A CMS, or Content Management System, is one of the most popular web applications for small business owners. What is a CMS? Simply put, it is a website with a backend dashboard where you can manage, customize, create, and update your website's content by yourself without having any advanced coding knowledge. With CMS websites, instead of hand-coding your website on your computer locally and then using an FTP program to move those code files to the server, you can type add content yourself in a WYSIWYG editor and publish with a single click.
Are you a startup company or a small business owner and interested in creating a CMS website for your business, but not sure if it's the right move? Well, there are a lot of good reasons why a CMS website might help you and your business. In this article, we will discuss why it is beneficial to run your business website on a CMS software platform.
1. It's easy to use
The biggest reason that small business owners chose a CMS website is that it is very easy to create and update content without the help of a developer. Although inevitably there's still a learning curve for CMS beginners, it's way shorter than learning how to code. Most CMSs are designed to be intuitive to use, so the learning curve is generally not too steep. The authoring process is far more streamlined since you can add and upload content instantly instead of waiting on a developer to help you make changes. This increases productivity and allows things in your business to move faster. Adding text, images, audio files, videos, PDF files, sliders, etc, to your website by yourself is easy thanks to modern content management systems and plugins.
Plus, a CMS website is very convenient if your business requires a blog which needs to be constantly updated with new articles. Below is a screenshot of the blogging interface under WordPress, which is the most widespread-used free open-source CMS platform. As you can see in the screenshot, all the features and tools you need for composing a great article are there and easy enough, even for less tech-savvy users. (If you want to learn more about WordPress, you can also read this article.)
But this platform isn't just for bloggers. Every company should keep their information, products, news, menus, or services up-to-date for building a professional brand image and making sure you site can gets indexed by search engines. Keeping content fresh let's your customers know that you're still in business and establishes authority in your field.
2. You can manage your website with your team on any devices from anywhere
Since a CMS website is web-based, you don't need to install anything or download any application to use it. After logging in, you can access and edit your CMS website on your laptop, smart phone, or iPad, as long as your device is connected to the internet. If you travel a lot for business, you can still manage your online store or publish new content remotely anywhere around the world.
Another good thing is that a CMS is a multi-user environment where you can divide roles and responsibilities among all the CMS users. You can set up multiple administrators, contributors, or authors to work together and help you manage your business. Installing plugins for membership access can even allow you to create more roles with unique settings than those offered by default in the CMS.
3. It saves you time and money
Once you pick up on how to use your CMS website, you save time and money by reducing dependency on third-party web developers for doing simple edits on your website. In other words, you no longer have to rely on another web development company to do simple edits on your business website.
Making regular changes through a developer can be costly, so doing these changes yourself or putting an in-house staff member on these can significantly reduce development costs. Most end users find any CMS very easy to use and they usually pick it up right away. This means any approved user can easily help you manage your business website without having a software development or programming background.
If your business website needs to be updated on a regular basis, building a CMS website for your small business might not save you a lot of money up front, but it will definitely cut costs and cost less than a website that needs constant attention and developer maintenance. If you want to learn more, it's worth learning about the ROI of building a website.
4. It's good for SEO
If you have some basic knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you probably have heard the idiom "Content is king." Fresh content is always one of the most important factors in your website search engine ranking as search engines favor websites with updated content over websites with stale content. Creating a blog can be a great help to add new content to your business website very often. RSS feeds which can be used for your business website's digital marketing strategy can be generated automatically by blogs as well.
Plugins for SEO
A plugin is a small scale software that you can install within your CMS website to create new functionality. There are a lot of plugins available that you can download to improve your website's ranking. In WordPress, we usually recommend Yoast as it provides clear instructions and a step-by-step guide to fixing basic SEO problems. Plugins make this process so easy that you don't need to be very familiar with SEO to set up basic SEO for your website and increase search engine visibility.
Mobile friendly / Responsive design websites
Templates for CMS websites usually use responsive design, so it automatically tailors presentation and content for different sized screens. This is very important in terms of good user experience, which also improves your website's ranking both directly and indirectly. So don't neglect the importance of having a responsive design website.
5. Your website design is easy to change
If you're tired of the look of your website and want to change it, the good news is that a CMS website makes the process very easy. As the content is stored in the database and the website design is inside coded theme files, you can change the website style by switching themes while still keeping the content in tact and untouched.
With a static HTML website, you need to scrap the old website entirely in order to redesign a new one from scratch and content has to be manually moved over from all the files. It's so much less efficient and much more complicated and time-consuming than using a CMS website.
Having a CMS website helps your small business
With a good CMS website, you're in full control of your website. If used correctly, it can be a powerful and indispensable tool for your business, especially for smaller to medium sized businesses. However, there are a lof of different CMSs and it's very crucial to choose which CMS platform fits the best for your business. Whether you want to go with WordPress or build a custom CMS software with Ruby on Rails, it's very important to have an honest evaluation with a professional before committing.
Even though running a CMS website is dead easy, if you have any problems that you need help with or are ready to make the transition, please feel free to contact us for a one hour free consultation. If you are planning to build a CMS software website for your business, give us a ring and let's discuss.