Content management is considered a good tool for business websites, but do you really need it?
What is Content Management?
Content managed websites can be updated at any time by the owner of the website through a user interface.
The website will have been configured by the web developer to allow the owner to amend content pages and add new pages which can include images, links and any other content you may expect to find on a website.
Should the owner want to update their website all they need to do is log in to the administration area of their website and the changes they make will be instant.
Web developers build content managed websites on a number of content management systems (CMS). You may have heard of WordPress or Joomla!, both of which are open source (free).
Why would you need Content Management?
Many people prefer content management due to the flexibility and control it gives them over their website. The speed with which they can update their content is undeniably quick.
Content management systems particularly suit those businesses that have a high content turnover, i.e. those who update their content weekly or even daily and the extra expense when commissioning a content managed website is usually recouped relatively quickly.
However, we will only recommend content management if you:
- have a high content turnover
- have the technological expertise required to use a CMS
- have the time and resources to maintain your website content
What are the costs?
As mentioned before, many CMS are usually open source which means they are free to download. You only need to pay your web developer to configure your chosen content management system on top of your initial website costs.
Content management systems usually have frequent updates – these can be to improve security, add new features or fix minor bugs in the system. You don’t need to update to every new version of the software but it is wise to update your system regularly to ensure your website runs smoothly and you are making the most of new technology and security fixes.
You will need to pay your web developer to upgrade you to the latest version of your content management software – the price will vary depending on the size of the update and if any visual aspects of the website will be affected e.g. if you enable a new feature.
Are there alternatives?
Pay As You Go
If you rarely update your content it may be best to simply send any amendments to your web developer who can either give you a quote to do them or simply charge you for the time it takes to implement your changes. At Ballyhoo we log any updates to your website down to the minute at our hourly rate and invoice any amendments we’ve made at the end of each month.
Support & Maintenance Contracts
If you think you need content management but don’t have the technical knowledge or are too busy to update your website in-house there is an alternative – support and maintenance contracts. These can help you save both time and money.
Under a support and maintenance contract a monthly retainer is paid, usually at a discounted hourly rate, to the web developer who will agree to administer any updates you send in a set period of time. As with the previous option your updates are logged by the minute and a little time goes a long way, one or two hours is more than adequate per month in most situations.
With both alternatives you can be assured that:
- updates are administered professionally and efficiently
- content is formatted correctly
- content is proof-read before going live
In short, we recommend that you only commission a content managed website if you are going to be updating your website regularly and have the knowledge and resources to do so.
However if you do have these attributes then you will find content management an indispensable tool for your business.