The Importance of CMS to Create Compelling Websites

CMS use in Business

Many businesses around the world are motivated to reach common goals—to grow and earn profit. From the creation of marketing plans to increase sales up to the conceptualization of creative advertising ideas to convince customers that they provide the best products in the market, businesses are giving the best of their efforts to get a huge chunk of the market share. Definitely, competition is ever-present in the industry, and if they want to get nearer to the buying public, they have to adapt to the technological changes that sets a trend in the business community.

The Emergence of the Online Trend

Enterprises today cannot take for granted the emerging trend of shopping online. While it provided with them with a universal platform to showcase their brands, products, and services, this on the other-hand can require another effort in creating and designing an effective online page. An e-commerce website became a popular business necessity and it is purpose is not only to sell, but also to provide consumers with updates and useful information about the offers they are marketing.

Why CMS is a Must in Creating a Website?

Like building your own house; the over-all plan, the materials, and the people who will participate in its construction determine the end product. In the creation of the website, a functional enterprise web CMS or content management system play a vital role in ensuring that your website will appear pleasing to the eye of the end users.

Your CMS is the backbone of your website, choosing it right will give you an opportunity to have a website that is easy to manage and is fully functional for the visitors. To answer the question why CMS is a must in creating your website, it reason is very simple—without a CMS, there is also no website to exist.

How to Choose the Right CMS for Your Business?

We mentioned above that it is very important to choose the right CMS, but right can be subjective for different businesses because they may require a platform that is according to the nature of their industry. Moonlighting as a web developer and content writer at the same time, I find it critical to the success of an online page on how they present their website, design-wise and content-wise. When a client asks for a simple website with a few technicality requirement so that they can easily post blogs with given themes to customize, WordPress is a good pick. If they want a personalized design for full-forced online branding, starting from scratch with Drupal can be their best bet.

Moreover, there still are plenty of CMS (though not popular) offers the best experience of a business need. Ever heard of elcomCMS? How about ExpressionEngine? There are long list of amazing CMS out there, and they are just waiting to be unlocked.

Below are few points that a business owner/web developer have to consider in choosing a CMS.

  1. Always think of the users. No matter how techie you are and you found a CMS you can easily work with, the only way that it will count is if you will be the lone person to use it. Not everyone is a tech savvy like you, and you have to think of the people who will update the site in the future as well as the online users who will navigate on the site.
  2. Make sure that the CMS you will use have the functionality that you need. It doesn’t matter if the CMS has a big or small following, what is important is it can provide you with all the features that you need.
  3. Do your homework before settling on a particular CMS, there are myriad of choices out there and doing even a small research can make a big difference on how your website will perform in the future.

Do You Need Enterprise Content Management?

In today’s hectic business environment, most companies find themselves generating anything from generous (at best) to serious (at worst) amounts of data during the course of a single business day. This happens every business day, and the sheer amount of data threatens to create bottlenecks (at best) in the business, or overwhelm (at worst) a business so that it loses control of its internal systems. So can a business function without enterprise content management, and if not, what does it need to do?

In the short term, any business can appear to be functioning without enterprise content management. Within a project or a project team, the scale of activity can be kept under control for a time and business results can seem unaffected. But as soon as the scope of your business activities runs across more than a single team in parallel, and / or multiple projects one after the other in a series, obvious vulnerabilities will begin to show.

Take the relatively simple issue of how to manage all that paperwork generated by a project team while working on a single project. From the resumes acquired during the hiring process; the minutes of team meetings (draft and then later ratified); the piles of receipts generated from the simple logistics of getting people and information moved around; the clusters of project authorization requests and work orders; the invoices generated in the course of doing business; – everything about your volume of paperwork requires an increasing number of person hours just to stay on top of the project.

At what point do you or your team recognize that you have a paper problem? When the ‘In’ tray is full to bursting point? When the pleasant ambiance of the office is broken by clusters of archive boxes bursting with paperwork? Or when you have entire rooms dominated by rows of filing cabinets storing information that you do not actually need to access on a day to day basis, but that you cannot actually throw away?

If it is hard to find just one piece of paper in among all those archives, your company is losing time and money to inefficiency. If processing each piece of paper is taking up a lot of human resources and is too slow, this is eating into your competitiveness. If paperwork cross-references other paperwork that is not co-located or easily linked up with it, then you run the risk of operating in a state of incomplete information. It exists, but you just cannot find it. Worse still, if such inefficiencies result in somebody needlessly duplicating the work of others in your organization, then you are breeding wastefulness.

