kind of business you have and how you run it. But that’s a post for another day.

Additional Info


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Nowadays it is so easy and inexpensive to get started with a CMS style site, I am truly amazed that smaller businesses are still using HTML designers and site builders. (yuck)

Yes a short time ago Content Management Sysytems (CMS) were very, very and I mean very expensive. But hey so were computers. I paid $900 dollars for a Pentium II Processor back in the day. NOT THE COMPUTER, JUST THE PROCESSOR.

Well times have changed, I can get a amazingly fast COMPLETE computer for that same $900 bucks and you can get a killer CMS site for about the same.

A CMS site has so many benefits over a standard HTML or "site builder" site, that I truly believe you are throwing your money away if you aren't using a CMS.

Please take some time and skim across some of the articles on this site,
do your research and give us a call if you have any questions.

Additional Info


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Say "bye-bye to 2007" static HTML sites.

Say "hello" to the dynamic interactivity of a powerful and easy to use content management system. 

  • Our CMS (content management system) is an award winning web content management system
  • Manage your website from wherever you are in the world with our CMS.
  • Unlimited web pages 
  • Manage your website without any prior knowledge of HTML
  • Manage your website without the need for complicated web programming skills.
  • SAVE MONEY $$ without having to pay a web-tech foe evey tiny thing. $$
  • 0ver 8,3,38 modules, extensions and plug-ins
  • Just plug and go!! Etensions provide additional functions to our CMS! Extensions include photo galleries, real estate or automobile listings, e-commerce - shopping cart (accept credit cards), calendars, online bookings, newsletters, coupons, blogs, ratings and reviews, auctions, forums etc.
Applied CMS will teach you or one of your associates how to manage your own website, but let us take care of the technical aspects. (i.e layout, design, etc.) So you can stay focused on doing whatever it is you do. We provide you with the knowledge you need to get started updating and utilizing The BEST Content Management System.

Additional Info


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