Content Management Software

The development that had the most impact on the web design industry was the popular use of content management software like WordPress, Mambo, Joomla, DotNetNuke, and Sitefinity as a back end for websites. Content managment software gave the site owner more control over the content of their website allowing them not to get nickled and dimed by web design companies over minor changes in their websites.

We've been designing websites for clients for many years now, and in all that time, The United Way of Allen County was the only client we've had that made their own changes to their website. What most clients don't know is that building a custom website for a content management software is more expensive and hurts your search engine optimization because of all the extra code from the CMS. Even the largest web design firms still offer content management software because clients usually ask for it, but they typically use a bare-bones CMS like Sitefinity and then customize everything about it. The client typically never actually does any changes to the website or understands the CMS to the degree that they could fully utilize all of its capabilities. These days client's ask for CMS typically because they want to feel more in control, not because they plan to use all the features of their content management software.

That said, we do offer CMS based websites, we just want you to understand up front the price you'll pay in traffic and usability before you dive in. Think of a CMS like a business owner buying Quickbooks. Quickbooks will handle your business accounting, but you're going to need a professional to tailor it to your specific needs, and you're probably still not going to do your own business taxes. When it comes down to it, you use Quickbooks becuase it gives you more control over your bookkeeping, even though it would probably be better to just hire a bookkeeper. Business owners usually like the idea of content management software, but probably would be better off leaving their web design and graphic design to someone who has more of a knack for it. However, if in your business, the highest and best use of your time is creating content and graphics for your website, then we definitely recommend you use a content management software.

Once we know what kind of direction you're headed with your website, then we can recommend a particular CMS for you. Which CMS you use will make a big difference in your learning curve, and level of comfort in making changes to your website. In general, WordPress is probably the easiest to use, and is currently used by over 50 million websites for everything from blogs to online stores. Plugins for WordPress are either free or cheap and there are lots of options.

Tyson Foods is launching their new site based on Sitefinity, but it's a very customized site. We're looking forward to seeing the finished product (designed by Aptera Software) and site launch.