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Content Management System: The real reason you should be using one

By Rob Drummond on Fri 09 September 2011 in Web & eCommerce

If you have never heard of a ‘content management system’, think it sounds scary, and don’t really know HTML, today’s post is for you. I won’t be teaching you HTML, or explaining how to use templates or CSS. I will however be explaining how a Content Management System (CMS) can generate...

  • More leads and sales enquiries
  • More sales if you have an eCommerce store.

Let me explain.

The old way of creating websites would go something like this. Deciding your website needed an ‘overhaul’ you would sketch out the broad outlines of how you wanted the website to look. You would then pass this to a graphic designer, who would produce a beautiful, layered photoshop file.

You would then send the image file to a web designer, along with all the content you want displaying on each page.

A month or two later, your new website is finally ready to go. After some frantic last minute changes (and some late night calls to your designer) you hit the big ‘go live’ button.

Nobody seems to care.

Why?

Partly because you didn’t consider what goals your website was trying to achieve. But more importantly, no matter how well you understand what your website visitors are looking for, optimising your website is a long, iterative process!

Almost impossible to get right first time.

If you use Google Analytics (or any analytics product) try the following exercise. Log in, and under your content reports open the ‘landing pages’ report. This shows you a list of all the pages people arrive at your website from. Sure, your homepage is probably in top position, but how many visits enter your site at other pages.

It constantly amazes me where you all come from, and what pages you land on. And it isn’t just this website. The screenshot below (click to enlarge) is the landing pages report for an archery website I help run outside of work. Of 604 visits in the last month, 137 arrived via the homepage. Which makes it the most important page, but many more arrive at one of my other 69 homepages.

We couldn’t have done this without creating a lot of content.

And the only way to do this is having the ability to publish content to your website without relying on a web designer.

The reason a CMS is so important is that you retain control of your website.  Your web designer still produces your HTML, stylesheets, javascript etc. But every time you want to create a new page, add a new special offer, you need to be able to do this yourself.

This has SEO benefits, and also allows you to better cater to the (many) demands of your different web visitors, creating more focused content.

We don’t often talk about our Content Management System. It’s primarily used by our eCommerce customers to power their websites. But if you’re still creating webpages the ‘old way’ do take a look.