You are never going to completely do away with the need for paper throughout your business activities. You will always have paper and it will always play an important part in the life of your business. But isn’t there something that you could be doing right away to eliminate waste, increase efficiency and avoid bogging your workforce down in unproductive, low-vale tasks?

Just by taking one decisive course of action at one point in your business activities, you could achieve massive results. Imagine a paperless customer ordering system, eliminating the need for printers and ink for that stage of your business, and removing the need to print out thousands of pieces of paper each month.

Imagine giving each and every employee equal electronic access to any document within the business. It would no longer be the case that employees would need to be employed just to procure and serve the paperwork required by others. Neither would other employees need to waste precious time waiting for the paperwork to be served to them. They wouldn’t have to physically go and look for it themselves, either. They could just access the relevant information in a seamless, connected 360-degree facing system. Minimal delays, maximum efficiency.

Literally, physical documents are all over the place and even electronic documents can be anywhere from this server, or that memory stick, or that laptop sitting at home today, or in a colleague’s email inbox. If even a moderately well-paid employee in your organization spends any measurable amount of time looking for a document, then your business processes become increasingly expensive. Paper files can go missing, and similarly emails, spreadsheets, and text files not kept in any kind of orderly, centralized enterprise content management system.

Just one central document management system would enable everyone to find what they need and remove the severe bottlenecks that occur in any business. By almost eliminating the need for anyone to spend time searching for documents, your employees are instantly freed up to focus on just getting their jobs done. Managing the complete life-cycle of all documents, from their creation through to their destruction, is one of the most powerful efficiency bonuses that you can bring to your business.

You’d obviously take care to back up your central system, so that locating all of your company’s assets in one place did not become a weakness. You might also investigate your requirements for some kind of document version control system, and effective training for all staff on how to use the new enterprise content management system.

So by now the case is clear and obvious – your business needs enterprise content management in order to function smoothly, efficiently and productively – just taking into consideration the volume of paperwork that you are required to handle shows up an already pressing need.

Joomlagov.info Gives Worldwide View of Joomla for Government

Drupal may be the official content management system (CMS) of the White House, but Joomlagov.info is a tool that could help us investigate whether or not Joomla may be the government CMS of the entire world. This innovative project not only provides a global view of how widespread Joomla happens to be in the public sphere, it also serves as an example of the CMS as a world-scale information portal and also how Joomla allows an ambitious project such as this to be brought live very rapidly.

Using regional usage data from the Joomla Wiki, the developers of Joomlagov.info were able to extract enough information for nearly 1800 Joomla government websites. With sophisticated scripting the team ingested the data and was able to create a screen capture for each site. In order to facilitate site updates and ensure better management of such a large volume of mined data, the team trusted in the third-party content engine K2.

The results are fairly impressive. The website currently contains information for over 3200 Joomla-driven government portals, each of which can be browsed on a world map driven by the Google Maps API. From the top level view, the map displays numbered circles that represent the total Joomla instances in a given region. From these circles the user can drill down to smaller and smaller levels until reaching an individual website.

Despite the fairly large amount of data, the website manages to run with little perceptible lag. The development team achieved optimal performance with the site with minification and compression of the css/html and also by caching the site data to a size of roughly 60MB.

This website is effective for educational purposes, Joomla evangelism, demonstrating how to create global-scale subject matter maps with small-scale resources, and also just satisfying the pure curiosity of finding out where the Joomla hot-spots around the world happen to lie.

Understanding The Role Of Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise content management is a term people in small to medium size businesses rarely encounter, but one that is just as critical to them as it is in large corporations. Enterprise content management, also known as ECM, is an overall strategy for managing your documents, video, photographs, graphics, engineering drawings, and any other types of content your company uses. It encompasses categories of data management like document imagining, database management, photo sharing, and any other types of record or data management.

Your ECM strategy will determine many critical factors for your company’s data systems. It covers areas of concern like:

– Data Security
– Storage Systems
– Archival Methods
– Data Conversion
– Data Access Systems

Those are just a few of the elements covered in a good ECM strategy. The best place to start to determine your company’s content management plan is to inventory all types of data used in your company. Do not rely on what your Information Technology department believes. Take time to visit with department heads in every department in your company. Visit with advertising, marketing, sales, manufacturing, customer support, finance, human resources, engineering, and any other departments your company has.

You should expect a few surprises as your inventory your company’s data and content usage. It is common to discover departments have setup their own small internal content management systems, even if it is informally. You need to document how the data is stored, used, and secured. This information is crucial to creating a strategy that is embraced and will succeed in your company. These steps are essential for small companies as much as large companies. Small companies frequently have fewer controls on their data and content management allowing departments to dictate their own systems. It is time to bring them all under a single management umbrella.

