Years ago, website designers would take content, "mark it up" to make it ready for the web, and then upload that code to a web server somewhere. Today, it's as easy as logging into a website, making the necessary changes, and saving your work. But not all CMS systems are created equal...
What is a content management system (CMS)?
A content management system is the code behind the scenes that makes content changes happen. And it's exactly what it sounds like—this tool helps manage your website's text, articles, images, links, etc.
- New press release? Publish it.
- Photos of your newest product? Post them.
- Prices on your e-commerce website? Slash 'em.
A CMS can also help you setup meaningful web locations (URLs), automatically "ping" or notify update services to let you know that you've posted new content or automatically post to social media sites when your update.
More than just web content
In today's world of multiple screens and devices, a CMS can help you maintain lots of different types of content. From the products your company sells, to the sell sheets your distributors use to make a buying decision, or even feeding data into mobile apps, a content management system can be that central hub that ties publishable content with users.
Tapping into your ERP system
Complex CMS solutions can even manage all of your important, publishable data, that both customers and employees can use. Especially in manufacturing, an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system rules the data roost.
Oftentimes it's necessary that some of this data, such as product pricing and inventory, be seamlessly integrated into your website. Depending on the complexity and how often this data changes, we can bridge these systems to talk to each other so everything is always up-to-date.
Why you need the right content management system
Ultimately, the right CMS for your website—and just as importantly how it's setup—can make a huge difference in how your organization publishes content.
The term "content management" is thrown around a lot and it comes in many forms. A CMS is really just an interface to a database of some kind (like a web form you fill out)—though technically, even an intern with a folder and a text editor could be termed a CMS. (We think you'll want something a bit more automated than that.)
Try this analogy on for size: the Toyota Camry is the best selling car in the United States but that doesn't mean it's the right tool for hauling lots of 2'x4's, tools, and supplies for business use. The same is true of content management. Sometimes you need a pickup, SUV, or even a semi to do the job properly.
You have options
Just like you can transport something using car, boat, train or truck, you have options when it comes to managing your organization's website.
You'll undoubtedly see WordPress come up. Oftentimes, because it's so used (and overused), many people believe it's the only way they will build your website. Powering over 25% of the web, its reputation proceeds it.
But what are the other 75% of websites using? In other words, WordPress is not the only CMS in town. Some agencies build their own, proprietary systems to help lock you into their own setup. We prefer something peer-reviewed (for security) and off-the-shelf (that anyone can use).
A good CMS is like a box of legos: a predefined "set" can help you build a 3 story house but maybe you only need 2 stories and a bigger garage. Sadly, some CMS (like WordPress) come with most of their pieces already glued together; the only thing you can do is add-on.
Purveyors of the craft
Over the years, we've built sites on many different systems, including WordPress. But we're here to show you something better. More modern. Secure. User-friendly. Polished. Enter Craft CMS.
Developed by Pixel and Tonic, who's founder used to work with Apple's web group, Craft is not only the name of the CMS, but the perfect word to describe the method to our madness.
From all the little details, the websites we build are lovingly crafted. Craft blends powerful developer features with a simple, intuitive user interface for our clients. Once you've seen its Live Preview, you won't want to use another system.
Craft even has a fully-featured, first-party e-commerce add-on, so updating your products and your marketing pages can be done from just one, seamless administration panel.
Take it for a spin
If you have an existing WordPress site or even something else entirely, we'd love to demo Craft and more importantly how we would use it to improve the content management and authoring experience on your own website.
Can we help you with content management?
Ready to publish content like it's 2017? Let us know how we can make the CMS work in your favor.