So, you have your own web site. Fantastic! What was that? You use Dreamweaver? Superb! No? Not superb? Let me guess. You’ve building web page after web page and your site now consist of 50+ webpages with the numbers going up. And you’re pulling your hair out trying to keep all that content under control.

You can’t seem to find half of the things you’re looking for. You have no idea what pages you added last week because you’re busy trying to figure out why the code you added to a web page has broken the whole site. Trying to link to related web pages on your site is a nightmare. And re-organizing? Well … let’s not even touch that.

Isn’t there an easier way to build and manage a web site with what seems like never ending content.

The good new is … there is.

Let me introduce you to the Content Management System (CMS).

What is a CMS?

A content management system can be defined by what it does. Which essentially is to manage content. Though different content management systems may have different set of features, they all can be used to create, store, publish and archive content.

You may have not heard or used a CMS before but, if you’ve been online for awhile, you would have definitely been to a web site that uses one.

Why use a CMS?

There is only one reason you’d want to switch to a CMS … to maintain your sanity. With increasing amounts of content to manage, using a content management system is just the next common sense step. A CMS will allow you to:

  • create new content pages or edit existing ones quicker and easier.
  • increase your site flexibility.
    • You can rearrange and recategorize your content easily.
    • You can publish and unpublish content at will.
    • You can change the look and feel of the site without affecting your content.
  • streamline your authoring process
    • You can add your content in a systematic way.
    • You can allow others to add content in the same systematic way.
    • This increases the consistency across your site.
  • create better site navigation as links are automatically added and removed
  • maintain your whole web siteespecially as your content grows

All this put together means that you spend less time tweedling with less important website maintenance issues and more time towards achieving your goals.

Which CMS should you use?

Doing a search for a CMS will bring up thousands of results. Which system should you use? Unfortunately, this is not as easy a question to answer as it is to ask. There really is no one CMS that will meet everyone’s needs. So, it really depends on what you need it for, what type of content you publish and, of course, your budget. You have simple ones that help you maintain just a blog type web site to those elaborate ones that will help you manage huge community oriented sites. Whatever it is, take the time to browse around the CMS market to see what they have to offer.

A content management system is not for everyone. If you have a site with 4-5 brochure type web site with content that you update once in awhile, a CMS may be a bit of an overkill for you. On the hand, if you’re finding that your hair is starting to fall off trying to manage and keep your content publishing under control, it may be time you switch to a content management system.

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