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blog: a regularly updated web page, typically run by an individual or organization, containing relevant thoughts and ideas.
by: Christine Swartzendruber, Chief Technology Officer

There is so much buzz about content management these days. But what does that mean to you, a person who needs a web site for your church group or small business? It can mean the difference between a long wait and an instant fix.

If your site needs updating it is certainly a lot easier to login to it yourself, make a few quick and easy changes and have your site immediately reflect those changes, than to phone your web developer and ask for simple changes, only to have to wait for several days for those changes to take effect. Even after the changes have been made, often times they weren’t exactly what you had in mind, then you have to make another phone call and so on.

A content management system is defined as; a  collection of tools designed to allow the creation, modification organization and removal of information from a website. There are some content management systems that you can buy “out of the box” so to speak. You can choose a template look and feel for your site, then apply the tools provided to update your new site.

But what happens when you want to make a change to the design, layout, content or form that isn’t included in their pre-made templates? That’s when you have to become a developer of their code, and this can be very complicated. While sticking with their pre-designed elements is a piece of cake, you probably would do well to have some formal training to do anything past that.

Working with a web development company that designs custom web sites using their own fully customizable content management systems is a great way to go. First, there is the benefit of working with a person that you know, someone you feel comfortable talking to, someone who understands what you need. Secondly, the flexibility to make any changes to your site that you require without having to know what goes on behind the scenes, is important for someone who wants to spend their time running their business rather than developing their website.

With the current economic state, businesses are apprehensive to spend money unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting corners is the norm now and even though a website is typically the first contact a new client has with your business, professional design has fallen by the wayside. Just “throwing up” a web site is not the way to gain the trust of potential clients or members. People need to feel a sense of validity when they visit a site. Custom design created by a professional is the best way to accomplish this. 

A well established web development company has low cost alternatives because they’ve already created a framework for their sites. The cost to you is typically for custom design, usability and getting to know your business to reflect your unique needs and goals. It is a common misconception that hiring a web development firm will cost you an unreasonalbe amount.

Content management is definitely the way to go. Static HTML sites are a thing of the past, but business relationships are still important and necessary for creating a unique brand and establishing a strong presence in a web based world.