Running a profitable business can be a challenge. Having an effective website is a sure-fire way to increase the odds of success. There are many different ways to build and manage your website, some with more advantages than others.
Programming a website from scratch with coding languages such as HTML, CSS and PHP has long been the go-to solution for website creation but that method of building is being overtaken by Content Management Systems.
The Advantage of Content Management Systems
Content Management Systems may be simple to install and easy to use but they are also highly customizable. Here’s what makes a CMS so great:
CMS: Building and adding files, photos and movie clips to your website is incredibly simple with a CMS. Media files can be placed directly on a new web page or post directly in the content creation panel or uploaded and stored in the media section of your CMS dashboard.
Code: Websites built with code have the same storage capacity as a CMS but downloading, uploading and storage is a bit more complicated. Files must be entered through a File Transfer Protocol like Filezilla and placed directly into your database. Since this process isn’t automated you have to manually choose a storage folder. Choose the wrong folder and your material won’t display on your site or worse yet, knock some part of it offline.
Updating, Editing and Creating
CMS: Creating new content, editing and making updates to older material is an easy affair. Each piece of content is stored right inside your CMS dashboard making them easy to access and modify all in the same panel. Automatic publishing is also possible with the on-board scheduling system.
Content Management Systems allow you to publish fresh content, even when you’re away from your computer.
Code: Similarly to a CMS, every file and document that builds your website can be updated and edited but the process is much more complicated. Again, using an FTP client allows you to access your files. In order to edit them you have to download the file in question, edit the content and then upload it back into the same folder. This method is much more time consuming and the manual aspect makes it ripe for human error.
CMS: As your business and your website grows you will definitely want to add some features. Facebook like boxes, automatic backups and email notifications for user comments are all good examples of value-added features. All of these additions and more are pre-built in small code packets known as Plugins.
Pretty much any feature you could want already exists and can be downloaded, installed and activated in short order. No hassle, no expense.
Code: Adding those same features to a coded website is a little more difficult. In most cases the code snippets are already written for you but you must copy and install them through FTP all by yourself. Knowing where to put something and how to connect it to your existing code takes expertise and knowledge.
If you don’t have the requisite skills it can take hours of research to find the right solution or paying a webmaster exorbitant prices to get the job done.
CMS: Ultimately a Content Management System is a piece of coded software just like anything else. Over time it evolves and requires updates as code patches and additional features are integrated into the system.
Everything from the theme you choose to the plugins you install can be updated to the most recent version with one click of the mouse. CMS’s automatically notify you when something on your website isn’t up to date.
Code: Almost nothing inside a specifically coded website is automatic, unless you build it that way. Keeping your website fresh and current is a constant struggle with code. Every new feature and innovation that hits the market must be dissected and manually updated or installed to keep you up to date and often compatibility becomes an issue, making rewrites necessary.
Easy Comment Management
CMS: If you’ve done your job right then your web traffic will increase incrementally over time. Some of these site visitors want to comment on what you do. Most CMS’s have a comment system built right into the admin panel. Managing contacts and answering customer questions is quick and easy with a CMS
Code: All the same features are possible with code but they must be written from scratch or purchased and installed separately. These added comment systems are regularly updated and modified as well meaning you have to reinstall new versions. Sometimes these prepared features have compatibility issues which leads to some first-hand coding to get it right.
Ultimately Content Management Systems do have some limitations. Some or most of the visual layout is frozen in place but there are quick and easy fixes for these problems as well. With literally thousands of pre-packaged themes available to install on your CMS virtually any layout is within your grasp and can be installed in minutes.
A Content Mangement System makes your website easy to edit and let’s you do it all by yourself.
For all these reasons and more Canopy Media works exclusively with Content Management Systems.
For a little more info on website choices and creation take a look at these helpful articles below: