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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.

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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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O.K. the sites done. Just sit back, relax and just listen to those new clients pound on your door.

The greatest myth with the Internet is that once you have a website, people will flock to your business!! It could not be more wrong! If no one is aware of your website, why will they visit?

Sadly, many people still believe in this myth and after their website is launched, they realized that their website is not giving any return-on-investment (ROI) and eventually settle on the conclusion that Internet is hype and it does not work.

I know for a fact if you have a website and you do not promote it properly, you will have wasted money and time. Your web address should appear in ALL your advertising, on your business cards, letterhead flyers and anywhere else you can place it.

relax-internet -mythWhether you have a site or not you should list your business with every FREE directory you can find on the internet. i.e the Google business directory, Yahoo's Business etc.

You should consider writing one new article to your website each month and posting it on "Feed Burner" or "Feedzilla". Driving traffic to your site increases your rank with Google and the other search engines.

You want to get as many pages as you can on the internet to link back to your site. They are called "backlinks" and Google loves them.

Sadly there is no magic wand.

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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"If all things are relatively equal, I tend to do business with the companies that have better marketing graphics, slicker sites and toll free numbers."

Your website may be your visitor's first impression of you and your business. The second a visitor views your site, colors, images, fonts, text and other visuals will bring out certain feelings and thoughts. You want to be sure you are sending out the right messages that are inline with what your niche is expecting and how you want to be perceived.

1. Your website should appear professional, clean and simple.

When you walk into a physical store, you are more apt to buy from a store that is clean, easy to walk around the aisles, sells quality products that are neatly placed on shelves or racks, and has a friendly yet well-established feel. Your website should have a similar look and feel. Avoid clutter, allow for white space around items and make it easy for the visitor to move around.

successful_websites2. Your navigation should be easy and simple.

If your visitors are having trouble finding what they are looking for immediately, it is much too easy for them to return to their search and find a competitor with easier navigation. Keep navigation in a prominent location with simple to use tabs and links.

3. Select colors that are attractive and comfortable for the eye to look at.

Learn what colors your audience prefers, as well as the impression you are trying to set off. If you want to relax your visitors, then use subtle and light colors. If you want to excite your visitors, then use vibrant colors. Stick to colors and shades that work well together. Use a color wheel to see which colors complement each other.

4. Create a branding statement and utilize that statement throughout the whole website.

Your business should have a special brand that makes you stand out from competitors. Your brand is your unique look that grabs your visitor's attention. Place your brand prominently near the top of your home page or landing page. Make sure to keep you brand throughout the whole site to give everything a consistent look and feel.

5. Display what your business is all about.

It only takes visitors about 10 seconds to know whether they want to leave your site or continue viewing it. Make sure that they learn what your business is all about within those first 10 seconds. If your url or business name doesn't easily explain your business purpose, then make sure to create a tagline and use that as part of your branding statement.

6. Make sure that important "calls to action" are in places where the user can see them.

Most visitors will not read your entire home page. People tend to peruse a web page quickly. The use of colors and bolding can make important words and phrases stand out more and catch the reader's attention. Make sure that important links or buttons are easy to see, stand out, and are not too far down the page.

7. Prominently display quality graphics and images.

Graphics and other images on your website will grab your visitor's attention much more than text. Make sure that your images are high quality graphics and are optimized for fast loading.

8. Use photos to display the quality of your products or services.

Since visitors cannot pick up your products or see a body of your work, they rely on images and graphics. Use attractive images and photos that are large enough to show important details.

9. Use stand-alone web pages.

Unlike a magazine or catalog, you cannot predict which web pages your visitor will read first, next, or last. Avoid having content in your pages that is dependent on your visitor having seen another page first. Make sure each page can stand on its own.

10. Test your navigation and links.

Test your completed design by showing it around to others. See how they navigate. Ask open-ended questions to get a feel for how they perceive your website. Are they having trouble finding certain features of your site?

Additional Info


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You got your business, you got the people, you got the office tools and proper equipment to get the job done right.

Does your business need a website?

So should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don't think can be sold online? My answer in 1998 is the same as my answer today: Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.

Also, don't be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can't be sold online. Nowadays, there's very little that can't be sold over the internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes to natural gas to you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.

the_web_peopleLet me clarify one point: I'm not saying you should put all your efforts into selling your wares over the internet, though if your product lends itself to easy online sales, you should certainly be considering it. The point to be made here is that you should at the very least have a presence on the web so that customers, potential employees, business partners and perhaps even investors can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer.

That said, it's not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.

One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. As mentioned, you have one shot at making a good first impression. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. The inverse is also true. I've seen many big company websites that were so badly designed and hard to navigate that they completely lacked professionalism and credibility. Good for you, too bad for them.

When it comes to benefiting from a website, size does not matter. I don't care if you're a one-man show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant; if you don't have a website, you're losing business to other companies that do.

Here's the exception to my rule: It's actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, "Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!" or it screams, "Hey, look, I let my 10-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!"

Your website is an important part of your business. Make sure you treat it as such.

Additional Info


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The age old acronym K.I.S.S.
KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!!!

K-I-S-S: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It’s a mantra that always pops into my head when I’m looking at new startups. A lot of them seem to want to do a million different things because other companies have been successful at one of those things in the past. But that’s a bad idea. Way too many new products and services are too complicated. And I would suggest, often fail as a direct result of that.

On the face of it, it makes sense to give users a lot of options when it comes to features, and let them decide what to use and what not to use. But decisions can be a burden. And further, users are often bad decision makers. It may be blasphemy to say that users want to be told what to do, but at the very least, they want to be lead in a direction.

And that’s important. Because it’s not like a lack of decisions has to be limiting.

I think that for most startups, I should be able to describe to you, the reader, exactly what a service does in one sentence. With some startups today, it seems like it’s a mess of “Well, it’s this plus this minus this with a little of this if you do this.Unless you buy it with the other thing then you get this and that???”

One kickass feature far outweighs a dozen half-assed ones. Focus on that one.

Additional Info


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O.K. the sites done. Just sit back, relax and just listen to those new clients pound on your door.

The greatest myth with the Internet is that once you have a website, people will flock to your business!! It could not be more wrong! If no one is aware of your website, why will they visit?

Sadly, many people still believe in this myth and after their website is launched, they realized that their website is not giving any return-on-investment (ROI) and eventually settle on the conclusion that Internet is hype and it does not work.

I know for a fact if you have a website and you do not promote it properly, you will have wasted money and time. Your web address should appear in ALL your advertising, on your business cards, letterhead flyers and anywhere else you can place it.

increase web trafficWhether you have a site or not you should list your business with every FREE directory you can find on the internet. i.e the Google business directory, Yahoo's Bussiness etc.

You should consider writing one new article to your website each month and posting it on "Feed Burner" or "Feedzilla". Driving traffic to your site increases your rank with Google and the other search engines.

You want to get as many pages as you can on the internet to link back to your site. They are called "backlinks" and Google loves them.

Sadly there is no magic wand.

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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