In this article I share why I prefer to create websites based on the Content Management System technology over other technologies and my view of how it helps my clients ease themselves into gaining more control over their own Website and ultimately can save themselves money.

It may sound strange that I don't create websites because I want to create websites, I create websites because I or my clients have something they want to share and a website is in many cases the most practical way to reach our audiences. As my own skills have evolved I have moved from the PC based website builder applications to my preferences of the Content Management System technology, in particular the Joomla application.

A CMS technology like Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal are created as open source which means Free to some people or developed by a community of people all contributing to the development of the application to other people. This makes for a very inexpensive start up costs to get a website up and running and with the community contributing extra features by way of an add-on that many powerful features are also readily available.

The principle design of a CMS is to separate the function of creating the 'Look and Feel' of the website separate from the content or information that a business or author wishes to share with their audience. In reality there is usually an overlap of content and the look of the website to a varying degree, however I prefer to look at is as a separation between the technical aspects of a website and the function of adding the business content.

In a CMS you create a structure of categories, menus, links and features like a slideshow in a database that you then select a template or theme that provides the visual aspects of the site that are consistent from one page to the next. Separate to this is the content that is authored by the clients say a Recipe or a product you wish to sell. With a CMS you can change either the structure, the layout or the look without affecting the content.

A simple example is to replace the template to a Christmas theme during the month of December and back to normal or a new theme for the new year. With other technologies you need to make the changes to every page you have and if you have a lot of content that can be a lot of work, whereas a CMS you make the change once and every page from then on will appear altered.

In the past the use of software like Dreamweaver, Frontpage and many others tended to require the technical skills of building the website to be the same skills to add and make changes to the content, causing high costs for making changes. The CMS model, if people have the time to learn the skills, can generally work their way through the process of building a website from scratch however that is not cost effective for many businesses.

The approach I use with my clients is to perform the task of building the website and the basic content provided to get a presence online. I the use my own website to educate my clients on how to logon and add new content or make simple changes thus saving them money but importantly giving them a foundation of skills that they can build upon. As their skills, confidence and understanding grows they then find themselves making more advanced changes and moving into the realm of the technical side of things that they may have once paid someone else to do.

How far a client wants to progress towards more technical aspects of managing their website is up to them, however by taking the approach of developing their skills on their website that is up and running means that they can be generating income while they learn. Starting from scratch and trying to learn the technical, design and SEF/SEO aspects of the website as well as providing their content takes considerably longer and generates no income and the results are generally less potentially meaning lost customers.

It is also of benefit to myself if clients manage their own content, with my consultation if they feel they need it, as it frees up my time to do other activities that may benefit them and also gives them some appreciation of the more difficult aspects of website management. It is a basic human desire to learn new things and if I can be a part of that then there is plenty of satisfaction in it for me.

Another key feature of CMS technology is that the environment is maintained on the Internet, rather than a primary source being on someones PC, thus allowing you to make changes from anywhere you can access the Internet through a browser. This is great for multiple authors or those who travel or just like to have a lifestyle change.

There is a saying that "Content is King" when it comes to websites and if you are looking to earn money from your Website then concentrate on getting your content  up online to serve your clients or potential clients as that will have more of a positive effect on your bottom line than the underlying technology or how much you did yourself or even how pretty it is.

A CMS powered website is to me the most efficient and economical approach to get a quality looking and functioning website active and drawing in potential customers. Unless your business is about supplying websites then putting to much focus on the technology and not on the content does not make business sense to me.

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