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Why you may need a content management system and your options.

Why may you need a content management system?

If you need to update your content or add new webpages on a regular basis it would soon become very costly to commission someone every time an update needs to occur. You could update the website your self, but then you would need know how to edit HTML code (the scripting language in which webpages are written). Whilst learning HTML is not difficult, it takes time and there is always the danger that by editing webpages you may accidentally alter something you shouldn't, leaving your website with errors or inconsistencies in design and layout. There is a much better alternative, a content management system. A good content management system should allow the content provider (the person writing / editing your websites content) the ability to quickly and easily, and without risk, make changes without having to have more than basic word processor skills. It is should not be the job of the content provider to have to be technically proficient in HTML or any other web technology.

Your options

1. News Section (simple content management)

Updating a news section on a website homepage is an example of a simple content management system.

A News section needs to be continually updated as new news items come in and old news expires. Instead of having us edit your webpage every time a new news item comes in (costly on a regular basis), or you having to learn how to edit webpages, we can create a system whereby you simply upload a text file to your web space and the contents of that text file is displayed within the news area of the webpage. Uploading of a text file is done using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software which can usually be setup to upload your text file automatically.

2. Content Management

If you need to update your content on a regular basis as well as add new webpages you will need an integrated content management system.
The disadvantage of the news section (simple content management) is that you can not edit the all the content in your webpages and you can only use it to display plain text. To edit all the content of your website on any webpage and include any media (text, graphics etc.) and use full text formatting (bold, italic) and include links to other webpage you need a content management system that presents you with a word processor like interface that is easy to use.

If you are adding new pages to your website unless you wish to learn graphic design it is best to opt for a content management system that allows you to enter content into a template that matches the design and appearance of your existing webpages, otherwise new webpages are going to look out of place and inconsistent.

Once you have created your edits to content or new webpages they need uploading to your web space using an FTP software.

We highly recommend Macromedia's Contribute which is a fully integrated template based content management and publishing software. Contribute presents you with a word processor interface giving you very capable formatting capabilities and you can even drag and drop content from a a Word document or Excel Spreadsheet. The webpages we create can easily be converted into templates for use in Contribute. Contribute also includes a publishing facility to automatically upload your changed or new webpages to your web space.

Find out more about Contribute.

3. ASPSonic

We now have a new suit of e-business modules which put in control of your website. The e-business modules include powerful, yet very easy to use content managment system. This really is the cream of the crop.

For more information about ASPsonic.

NEWS: We have teamed up with EMNET and can now offer the ASPsonic suit for free via European funding to SME's in the East Midlands. More.

Check out our ASPsonic package for those who are not in the East Midlands.

 

Also see: Introduction ¦ Content Management ¦ Accessibility issues ¦ Community Content
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