Your Content Management Options: No Control, Little Control, Full Control

Published June 6th, 2012 by Farin Innovations

Building a website? The choices these days are almost overwhelming, and they don’t always stop once the design process is finished. You have to figure out how to keep your site fresh and new on a regular basis, and many people turn to a solid content management system for help.

Even here, though, the options are huge. You could go without – which means a static site and no ability to manage the content. You could choose a free content management system with limited functionality. You could also choose to have a customized content management system that will let you deal with every bit of the content you see on your site. Not sure which way to go? This quick guide may be able to help.

A Static Site

Static means everything is going to stay the same. You’ll have the same old text. You’ll have the same old graphics. Your site will look like that same site every single day of the week. The opposite here is a dynamic site where you can make those changes. This is the absolute cheapest kind of site you can get, initially at least. If you need to make changes, you’re going to have to contact your web developer and log in, which will mean paying for every single update out there.

In some cases, you’ll find this with a managed hosting package, where some hours are built in for changes, but it’s going to cost you far more in the long run than a dynamic site might, and it could be hard to get someone to make a few little changes here and there.

Free Content Management Systems

While these aren’t always free, there’s sometimes a minimal installation fee, they do give you some control over your content. Notice we said “some.”  Sure, it’s better than none, but wouldn’t you rather have the cookie jar instead of a single cookie?

These come in the form of off-the-shelf solutions. Many people use Joomla or WordPress. Both of these are easy to install, and they’re cheap. The truth, though, is that you can’t always grow your site, there’s no real way to add on extra features without a lot of costs, and they’re terribly insecure. This is open-source software, so everyone has access to your source files, so it’s easy to hack a site powered by one of these platforms. Once they’re in, they’ll usually be into several other sites with the same tool, which could make you a target.

Constant updates are a must with this type of platform, if for no other reason that keeping your site safe.

Customized CMS Solutions

The best choice, obviously, is having a system built for you. These are usually designed from the bottom up, and you’ll talk with your web development company about what you need before you get started. That means that every single feature on your site is powered by you, so there are literally no limits. Here are a few reasons you may want to consider a customized CMS:

  • You’re in the driver’s seat. You don’ t have to call anyone else to make updates. Any time you want to log in and do it, just go. From your laptop on the beach or your office at three a.m., you get to make the changes you need to your site.
  • Safety first: You’re not using some code that is available to everyone else here. The file and database structure are unique to your site. While it’s not un-hackable, it’s going to take a lot of work to get in there.
  • Going up? Customized CMS solutions are completely scalable. Add in new modules or functions any time you want. The site is developed with your future company in mind, not the one you have right now.

Customized solutions aren’t always cheap, but the benefits often outweigh the costs. Let Farin Innovations help with your customized content management solution. Whether you already have a site or you’re working on a brand new one, give us a call today and learn more about how we can help you grow.