A content management system (CMS) allows you to

ADD and EDIT your own web pages — anytime, anywhere....

WITHOUT having to ask your web designer!

Designing a website on a content management system (CMS)It’s one of the questions I get asked the most by my clients: “Will I be able to make my own changes?”

For a regular website, the answer, unfortunately, is usually “No.”

There is a software package, called Contribute Link to an external website, that allows you to edit your website from your own computer, just like you edit a document in a word processor.  And if you have a small website, this might be a good option for you.

But if your site is larger, and/or if you are planning to keep adding new pages to it, then having it built on a content management system is a much more convenient and flexible approach.

The up-front cost of designing your site will be higher — usually by about 50% — but for most site owners that will easily pay itself back because you can make all your own changes, without having to pay a webmaster to do them for you.

Creating a website based on a content management system (CMS)And the other major benefit of a CMS is convenience.  If you have to work through someone else every time you want to edit your site, it will be a slow and frustrating process.....no matter how responsive your designer is.

It’s much more flexible if you can edit things yourself — you can try all kinds of changes to see how they look, and keep on making improvements whenever you feel like it.

And a CMS will allow you to simply log into your site through a web browser — from anywhere in the world — and make all of your changes online.

The software runs on your web host, so you won’t have to install anything on your own computer.  You can even edit your site from an Internet Café while you’re on holiday in Thailand!

Sounds like a nice way to run a website, doesn’t it?

So let’s look at your different options for a content management system....

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Choosing the right CMS

There is a wide variety of content management software available, and choosing the right one for your application depends on what features you want to have on your site.

Here are some of the things you might want to consider including:

There is a free online service called CMS Matrix Link to an external website that is a great help in choosing a CMS that has all of the features you need — though you need to learn the lingo to be able to use it effectively.

There are basically two different types of CMS: open-source and professional.  It’s very important for you to know what you’re getting, because it can be quite challenging (and expensive) to switch to a different CMS later on.

So I’ll give you a few details here about each type....

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Open-source CMS platforms

The open source movement is a community of programmers from around the world, who all collaborate on software and make it available for freeLinux Link to an external website and OpenOffice Link to an external website are probably the best-known open source packages.

There are a large number of open-source CMS’s available, and some of them are truly excellent — both in terms of their quality and their features.

Open-source CMS’s have some great advantages:

Of course, there are some disadvantages as well....

For many website owners, these disadvantages are minor, and an open-source CMS can be an excellent way to go.  If you are creating an informational website, with little or no ecommerce on it, this is what I would likely recommend.

Here’s a free website that has ratings and live demos of the available open-source CMS packages: openSourceCMS Link to an external website.

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Professional CMS platforms

If your site is going to sell a large number of products via the Internet, then you will most likely want to invest in a professional software package to help you manage your online catalogue.

Professional CMS systems range from fairly basic shopping cart software, to full-service enterprise solutions.

Here are three that are worth looking at:

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Putting it all together

Regardless of the CMS you choose to work with, you will likely need some professional help to get your site up and running.

Many of the content management systems I’ve mentioned offer additional services to set up your site the way you want it.  However, it may be a good idea to shop around and make sure that these services aren’t overpriced.

You can post a project on a freelance site like Elance Link to an external website and RentACoder Link to an external website, to find somebody with experience in a particular CMS.

Or you can find a professional design firm to take care of everything for you.  Word-of-mouth is often the best way to find a local company, or you can search for a design firm with the skills you need on the net.

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Hiring Arvana Design Studios

I’m in the lucky position of being able to pick and choose what clients I work with — I’ve been successful enough to only take on the projects I know I’ll really enjoy.  If you fit my ideal client profile, my team and I may be happy to work with you personally.

If your website project involves....

....then I would definitely like to hear from you, and we can see if we would be a good fit to work together on your website.

It has given me a lot of pleasure over the years to watch my clients’ Internet businesses get started and grow — and I’d love to help you achieve the same success.

So please tell me what you need, and I would be glad to help.  You can either contact me directly....

....or you can fill out my no-obligation quotation request form to get the ball rolling.

Click here to tell me about your project....  I’ll give you a free quote, and help you on your way to Internet business success!



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