The Secret of Great Small Business Websites

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This post has stuff about religion and a previous relationship. My perspective has changed


One thing you’ll notice about great small business websites is that they’re always updated frequently. In other words, if you want a successful website you’ve got to keep it fresh. There’s just one problem: the average small business owner knows nothing about websites or coding and certainly doesn’t have the time to fuddle around with HTML. What’s more is that hired help is notorious for dragging their feet when it comes to site updates. Enter the Website Content Management System, or CMS for short.

If you’ve talked with us about a website lately you’ve surely realized that we are CMS Evangelists. We love ‘em—particularly one called Drupal—and we’re not afraid to say it. So what is a Web CMS , and how can it make your website great? Brace yourself, I’m about to get on my soapbox.

The basics

First things first: what’s a CMS ? I’ll break it up:

  • Content

Content can really be anything. In our case we’re talking about content specific to a website; images, text, audio, and video are the most typical kinds of content that we work with on the web. Some other types of content could be projects, code, documents, and forms.
- Management

We’re talking about organizing our content here. It’s like the difference between throwing your socks in a drawer and neatly folding them. When your stuff is nicely contained in the proper bins and drawers with appropriate labels it can be easily retrieved and changed or removed very efficiently.
- System (or Platform)

A bunch of code that enables folks to perform a specific task or series of tasks in an easy way.

In summary, a Website CMS is a platform for organizing and publishing your stuff on the Internet. And it’s really a Godsend.

Focus on the content, not the code

I remember when I started creating websites some time ago. I hadn’t discovered anything capable of doing what I’ve been describing. If I wanted to write an about page I’d have to manually edit hundreds of lines of code. I certainly enjoyed doing that but when it came time to add 14 extensive product pages and a daily news item it became very tedious. With a CMS this whole process is streamlined. Typically, there are specific types of content like news, events, stories, books, products and so on. You just have to add the type of content you want via a regular web form.

Another benefit of having a CMS is that you don’t have to wait to add new stuff, and you don’t have to fork out a bunch of cash to get someone else to update your site for you. In fact, you don’t have to spend any money to update your site because a CMS typically enables even the most computer-illiterate user to edit their website.

So here’s a quick recap: you don’t have to code, you don’t have to pay someone to code, you don’t have to go through the phone book looking for someone who will code, and you can update your website yourself without paying a dime.

Anything you can think of doing on the Internet can be done quickly and easily with a CMS , and you’ll save a lot of time and money no matter how big or small your business is.