We discussed in Part 1 the need to be clear about the content of your site.  The next need to identify is what to build your site on.

Website setup changes

Content management systems make creating, updating, and maintaining websites more user-friendly.  Originally creating a website was a hard task.  It required creating graphic design, cutting it apart like a jig-saw puzzle, then using software like Frontpage or Dreamweaver to make the html code, and then uploading all that to a web server.  (Or, even further back: learning plain html code in a basic text editor – think: creating a website from Notepad).

Then, if you wanted your site updated, often it required paying the web-designer an additional fee.

Content management systems have changed this process. Now, if you can use a web-based email account, like Gmail, and a web-based calendar, you can update your own website.

What are Content Management Systems?

Most Content Management Systems are open source.  This means, they are free, and have a large community of programmers and developers that freely update and create improvements to the system.

The advantage to using an open-source content management system compared to a private label service is in the numbers of people that you can contact for support, should you decide to leave your current provider.

Why should I use a Content Management System (CMS)?

While it may still require hiring a web developer to install and set your site up, as well as a designer to create a custom look to your site, and maybe even a copywriter to help on the “static” pages, using a website content management system will make updating your site yourself, or having a specific person/department in your company do this work much more efficient.

List of Open Source Content Management Systems (cms):

  1. WordPress (originally created for blogging, but now functions to host an entire site)
  2. Drupal (ideal for large scale websites with high functionality)
  3. Joomla

In the next post, we’ll review the advantages and disadvantages of each content management system, and ensuring your webhost can support your choice.