Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexfrance/3173867029/
If you’ve ever had to make an update to your company’s site and you’re not a web geek (like most of us here are), you are probably familiar with the frustration involved in getting your content from your word processor, to your marketing team, to the web team, and finally out to the web itself.
Maybe you already have a system in place, but it’s ancient, unwieldy and perhaps not completely reliable.
Or maybe you’re on the web team, and find your day swamped with menial site updates, when you really need to be updating security measures or conducting server maintenance.
The good news is, working with your site can be a better experience. Enter the Content Management System (CMS).
A content management system is a software system that enables anyone on your team to easily publish, update, edit, and manage website content, without writing any code.
We’re big fans of CMS-based sites here at COPIOUS (this very site is running on ExpressionEngine, one of our favorite systems), and we have more than a few reasons to be CMS advocates. Here are the top 10 reasons why integrating a CMS is a good move for your business:
1. Your Content, The Way You Want It
One of the greatest things about managing your site through a CMS is that you don’t have to make compromises to make your content fit in with the way the CMS works. Our CMS implementations are tailored to fit your needs so that no matter what kind of information you want to deliver, or how you want it delivered, the CMS (and we) have got you covered.
2. Publishing On Demand
No longer will you need to run your new blog post or “About Us” page update through two or three departments and wait for somebody on the web team to put it on the server. A CMS makes it extremely fast and easy to access the system directly and submit your changes to go live. Plus, you can publish immediately, or schedule publication for a specific date and time in the future.
3. Content Moderation
On demand publishing is a great idea in theory, but you might also need provisions in place to make sure that nothing makes it onto the website without approval. Thankfully, a CMS can also make it a snap to include the entire drafting, moderation and approval process within the system — making sure nothing goes live before it’s been signed off on by the appropriate parties.
4. Provisional Access
Going hand-in-hand with the ability to moderate content, is the ability to regulate which users can publish to which areas of the site. With the help of group-based permissions, you can make sure your bloggers aren’t accidentally making changes to your site’s informational pages, while still giving your marketing or sales teams the access they need.
5. All Areas of Your Site Under One Roof
One of the greatest things about a good Content Management System is that it allows you to truly manage all of your content with one platform. This may seem like a no-brainer to many, but a surprising number of clients who come to us for new CMS-based sites still have their blogs running completely separately from the rest of their site, sometimes even hosted elsewhere. Once you’ve switched to a CMS, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without having every part of your site managed from the same system.
6. Big Improvements to SEO Value
Another great reason to love CMSes is that they’re excellent for your site’s SEO value. Right out of the box they can be configured to generate URLs for your pages that are easy to read and are also great for search engines. Better yet, they can provide you with the ability to create custom page URLs to maximize their SEO visibility.
7. Minimize Support Requests
Thanks to the amount of power a CMS gives you to manage all of your content and even arrange what pages live where on the site, the number of support requests you submit will drastically reduce. That means your staff spends less time troubleshooting, and are better equipped to keep the site up-to-date and looking just how you want.
8. Good for Any Amount of Content; Great for Large Amounts of Content
CMSes really shine when they are tasked with handling large numbers of pages, blog posts, and whatever else you can throw at them. They’ll make it easy to sort, find, and change on the back-end. And thanks to robust caching mechanisms, a CMS delivers everything on the front-end too, without breaking a sweat.
9. Ready for Responsive
A potentially overlooked but extremely valuable feature of using a CMS is that it will help make your site easily adaptable for responsive layouts — so your site’s layout changes automatically to fit the different screen widths of a computer, tablet, or mobile device. The content output is controlled via templates with predictable markup, so the exact same set of HTML that shows up on the desktop can be used to deliver a mobile-optimized experience to your users.
10. Easily Integrates with your Data Workflow
Because a CMS stores its content in a database, it’s well equipped to accept user-entered content, store it for safekeeping, and organize it in a manner that’s easy for third-party services to access. We’ve handled implementations in which a CMS has been configured to collect visitor data and synchronize this information with Salesforce, so that our clients could gather valuable point-of-contact information about potential new business while utilizing the tools they already knew. Imagine how this kind of flexibility and interoperability could work for you.
Of course, there are limitations to what a CMS can achieve; you won’t be able to build the next great social network with one, and they aren’t suited for robust e-commerce experiences (but if that’s what you’re looking for, we have solutions for those things too). However, if you’re looking for a way to set up a powerful, tailor-made system for easily managing your company’s web site, a CMS is a surefire way to enhance your online presence, and your customers’ online experience.
What website issues are roadblocks for your team? What problems are you trying to solve — and could a CMS be the solution? If you've recently integrated a CMS, what has the result been for your business?