Why is it so important to take all of these diverse sources of content and bring them into a single system? It saves time, money, and work. How often have you watched as departments point fingers at each other about information that was not shared on a project? Most of the time the individuals involved in these disputes did not intentionally fail to share information. They had no idea they other department did not have access or that they even needed the data. When you have a well-designed content management system for your enterprise, finding the content you need becomes easy.

Instead of spending hours tracking down people in other departments and trying the find the pictures, drawings, or documents, you do a quick search of the system and locate what you need. You many discover you do not have security clearance for the documents, but at least you know where they are and have a process you can use to request access.

Sharing content between departments becomes easier, too. You do not need to email documents and other content. You setup shared folders and projects in your management system. Everyone involved in the project can check out the materials, add annotations, request further information, and create new content all within the project area of the system. Instead of battles between departments about data ownership and project management, you have a unified platform that encourages cross department engagement and makes sharing the data necessary for a project simple.

Your employees can restrict the data they share to individual people, entire departments, or groups of people. Utilizing groups, you can setup security structures that cross department and location boundaries allowing greater collaboration and faster workflow on important projects.

What kind of software is required to build your enterprise content management system? A couple popular choices are Microsoft’s Sharepoint and Oracle’s Content Management. There is a variety of other companies offering top quality solutions, including several open source solutions. You choice of content management system should be based on evaluating the types of data and what other types of systems your enterprise uses.

As an example, if your company exclusively uses Microsoft products likes Microsoft Office, Exchange Server, Outlook, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Project, and Windows Servers, then it would make perfect sense to look at Microsoft Sharepoint for your content management purposes. The integration of products makes implementation easier. Additionally, your IT staff is already trained to work with Microsoft products and support reducing their learning curve on the system.

We want to express a small word of warning. Just because your company uses Microsoft does not always mean it is the best solution. Take extra time to evaluate your types of content carefully. Some systems excel working with images, drawings, and videos, while other systems excel working with documents, web content, and other data. Determine what your company needs to accomplish and then evaluate features.

You should wait to evaluate prices until the end of your evaluation of enterprise content management systems. The purchase price of the software is just a small portion of your overall cost. Ease of implementation, ease of use, and annual fees can make a more expensive software platform the most cost effective solution. Look carefully at the costs for ongoing maintenance of the system. Ask your IT department for an estimate on installation costs and management costs of maintaining the software.

The toughest job is to determine which system your company employees will accept and use. Your real return on investment comes when your employees start using your content management system to improve their efficiency and reduce the cost of storing and managing content. Take a close look at how the software functions from a standard user’s perspective. Is the interface something they are familiar with, or that they can learn quickly. Does the software offer good help screens or tutorials?

Enterprise content management software can help your company take control of your documents, images, and other content that is currently scattered throughout the company. Choosing the right software is a careful balance of evaluating costs, functionality, and ease of use. If you follow our few suggestions to inventory your types of data, evaluate your current software platforms, and test with real employees, you will choose a system that gives you a fast return on investment.

Three Benefits Of Content Management Systems

Almost all blogs these days make use of one of the popular content management systems (CMS). Beyond that, many very high profile websites also use CMS. For online journalists, it’s basically a requirement to understand how to use one or more of the many CMS solutions.

People who are newcomers to online content production might wonder why CMS is so popular. Here are a few reasons.

1. CMS separates content from design. Sometimes, webmasters want to change the look and feel of their websites without changing the actual content. In other words, all of the words in the articles that have been posted will remain the same, but the actual design of the website (including color scheme, organization, and framework imagery) will change. One of the biggest advantages to CMS is that webmasters can change the design without altering any of the content. The two items are kept totally separate, so one can be altered without affecting the other. This is an excellent time saver.

2. CMS facilitates ease of editing. The popular CMS solutions (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) offer editing that doesn’t require the article author to understand the complexities associated with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). The author uses a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor to author articles. This means that the author can use bold, italics, etc. without being forced to use markup. The author literally sees the article in the editor as it would appear to a reader on the screen.

3. CMS is often offered freely. A lot of web host providers offer one or more CMS applications for free as part of the subscription price. This means that when someone opts to start a website, and utilizes the services of a web host provider, that person already has a CMS available to use. In other words, price is rarely a reason to notuse a CMS.

Upcoming Web Content Management Trends

Content management is a huge market that companies are investing in now more than ever. The reason is that by investing in a solid web content management system they are able to get more customers for less money and ultimately drive up their return on investment.

Because the production of information is flowing at a rate never before seen in the history of mankind, managing tat information and keeping it organized has become a priority that is at the forefront of many companies’ minds.

