Why Use a Content Management System?

Is there anything more off-putting than a visiting website to buy something and seeing © 1998 at the bottom? Well, yes‚Ķ.trying to keep your site up-to-date and relevant can seem equally disheartening.

A few years ago, if you‚Äôre company had some exciting news you‚Äôd call up your web-designer, hand over $200, wait in-line while they dealt with their other clients, finally get your small changes made, see they‚Äôd made a mistake, call them up, wait in line…

Well, people have been working on software to simplify that whole frustrating process and put the power to update your websites into YOUR hands. If you’re looking for an easy way to publish and manage your company’s news and information online, you might consider Content Management Systems (CMS). At first sight, a CMS might be mistaken for a blog, but although similar they have several clear advantages.


A lot of people keep blogs but there are key reasons why they are generally considered inappropriate for companies:

  1. To make a really interesting blog you need to allow people to comment on your articles. This can work if you have a lot of time to manage the comments but otherwise they can fill up quickly with spam, rude comments and other things that will reflect badly on your company.
  2. Blogs thrive on controversial and outlandish opinions. That means your company needs to keep up a constant stream of patter. This isn’t recommended unless you’re building a business on the back of your personality ala Donald Trump from “the Apprentice” or Jim Kramer from “Mad Money”.
  3. They are limited in their what they can do. Most blogs don’t offer the possibility of adding an online store, a portfolio of your company’s work or calendar of events. A CMS can do all of this.


  1. The key idea behind a Content Management System is that people need a really easy way to manage and categorise their content. So if you write an article about a project your company has just finished you can store it under “Projects”. If its about a new member of staff then it can be filed under “Staff”. A good CMS is something your grandmother could understand and run.
  2. A CMS expands easily with your company. If you’d like to add a photo gallery, portfolio, event calendar or other new feature, it can be done with a few mouse clicks. The software has been already written and developed. The possibilities are numerous.
  3. Large numbers of developers work on CMS software. There’s a phrase in web design called “Golden Handcuffs”. Basically it means that once a designer has their hands on your site they can make it so complex that you have to keep hiring them because only they can understand it. With a CMS you can easily find someone plenty of other people to help you out.
  4. Most are free. Some are for sale but many high-quality CMS are distributed free-of-charge.

Overall, a CMS can offer an excellent way to make sure that your site welcomes visitors with your latest news and a tagline that reads © 2006.


  • Joomla (www.joomla.org). Regarded as the most user-friendly of all CMS.
  • Drupal (www.drupal.org). Good if you need lots of users with the permission to do different tasks on the site.
  • To take a trial run of many free CMSs you can visit www.opensourcecms.com

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