There is nothing more frustrating to an organization then not being able to edit its website content when it needs to. The days of relying on the web guy to do this are pretty much over. Or, are they? In this article I want to address the concern I have regarding the growing number of organizations who are beginning to realize that there has got to be a easier and cost effectively way to manage and control their online content.
First, let’s define the terms: CMS stands for content management system. A CMS is defined as “the collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment.” (Source Wikipedia.)
What Can a CMS Do For Me?
In its simplest terms a CMS is a tool any organization can use to control, edit, store, improve, and allow an editor access to its website content. One thing is clear about the knowledge of CMSby growing organizations, and it is evidenced by Google Trends. As traffic volume decreases for this term, I would dare to make the following assumption: A viable reason for a downward trend for this terms is that most organizations are already aware of what a CMS is. Of these, I would venture to say a good number are either still managing content the hard way, or worse yet, not at all. Nonetheless, they are felling the pain of not having control of their online content.
Open Source CMS?
Another term needing definition is open source CMS. So, not only are there many kinds of content management systems on the marker today, but there are differing types of cms across different platforms. Open Source dot org defines open source as “a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process.” The one point I want to make concerning open source CMS’s is that though they are free to acquire, they are often costly to customize. So, an organization wishing to use an open source CMS needs to take into consideration costs like customization, training, maintenance and hosting. Closed systems bring their own set of limitations like inability to fully customize or integrate third party solutions which can enhance the CMS. But more about that another time.
What’s The Point?
The point is that organizations looking to stop the pain and take control of their website content have many options. Hire a professional firm that can help you document your long term needs and is proficient in the CMS you have chosen to use.
What Do You Use?
WordPress.org – the leading [according to us] open source CMS today. With it’s poetic code structure and easily extensible core structure it has got to be without a doubt one of [if not] the top open source CMS on the market today. We Love WordPress simply because our customers love it so much! Are there some set backs to using it? Well, all systems have their Kryptonite. WordPress is really targeted from a security standpoint [in my opinion] because it is popular. Much like Macs are now being targeted by spy-ware – because they are way popular. We highly recommend WordPress for any organization seeking a great CMS. If you can think it, WordPress can pretty much do it! As well, a WordPress has perhaps the most vibrant and active development community which makes this CMS perhaps the highest recognized and soon to be the most popular amongst the open source CMS. With the recent release of WordPress 3.0, the WordPress platform has become an even more versatile CMS due to the addition of custom post types and custom menus.
Wildapricot.com – this is a closed source CMS. As well, it is a robust and perhaps the best membership management platform available today. We like it because it offers its users a wide and growing variety of widgets, levels of membership – events – and online payments options. This is truly an international platform with clients from around the globe using it as its CMS. Set backs? Like I mentioned before, it is a closed CMS. So, customizations are limited to what we can push it to do, but out of the box – it rocks! We highly recommend Wild Apricot for organizations needing to manage content and a membership – who are willing to commit to a monthly plan. Check it out!
If you are reading this article and are in an organization who is still relying on the web guy to make your website edits for you (or you are not keeping your site’s content current at all), please do not hesitate to call or email us. Let us help you begin to embrace the power of managing your own website content. Free your organization from the old way of editing content. Do your research. Ask the questions. Make the call!