When scoping out a web development company, two of the many questions you might have are “What is a CMS?” and “Why would I need one?” Put simply, a CMS is a content management system – a browser-based tool you can use to easily edit the text and layout of each page on your website, without messing about with things like HTML and CSS. As for the question of why you would want such a system, this blog post outlines seven of the key business benefits of a CMS.
1) Take complete control of your web content
No one knows your business better than you do, so why rely on an external agency to create and maintain your online content? With a CMS, you can control the pages of your website with ease. This includes anything from changing the text on the ‘About Us’ page to adding a new product image and from inserting a new link on the home page to splitting a news article into two columns. You don’t need any technical knowledge to make such changes either – anyone that can use Microsoft Word can use a CMS.
The features can vary from one CMS to another, but the below image shows just some of the functionality available in our own CMS:
Edit the code (advanced users only)
Save time by using a page template e.g. a two column layout template
Cut, copy & paste
5) Basic text formatting
Bold, italic, underline & strikethrough
Add and remove different types of links
Create numbered or bulleted lists
8) Insert an indent
Right or left
9) Insert a special character
Divide the page into sections or 'divs'
11) Text alignment options
12) Insert an image
13) Insert a table
14) Insert a horizontal line
15) Additional text formatting options
Styles, headings, fonts & text size
16) Font colour & highlight colour
17) Show blocks
Show page sections
2) Cut down on web development costs
Because using a CMS doesn’t require specialist skills like HTML or CSS, there’s no need to go back to the web development company or hire an in-house developer to maintain your online content. A member of your marketing or administration team could easily take on website maintenance as an additional part of their job role.
3) Better for SEO
With search engines like Google accounting for such a large portion of internet traffic, it is crucial that your company’s website is search engine optimised. Thankfully, a CMS is very SEO-friendly, enabling you to keep content fresh and control keyword placement throughout the page (e.g. by placing the keyword in the image alt attribute, headings and link text). Some content management systems (including De Facto CMS) will even allow you to control meta data such as page title tags and meta descriptions.
4) Target internet users in multiple countries
Some content management systems allow you to maintain multiple versions of the same page. For example, De Facto CMS would allow you to create English, Spanish and French versions of your company’s ‘About Us’ page and makes it easy to switch between them while in editing mode. This feature is particularly beneficial if your company operates in multiple countries, allowing your business to reach more users worldwide and increasing the number of visitors to your website.
5) Keep your website up-to-date and error-free
Because you’re able to carry out all your content maintenance in-house, having a CMS means you don’t need to worry about waiting for another party to correct an error or put up the latest news article for you.
Example of repeated CMS area on a vacancy page on the De Facto Software website:
Updating the 'Company Info' section on this page triggers the same update on all vacancy pages
Plus, some content management systems will also allow you to repeat the same content across several pages. For example, the right-hand column of every page on your site might contain your company telephone number, email address and location. Rather than updating this section on every page of your site, you only need edit it once and the CMS will apply your changes everywhere. Because a CMS makes it so quick and easy to update your content, keeping your site accurate becomes a hassle-free job. Never again will you miss a sales opportunity because somebody forgot to correct every occurrence of the old telephone number or because your site was still showing out-of-date product information.
6) No risk of employees accidentally breaking your site
While a CMS does hand over a lot of control to your appointed website editors, you can rest assured that there is no danger of somebody accidentally breaking the site or opening up security holes. This is because content management systems only allow users to work with what are called the ‘front-end’ aspects of the website i.e. the content, rather than the complex scripts and databases working behind the scenes.
7) Allow editorial collaboration across departments
What to share the responsibility of online content maintenance amongst multiple members of your team? No problem: most content management systems allow for multiple users, each with a separate login. This is great for collaboration, as it means several people can work together on the same page, each making their own contribution.
What sets De Facto CMS apart from the rest
As well as offering all the above benefits, De Facto CMS is distinct from other content management systems in that it allows users to edit content ‘in line’. Some content management systems force users to work on content in a separate window. It is only when the user hits the ‘Save’ button that they can see the overall effect of their changes on the page. With De Facto CMS, however, you can edit the content on the page itself and see the changes take effect as you make them – making content control even quicker.
Fancy a De Facto CMS-equipped website? Contact our Online Services team today.
About the team behind this blog post
De Facto Software's Online Services team creates feature-rich websites and innovative apps for businesses in a variety of industries. Click the link to find out more about our online solutions.