Therefore, the web content management industry will continue to see massive growth in sales because more and more companies will be needing new, more effective systems to replace the older, obsolete ones.

Workers will also greatly benefit from a better management of the content that is used at the company where they work. By gaining easier access to the information as well as more efficient ways of sorting through it they will be able to be more productive and generate more revenue for their employers.

The fact is that out of all the content that is produced today, well over half of it is only in digital form. What’s more is that ratio of digital to printed content is only going to keep growing as time goes by.

But even though digital content takes up much less physical space than the more traditional printed content, it is easier to get lost in the sheer amount of it. Therefore keeping it organized will become a more important priority than printed content ever needed. It’s really easy to make a mess when there is more information available to shuffle around.

One of the expected trends is that the prices of content management systems will grow massively in the coming years. Some studies estimate that growth at as high as fifteen percent. The reason for that expected growth is simple; more and more companies are being ushered into the digital world and are in dire need of a way to manage all of their content and files.

What’s more is that the growth won’t just come from companies that are new to using content management systems. Once again the expectation is that almost a third of the companies that are using older systems will be looking to upgrade the way they manage their content. Their hope is to make their processes more efficient and of course increase their overall revenue.

But integrating any new technology requires massive amounts of planning and preparation on the part of the companies. Most businesses have thousands upon thousands of files that will have to get transferred from their old system into their new one. The difficulty in this task is to do it without interrupting the everyday operations of the company.

Another potential problem that companies who are looking to purchase a new CMS will have to face is the fact that not all are created equal. The third party enterprises that create and setup these management systems aren’t all of equal quality and competency.

Some horror stories of businesses purchasing content management systems for millions of dollars only to find out that their purchase was poorly optimized and limited the scope of the activities that they could use it for. What’s worse is that in some cases, the actual provider of the CMS went out of business which left the company who bought it from them alone and without support.

The result is that countless companies who have bought bad systems ended up having to start over again and purchase brand new solutions. That not only means more costs in the form of buying the system, but also in planning its integration as well as the transfer from the old to the new.

But beyond simply going for better systems in general, these new systems will be required to adapt to the ever changing landscape of delivery platforms. There is a constant stream of new devices coming out from tablets, to phones to net books.

Therefore the trend in content management will be that the systems used will need to be highly adaptable and fluid in their design. This will be essential for all the companies who want to reach their target audience regardless if they use a more traditional computer or the newest tablet device.

In addition to the physical devices used to deliver the content, the focus on the ever expanding social media world will be equally important. This means that companies will absolutely have to get a firm grasp and establish clear strategies on how to best use the various social networks to drive customers and repeat business.

But a problem that companies will face on the social media level is that the users of those networks are easily distracted by the barrage of advertisements and distractions that are presented to them. Therefore to keep the attention of the prospective customer, the content delivered will absolutely have to be of higher quality.

Also, the content delivered will have to come at a faster pace. People are consuming information at a faster rate than ever before. That means that maintaining engagement will require more than just quality but also frequency.

The real challenge will be in how all of these new channels of information will be integrated together to create a seamless experience for the user. In addition to that, the said experience will have to be tailored in a way that doesn’t detract the user from the main purpose of the businesses’ web presence, which is to make more sales.

Finally, all of this information will have to be presented in a way that is accessible and looks good on the variety of devices available. This will be a constantly evolving challenge as new types of phones and devices are constantly coming out.

There might even be massive changes on the horizon in terms of the devices used by customers, as hinted by products like the google glasses. Companies will have to be constantly on their toes to make sure that they are tailoring their web content management systems to take advantage of each and every marketing avenue that they can.

Recapping the CMS Benefits

Back in the early days of the Internet, the only way to build a website was by learning HTML code and coding the website by hand. The website built is static. If content needs to be changed, only the coder or someone knowing some HTML code can change it. Nowadays, there is a newer, more efficient way to build a website. This is by using a content management system, or CMS. This has made website updating very easy and convenient to do. This article will discuss some of the benefits of using a content management system.

A lot of popular website are build on CMS. Take WordPress, for instance. You have the ability to update your WordPress site without knowing much about HTML. If you are the administrator, you can assign edit rights to certain individuals to give them the right the right to edit certain pages. No coding knowledge is requires. All you have to do is to open up a template or a page, and fill in the boxes.

CMS allows multiple people to work on the website at the same time. The main data is stored in a database on the server. Anyone with the proper login credentials can get to the back office to manage content. There is not need to to use file transfer protocol, or FTP, to upload changes to your server, as in the old days. Everything can be updated as long as you have access to the Internet.

