Using a Content Management System for Your Small Business Website
It’s rare that anyone uses old fashioned coding to develop their website these days. Now it’s easy to install and manage a company website by using a content management system for the task.
Even just a few years ago, it was not easy to start up a website on your own. It involved a detailed knowledge of HTML and other technical aspects. Today, with a few clicks of a mouse, you can install a quality content management system and start working on your website on your own.
Some require a bit more of a learning curve than others, but none are so technical that it requires a specialist to work on. This keeps costs down and also makes it possible for anyone you choose to set up new content on the system, even without needing to know how to code. Other advantages include:
- Lower costs
- Ability to change content yourself
- New additions being developed by third parties all the time
- Save time
There are hundreds of CMS options out there, but three stand out. Drupal, WordPress and Joomla are the three most popular for business use and are the ones you will see most often when you are browsing business websites.
This is the most popular system among the non-technical types because it tends to be the easiest to set up and learn. Most website hosting packages include easy installation of WordPress and there are literally thousands of free and premium themes to choose from. All of these can be added with just a few clicks.
WordPress has the added advantage of being very SEO friendly. You can easily add plug-ins, as well, which let you customize the experience even more. These include everything from boosting SEO to adding social media icons to every post and automatically sending out each blog post on Twitter.
While traditionally considered a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved beyond this and can now be used as a static site or a blog, or both, with just a couple of changes in settings. However, there are downsides, as well. This CMS can be difficult to customize the headers, colors, etc. unless you invest in a premium theme or do a little coding. But for around $1000, you can get a customized design and site that you can add content to easily when you need to.
Another popular CMS option for its complete flexibility, Joomla lags behind a little when it comes to ease of installation and setup. Once it is in place, however, you will find that it is easier to customize.
One of the reasons people choose WordPress over Joomla is the fact that this system is more complex and has more capabilities. Because of this, the learning curve is longer and that can be discouraging when you’re just trying to get a quick website up and running. If you’re looking for the basics, this may not be the best system. However, if you want to do more complex things with your website, then you’ll need something like Joomla, which has added capabilities and can be changed to fit your vision for your site.
With Joomla, coming up with a theme may be difficult. If it is very complex, you’ll need to code it from the beginning, or adapt an existing theme. Any future theme will need to be completely compatible with the existing content or it won’t work. This can all be outsourced, if necessary.
While Drupal does have some advantages over the other two CMS options mentioned in this article, it is considerably more difficult to install and set up, which keeps most people away. It actually does require some programming knowledge to set this system up, so if you do choose to go with this option, you will likely want to outsource it.
While the basics and getting started is difficult, once you have Drupal installed and set up, the possibilities are infinite. This is where you can completely customize your site and designs that wouldn’t be possible on the other platforms can be executed on this one.
There are not a lot of ready-made themes available to use on Drupal, which means you’ll need to code your own. This means it takes far longer to get a Drupal website up and running than it would, say, a WordPress site.
Which Option is Best?
In the end, it comes down to what you want to do with your website. Are you looking for a quick and easy way to set up a web presence? Then you’ll want to stick with WordPress.
For more complex designs and websites that can do more, consider Drupal or Joomla. Keep in mind that it is possible to outsource the design and installation of any of these three content management systems and in some cases, it is more worth it to have someone else doing this than to spend the time learning how to install and set everything up yourself. Unless you plan to make dozens of websites, it probably isn’t worth your time to learn how to program Drupal, for example.
A content management system can really speed up the process of content publishing, letting you quickly and easily add content, be it to pages or a blog, without having to understand programming. All you need to do is log in and publish. This keeps things very simple and while some of these systems are more difficult to set up than others, once they are done, you can easily manipulate the content that they contain.