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Old 25th November 2015, 09:32 AM   #1
prandall
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Default Why You Should Be Using A Content Management System.

In looking through the posts on this site I found a dozen or more post regarding CMSs. They include definitions, comparisons and other pieces of relevant CMS knowledge but no reason for using one in the first place.

Whether you are doing the work yourself or you are paying a firm to run your website it should be on a CMS. If you are selling website services, your websites should be on a CMS. The days of coding your own system from scratch are over. I would venture to say that it may be even immoral to code your own interactive website from scratch. The security risks are too high and no one developer can cover all the exploits.

A great deal of time, effort and money can be saved by using a good Content Management System. Some of the best systems are available for no purchase price. You may need to pay for hosting and other ancillary costs.

Below I list some of the benefits.

Functionality
The functionality provided by most of the free CMS available far exceed the functionality a team of developers could create in a reasonable amount of time.
Security

Many security threats on the internet are well known and any decent CMS has accounted for and protected against these know threats. Things like "SQL Injection" are protected against right out of the box. Additionally CMS's like Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress have regular security updates. There are security issues to address in every CMS but the pale in comparison to an insecure custom site
Workforce Pool

In contrast to a custom developed website, if you need help, it will be easy to find talent for an existing CMS.
eCommerce
If you want to sell something on your website the popular CMS systems have eCommerce available, usually with multiple platform choices. In contrast creating your own eCommerce system is the same as handing over your keys to a car thief.
Low Start-up Cost
An OpenSource CMS like Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla lets you install and run the software for no additional cost.
Centralized Content Management
A CMS has the ability to manage the publishing of content on your website. Even with role based granular privilege.
Extensibility/Add additional functionality
All the top CMS systems have thousands of add on modules. Things like SEO, Themes, Forums, News, Blogging, Blog Submission, Image Management, Location tools, Ad Systems, etc., etc., There is usually a module for any functionality you need.
Division of functional labour
The web designer does not have to write content. The programmer does not have to make themes. The Author does not have to write code. The manager can oversee and approve content publishing.
The bottom line is that a CMS represents a large body of work and knowledge already completed for you. Today's website infrastructure is as complicated as ever, most of us would never dream of building a computer from the ground up, designing the CPU and supporting circuitry, we simply use the tool as it applies to our business. This is how we should approach websites. Build on top of some of the great work already done.

If you use a CMS, it would be great to get replies as to which one and a point or two about what you like about your CMS.

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Old 1st December 2015, 08:43 PM   #2
CTLCreatives
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Default WordPress (and CarbonMade)

Thanks for this post. I haven't used many CMS's but I love using Wordpress, whether it's for my own ventures or for clients. I find it intuitive both visually and for functionality. I've been using it for years and I love it's ease, community, and what it has to offer.

It can seem as simple as a word processor (such as Microsoft Word). So it's something I don't mind passing over to a client with only a bit of instruction (ie. if a client wants to keep an active blog). But if I like, I can still go into the coding and do more complex functions (either for design or website function).

There are many themes that look professional, and with a few plugins (free to WordPress users) you can really 'pump' up your site in a beautiful way, while keeping business in mind.

I haven't had much experience with e-shops and WordPress, but I've mostly used it for portfolios and contact forms to set up consultations. I really love the standard sidebar layout it has where I like to stick things such as customer testimonials and maybe a call to action button.

SUGGESTION/WARNING: If you're using WordPress, I recommend going into the code for the footer (or hiring someone who knows how) and taking the words 'WordPress' off of your page. WordPress has seemingly become popular to both businesses and spammers, hackers etc. When keeping my WordPress and Theme updated, I seem to have minimal to no problems, but by taking the word WordPress off of your site, you may also take a way a target for bots crawling the web looking for prey.

I find WordPress to be a great package for easily getting content across in a visually appealing way. There are many themes to chose some and some are quite beautiful with their individual perks. I enjoy many of the plugins...not sure of the specific names, but lightbox plugins, contact form plugins, e-mail sign up pop up plugins may be some I recommend checking out for business.

Right now I'm trying carbonmade out for my illustration portfolio. I like it. It seems good for what I'm using it for, but I don't think it seems to have anything that WordPress doesn't. It's maybe more simple for the average artist who doesn't want to take the time to chose from more themes, and doesn't want to take the time to learn a few plugins.

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Old 10th January 2016, 04:01 PM   #3
JenniferLynn
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Default

I would agree that a CMS is a much better option than coding your site from scratch.

The world of web design is evolving and shifting. I have experimented in the past coding my own personal websites and have found a new love for web design using WordPress.

I feel that someone with no web design experience could make it through the process of setting up their own website with the many YouTube video tutorials out there. They just need an investment of their time.

I do think you need to know some basic coding in order to push your "out of the box" WordPress template to the next level.

I think the average person looking to set up a website or a blog can do this without hiring a professional. There are many CMS options out there, but my vote definitely goes to WordPress.

Thank you for this post, great information!

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Old 29th January 2016, 11:33 AM   #4
DTDMedia
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Default

Quote:
SUGGESTION/WARNING: If you're using WordPress, I recommend going into the code for the footer (or hiring someone who knows how) and taking the words 'WordPress' off of your page. WordPress has seemingly become popular to both businesses and spammers, hackers etc. When keeping my WordPress and Theme updated, I seem to have minimal to no problems, but by taking the word WordPress off of your site, you may also take a way a target for bots crawling the web looking for prey.
Good advice!

Adding to that, try the iThemes Security Plugin. It's free and in my experience does what it's supposed to do. I haven't experienced any issues.

Several years ago we had ~30 WP sites infected/inject with malicious code. Doctors, lawyers, plumbers etc. After the breach, anytime someone visited one of our clients sites, their anti-virus software would flip out. Many times they'd get a screen (instead of the website) say get out of here, this site is infected. Very embarrassing for everyone, especially us.

It took hours upon hours to get everything back to normal. Hands down the worst disaster I've experienced in my web career.

It was a hard lesson learned. WP is awesome, I live and die by it. That said, take measures to secure it.

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Old 2nd February 2016, 05:55 AM   #5
HCFGrizzly
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Default

Sure, CMS are useful, but they don`t apply to every situation.
I am fed up with clients asking over and over again to build them a 3 pages portfolio websites in WordPress.
I mean, why would you need a CMS for your 3 pages website? They say to me that they want to have the opportunity to change things themselves, but in over 50% of the cases they come running back to me because they find a way to mess something up.
The inability to write HTML+CSS code is not an excuse for wannabe "developers" to use WordPress for every single website out there. (I bet some of them don`t even know how to properly code a contact form).
Remember that if you use a CMS where you don`t need one you will obtain a bloated website with big files and these things will hurt your loading speed. (and loading speed is said to be one of the ranking signals for Google).

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