When I build and design websites for my clients, I do my absolute best to ensure it is a tool that enables them to make the most getting their business online.
The internet is a buzzing marketplace and there are thousands of stalls (yep, we're sticking with the metaphor) with sellers shouting out about their latest stock, new promotions, and "Reduced prices, but get 'em quick".
Whatever business you run, the majority of potential customers are milling around the 'cyber-market' from the comfort of a soft sofa and a Costa Cappucino. They are NOT coming down for a visit to see what notice you've stuck on your shop window.
If you haven't updated your website from a few years ago, it's doubtful that you can add, change and update the content yourself. You may be one of many people who still think you need to contact your web developer and ask them to alter some images or text that is out of date.
In today's fast paced age of internet consumers, that's like pulling a cart on a lump of wood that has been chiselled into a hexagon. The wheel has been invented. You need it. That wheel -in website terms- is the CMS.
So....again, what is a CMS?
A CMS, or "Content Management System", is a system which manages your content.
Your content is everything on your website from your images, text and headings to your logo, which -of course- make up your larger content, such as product and about pages.
In the 'olden days', website content was added in between the code that would tell the browser how to display the content and the page, so you would have to navigate through the confusing code in order to find the text or image that wanted to alter.
The major drawback is that if a business owner wanted to alter some content in order to keep their website up to date, they could very easily delete or alter the actual website's code...and break the website. So, let's imagine you have a website and wanted to change some text on your About page.
<div class="confusingcode" style="morejunk:toyoureye;">
<h3>Can you see this title?</h3>
<h4>Or this subtitle?</h4>
<p class="mainstyle">First you have to find this text and then replace it without deleting a comma from the code and crashing your site! And don't forget to use </br> for a new line, or <p>for a new paragraph</p>
Can you see this title?
Or this subtitle?
If this were a paragraph in a word processor, you could just click and edit it, before hitting "Save"!
With a CMS, you don't delve into the code. You simply sign into your Administration area, select the content you would like to change and do so using simple text editors and image uploaders.
As small business owners, we need to acknowledge that our world (especially because so much of it is online) is incredibly fast paced; a CMS based website is much faster, it's much easier and it's incredibly user friendly.
You may need a web developer to initially set up a great CMS website (Hi, I am Chris...and I make websites, don't you know!?) but once that is done, you can take the reigns at no further cost, apart from maintenance.
As a last vote for your confidence in a Content Management System...think of your Facebook profile as a website page -which...it is!
In 15 minutes of a lunch break, you can change your entire "About Me" information, upload new images to the full width cover section and also your profile image. You can also change the text that displays in many different slots, and even add videos to your video album page. That's a CMS