Building and maintaining a web site is a lot of work; one of the tools that can make it significantly easier is a dedicated content management system.
In a nutshell, a content management system is a set of server side utilities that let you manage your site’s cascading style sheets in an easy to use, centralized interface.
More sophisticated systems include the ability to upload content, allow visitor creation of contents, and even manage libraries of graphics, affiliate program links and more.
While there is a technical layer to using a manager, the essence of one is that you can buy something “off the shelf” to get your web site up and running rather than paying for a custom developer to write one for you.
Your need for a CMS will grow as the number of pages (or linked sites) you run increases.
The most common installation strategy for a content management system is when upgrading an existing web site to be more interactive, most often when the client is asking you to replace a sporadically updated company web site with blog-style software.
If you’re maintaining web sites for clients, the point of a management system is that now your client can do the mind numbingly tedious bits of posting new content; it no longer comes to your inbox to be sorted, formatted and posted, when those operations can take longer for the applications to load than it does to do the operation in question.
If you’re maintaining your own web site, it does you more good the more you intend to update a site. Lots of sites are still holding to the 1996 model of company web sites four pages that never ever change. library management system
The key to getting good traffic (and good responses) on your web site is all about fresh, regularly updated content, and the CMS makes that easier for you to do less overhead and less work, and more time spent doing the kinds of things you went into business to do.
Choosing the right system means looking at what you intend to do with your web site. In a nutshell, your choices come down to the following:
Hire someone to write one for you. This can get expensive, fast. If all you’re looking for is a front page blog, avoid this one WordPress or Movable Type do it better and are free.
If you’re looking for something more specific, like on site whiteboards or version tracking of submitted articles, or deadline management for freelance contributors, then a custom content management system is worth looking into. Buy (or license) a commercial package. If you’re doing enterprise grade IT work, a commercial package with support might be your best bet.
If you’re running your own business, there are good odds that your hosting provider provides a couple of content management packages that you can use. Install an open source package. These have the advantage of the right price (free), but may require more technical expertise to set up and run.
If you’re running on a hosting server with shared hosting environments, you may have to get your hosting provider to install it and set it up for you.
With this knowledge in hand, choosing the right management system should be a straightforward decision.
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