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A CMS...What?! Featured

Welcome to the first issue of The Den. In this issue I want to take a moment to talk about a little known and powerful option to make a good web site a great one. What am I talking about? Well, it’s called a CMS, or in simple terms, a Content Management System. What is a content management system? It is a way of helping you manage your own content of your site without getting a Master's Degree in Programming or becoming a part of a nerd community.

CSM allows you to control of the content of each part of your site…the photos, wording, page counts, etc. It gives you the option of changing the content whenever you need it done that would take a developer time to do…when they can get to it.

There are many CMS systems out there, such as Joomla and Wordpress. Each is specially designed to fulfill certain functions with special add-ons to them for additional functionality.

What is the difference?

Each CMS system is made for specific purposes. Wordpress, for instance, is perfect for blogging sites. It was originally developed as a way to make typography look better, but has grown to include full content management.

Joomla was created to manage sites from the very basic to complex corporate sites. It has a large user community to create add-on applications that provide nearly unlimited functionality. In fact, Oklahoma State University and IHOP are two sites that use Joomla to manage their content on their sites.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to explore the option of a custom CMS. This will allow for specific custom capabilities without all the bells and whistles that are associated with many of the pre-packaged systems.

What do they cost and do I need to install it on my computer?

The beautiful thing about these programs is that some do not cost anything to use. They are on-line, so installing them onto your computer is not even an option. You can make changes from your laptop on a flight to Ireland or on your brother-in-law's coffee-stained computer. Joomla and Wordpress are known as an Open Source. Open Source basically means that they are FREE to use, but often like contributions to keep their support running. Though Open Source applications have no cost associated with the application, the cost comes into play on the installation and customizing the design and functionality to fit with your site's needs.

Your web developer can answer any questions you may have on installation and custom designing your site to work with a CMS.

Learning Curve

These programs may be FREE, but they will often have a learning curve associated with the setup, customization and configuration. That is where a web developer/designer’s expertise is helpful. Once the site is complete, managing the site is not difficult. A little direction from your developer or designer can help introduce you to your new CMS and ease the use of it.

So, why can't I do it myself?

Unfortunately, it is not a click of a button to set these up in a design…Joomla and Wordpress sites need of a web developer to setup your company's look and feel. It does take an experienced web developer to know how Joomla or Wordpress work in order for you to have that unique look that communicates your company's message.

So if you think that your site could use this to enhance your site, give your developer a call and ask them how they can add a CMS to your site.

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