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Maintaining Your Website Using a Content Management System (CMS)

Your organization’s website can be the hardest-working, most versatile tool in your marketing kit. But to realize its true potential, you need to actively maintain the information published. While some rely on their development firm to perform all updates, the most efficient and cost-effective approach to content management is using a Content Management System (CMS).

A CMS-based website (sometimes referred to as a “dynamic” or “database-driven” site) uses a scripting language and a database to publish content. These packages include an administrative area that enables you to conveniently update the website without any knowledge of HTML or other coding language. If you can complete an online form, you can maintain the entire website.

Some core CMS features enable you to:

  • Add, edit or delete text site-wide
  • Upload and insert images
  • Publish (and catalog) news items, press releases and blog posts
  • Make documents available for download (.PDF, .DOC, etc.)
  • Maintain an events calendar
  • Create links to pages anywhere on the web (including your own site)

In the early days of commercial websites, Content Management Systems were cost prohibitive. Each package required custom development, quickly leading to a steep price tag that required a long period of time to realize a return on the investment. These days, there is a wide selection of off-the-shelf CMS packages available—many of which are low-cost or even free to use, due to being released under the Creative Commons License. The folks at SpryeStudios put together a nice list of what they consider to be the “Top 12 Free Content Management Systems” available (with additional packages listed in the “Comments” area).

What this means to you is that you can easily add a CMS to your site, giving you the immediate and complete control over the content you publish. Any competent web development company will be able to help you select a CMS best suited for your business and then customize that package to function according to your specific needs.

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