Content Management Systems

CMS driven websites are popular and effective solutions for businesses requiring frequent and quick updating of content.  While the structure of the site is set up and maintained by the web developer, the user can edit and change content at will.   We offer several CMS solutions that can be customized to your needs including:

  • Customizable, robust and scalable design solutions.
  • Creative freedom with your design.
  • Intuitive and flexible CMS interfaces.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

Simply put, a CMS is a software package that allows for editing, publishing and delivering of online content. Most CMS look similar to a word processing software when editing the content.

A CMS allows for many different levels of editing website content or look. Some limit editing to changing out text and images only while others allow editing of text, images or videos, in addition to document sharing, changing design elements and determining how content is presented.

Depending on client need, we can customize the CMS to be usable by tech savvy editors (such as in-house web masters), or we can set it up for people who are comfortable with programs such as Microsoft Word.  We can also offer both options within different permission levels to meet specific needs of client.

What website management tools does a CMS offer?

CMS can provide many more tools than just editing tools. The CMS can also be designed to handle a variety of sophisticated management tools as well.

For example, within your company website you can have multiple “authors,” or individuals who are assigned to write content that will appear on the site. A CMS can limit the access of authors, giving them the power to submit an article, but not to edit or publish.

Once a story has been written, a CMS can automatically send out an alert to an editor, who then has authorization to change and update content. Your CMS may give your editors the power to edit copy in the system, but not give them the power to publish the story online.  In this case, the power to publish (final approval and review of a story), would lie with the editor-in-chief’s hands.

Different sections of the website can have rules that only allow certain authors to publish to them. If you have an e-commerce site, you might limit access to the inventory and product management to your product managers while giving orders and client data access only to your order fulfillment department. Similarly, if you have a “News” section, this access may be limited to members of your PR team.

Also, a CMS can used for image, video, ads and banner management. Most CMS have the capability of adding and removing images and videos from galleries or sliders. They can also be used to change specific banners on pages where an ad might be placed, or use ad management solutions to place the ad elsewhere on the site. Keeping content fresh is essential in the Web 2.0 environment, and having a CMS gives your company the ability to do this.

What Search Engine Optimization capabilities does a CMS offer?

  • Easily install and update Google Analytics.
  • Seamlessly update meta data, sitemaps, title tags, page descriptions and more.
  • Quickly update your sitemap to keep search engines up to date with your site.

How can CMS user permissions be managed?

  • Give CMS access to multiple team members.
  • Allow limited acces to different parts of your website.
  • Assign limited options or administrative access to various members.

 What CMS software options are available?

WordPress

Benefits

  1. One of most used platforms for self-hosted blogs and CMS websites.
  2. Ideal to launch fast, content-driven websites without compromising design.
  3. Good for simple content, informational sites, blogs and professional sites.
  4. Easy to maintain WordPress sites, unlike other CMS’s with high learning curves.
  5. Large WordPress community supporting development and updating code.
  6. WordPress software is open source and widely used across the web.
  7. Effective for simple e-commerce (through use of plugins).

Challenges

  1. Must update software to keep site secure (common issue with most CMS’s).
  2. Problematic for customized sites with complex user-generated features (e.g. can’t build Facebook on it).
  3. Not ideal for large media files (video libraries).
  4. Software updates may break plug-ins (extra maintenance usually required for WordPress sites with plug-ins).

Read more about our wordpress services.


Magento

Benefits

  1. Open source e-commerce solution.
  2. Robust number of features with default functionality.
  3. Excellent SEO capabilities.
  4. Supports multiple languages (namely localization).
  5. Works with variety of payment systems and shipping vendors.

Challenges

  1. Bulky, slow, and very resource consuming. Runs very slow on shared hosting and needs to be on at least virtual or dedicated hosting.
  2. Only standard feature is free.  More robust features available only by paying a yearly licensing fee.
  3. Problematic or impossible to customize product and checkout pages (select drop-downs). For functionality, design should center around default Magento pages at demo.magentocommerce.com/ and include corresponding elements into your site design. If the client has limited budget and needs only standard functionality, sticking closer to default pages will be more cost effective.

Drupal

Benefits

  1. Open source and widely used.
  2. For simple informational sites and corporate sites.
  3. Many modules and extensions allowing sites to be built for any functionality.
  4. Large community of developers supporting and innovating software.
  5. Fast to set up.
  6. Can be strong in SEO functionality.

Challenges

  1. Not the most user-friendly content-management-system. Very complex.  Any client interested in this should review it first.
  2. Not ideal for e-commerce websites. Allows ecommerce module integration (Ubercart), though a thorough investigation is required to make sure all of the client’s needs can be met.
  3. Customization of forms problematic, so default design look is recommended.
  4. Information submitted via the forms is not stored in the admin panel by default, but sent to the corresponding admin’s email.
  5. Learning curve is steep for developers not familiar with it.
  6. Limited functionality when displaying data taken dynamically from other places on the site or from external sources.