It’s time to upgrade your website, you’ve realised that as a business you need more flexibility with your website in order to maintain a strong web presence. You want a CMS system, but where do you begin?
As a business you now acknowledge that being able to edit the website quickly, upload new content, add new videos and pictures is of great importance. You now know that a CMS (Content Management System) system is what you require to keep your online marketing strategy fresh and relevant.
I have used a number of CMS systems in the past and I have found them all to be extremely intuitive and easy to learn, and the speed with which you can add or remove content is of great benefit to any business looking to ramp up their online presence. The increased functionality that you can get access to is almost limitless from adding your own questionnaires, online shopping functionality and creating your own blogs and forums for your users to interact with.
So with this in mind I have pulled together some of the key points you should consider when choosing a CMS system for business.
Firstly is Suitability
If you require a simple brochure style website, with a small number of pages and no functionality then a CMS system won’t be for you. They will prove too costly for what you require, and the functionality will be of no use to you. I advise you go and find a respected web developer who can produce well made brochure style websites that are far more suited to your budget.
If you want a website that can be added to and edited regularly, can take reservations or payments, has the functionality for video, downloads, questionnaires, information storage and you have some employees willing to muck in and learn how to use these systems then read on, also check the Approved Index CMS System articles and guides here.
If you are still unsure, ask yourself the following questions and this may help you to choose your next move.
- Do you regularly ask your web designer to update text / images on your website, and are you frustrated with the lack of dynamic content that’s on your website?
- Are you reliant on external web developers and designers to maintain your website to keep it in line with other marketing activities?
- Do you have long waits when requesting changes to your website, changes that appear simple but due to the system you are using you’re unable to complete yourself?
- Are the costs of maintaining your website with the use of an external developer increasing year on year, yet you feel value for money is lacking?
- Are you over-reliant on external suppliers who are slow to respond, expensive and don’t fully understand your business model, and would prefer to bring these activities in house?
I have worked with both small and large businesses who have invested varying amounts of their budget into CMS systems. Of course, your budget is relatively closely tied to the amount of functionality you should expect to have. In the past I have worked with businesses that are spending anything from £4,000 up-to £15,000 on a bespoke CMS system, what you must remember is that this does not cover the cost of the web development or the design of the website, these costs will be extra and you should budget for these costs.
The CMS system is the basis on which the designers and developers can develop the look and feel of your website, and once the development process has been completed they metaphorically hand the keys to the website to you the business owner. So it’s important to assess what your needs are, so that you can reflect the cost of design and development in your overall website budget. For a more detailed look at costs of CMS Systems, read the Approved Index CMS System Price Guide here.
CMS Systems – The Benefits
You have spent a large part of your budget on the CMS System, now what can you expect to be able to do with this new system? Some of the key functions and benefits that you will have access too are listed below, but this is by no means the end.
- You are quickly able to update you website with news, new product details, special offers & a whole host of other updates.
- Articles and newsletters and many other types of content can be stored on the site and archived, then when you need you can re-publish these items.
- Dynamic content such as blogs and forums can be created to increase interaction with your website and brand.
- Vacancies and job information can be uploaded to the website for prospective employees to access.
- Questionnaire creation is feasible, as are creating sign-ups for an event you might want to create for various marketing events.
- Data storage – you will get direct access to the details of users who sign up to your website and this information can be seamlessly integrated into your CRM system.
- Online resources and downloads can be made available to users who access the website.
- Members areas can be created that are securely protected from unauthorised access.
- Video and animation can be uploaded and sits easily on the website, and this content can be quickly edited and changed when needed.
- Increased efficiency, this may not be a direct feature but the CMS system allows repairs or more in depth updates to be completed remotely via a secure login.
- CMS Systems are designed with the “non-techie” in mind. These systems are designed to be usable by novices and experts alike. After some brief training most people are happily updating their websites without a hitch.
- SEO benefits – now you have access to a CMS System you can update content regularly, search engines like a site that is updated regularly.
- Brand consistency is maintained when using a CMS system. The designers will create templates for the types of pages you want to create and then you choose the appropriate template when updating new content.
The Business Benefits of A Content Management System?
So its all well and good singing the virtues of a good CMS system, but what are the various business benefits of implementing such a system?
Reduced Website Maintenance Costs
Using a CMS System will lower the overall costs you incur. You will no longer need to spend your budget on external developers to update simple news stories on your website.
Initial cost outlays may be higher, but as you can update and amend the site in house then charges from developers will no longer apply.
Fresh and Up-To Date Content
If you were getting frustrated at the time and complexity of updating current business information, or you were tired of waiting so that you could upload new products to your website, this will no longer be a problem if you are using a CMS system.
When you see something of interest, or get a new range of stock into your business, this information can be applied to the website straight away, increasing efficiency and keeping your website looking fresh and contemporary.
Increased Content Flexibility
As mentioned previously you can integrate a large variety of media types easily and quickly when using a CMS System. Want to upload video, PDFs, images or newsletters? Simple, there is built in functionality to make this process as simple and as pain free as possible.
You can also update your standard content quickly and easily, want to change the text on your homepage, want to add more information to the about us section of your site, it’s as simple as logging in and typing away.
You want to increase engagement with your brand, your products and your website, then a CMS is a great tool to do this with.
Increase Search Engine Visibility
Adding new content regularly from employees who understand the company and the products will help you to achieve better results within the search engines. Fresh and updated content shows that you interact with the website and that you actively care about what your users read and how they use your website.
Where as in the past adding more technical SEO facets would have been difficult, now it’s simple to add Meta information (the information that tells the search engines what the page is all about). This information can be added when you are uploading new content and is incredibly simple to do, once you have completed training your SEO skills will begin to increase.
The Cheats Way To Becoming A Techie
In the past you would have been switched off at the thought of updating XML files or using HTML to add content. CMS Systems take away the complex behind the scenes techie bits and leave you with simple WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editing areas in which you can add written content, upload an image and then link it to a downloadable document, all without leaving the page.
CMS Systems give you the flexibility, simplicity and cost and time saving benefits that all companies crave in order to focus on wider business matters. It strikes the balance between having a simple yet technologically advanced website that is easy to update and not consuming time trying to organise external companies to do the leg work for you.