The beauty of using a content management system is that you no longer need to rely on a single web developer to update your content and to make minor changes. In the past, if the web developer is not available, that means the website does not get updated until he got back. With CMS, different people can have edit rights to edit content, so updates are done more in a timely manner.

With CMS, it is easy to use plug-ins to add functionality to your website. Plug-ins are pre-made modules that you can just install with a click of a button. In the old days, you would need to hire a special programmer to program a script for you for the same functionalities.

CMS gives ordinary people the ability to manage and control their website better. CMS also has the advantage of tracking multiple versions of changes in the content. This is helpful because because there may be a time when you want to revert back to a previous version of your website. With a static HTML website, you would not be able to do that in a clean, uncumbersome way.

Content management systems are the way of the future in website design. No longer is website design only reserved for the programmers and professional web developer. Although they are still required to make major changes to the structure of the website, CMS allows the ordinary user to update and manage content easily and efficiently with very little effort.

Choosing the Right Content Management Systems For Any Site

Many sites today utilize a content management system for various reasons. A CMS can help your site get running quick; a CMS organizes and maintains data easily for webmasters and visitors; and, many systems are extensible with a wide variety of third-party plugins, widgets, and applications. With such powerful benefits, choosing to use a CMS seems standard anymore; but, which CMS is right to choose?

What is needed from a Content Management System

First it would be appropriate to know what is needed from the content management system. Does the site need to be able to provide streaming content like videos, or will content storage need to be supported by specific databases? Is there a specific language needed that the developers are more proficient? What kind of license is needed – Open Source or proprietary?

These are some important questions to consider along with any other project specific concerns. Wikipedia provides a large list of content management systems, but many sites use WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These three are Open Source licensed systems.

Benefits of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal

Using a CMS that is common with many other sites gives the added benefits of being provided additional software that the community has developed. This includes themes, plugins, and other addons to extend service and performance from the CMS.

WordPress

WordPress is an easy-to-set-up, easy-to-use CMS. It is designed around PHP and allows the configuration of themes and extensions. Computerworld.com states that it has over 21,000 plugins. It has been in existence since May 2003 so has a large community of support. Development follows a hierarchy and allows quicker implementation of official decisions.

WordPress does have some problems. It’s multimedia support for videos and other media is subpar. Mobile usage is still being developed for greater efficiency and easier use.

Joomla

Joomla is another CMS based on PHP. It expands beyond MySQL databases into PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. It is more integrated for mobile device usage. The design of Joomla is to allow webmasters limited on time to create a full functioning website for many different platforms with limited needed maintenance.

Joomla may be a little difficult for some to initially acclimate. This process however is countered by another large and supportive community.

Drupal

Drupal has a more technical-based community. It is designed for larger projects with nearly 20,000 plugins. It is designed to be very flexible in the needs of site usage. The community is quite large and helpful.

This flexibility in Drupal can be a problem for some who are not as technically savvy. It can be worth though to learn how to use this software as it can be designed to work for many needs like multimedia or interactive web apps.

In summary, finding the best Content Management System for any site depends on the needs of the site and the understanding of the webmaster. For quicker and easier setups, WordPress is a great place to start. For a little more involved site for desktop and mobile performance, Joomla can provide the tools needed for the job. For sites that require a custom look and feel for visitors, Drupal can give the structure needed to begin.

What You Should Know About Content Management System Benefits

Content management systems have changed how websites are created on the Internet. In the past, in order to build a website, you have to learn coding in HTML. You had to code each page by hand. If you mis-coded a tag, it could throw your whole page out of whack. With a content management system, you do not need to learn to all that coding. A website is based on a template which you can fill out to create a page. There are many more benefits to using a content management system in creating your website. Continue to read to learn more.

As mentioned, back in the early days, websites were only built by people with skills in HTML. The task of website building often fell upon professional web developers and programmers. Any content change would need to be done by them. This was fine for a company who can have a web developer on the staff. However, for small companies who cannot afford to hire one, staffers either learn it themselves, or they contract out the job. Still, there was no easy way to do simple content updates.

When content management systems were developed, the goal was to make is easier for people to update their websites without involving a programmer. The web developer constructs the template on which the website is built. Specific people are assigned the rights to edit content. Editing content only requires filling in the template and posting the updates. This has vastly improved the efficiency of website management as content can be updated in a more timely manner, and the responsibility can be shared among many people.

Another benefit to using content management systems is that enhancements are available as modules, or plug-ins. For instance, if you want add a calendar, you can probably find a plug-in that can install that for you without needing you to do any coding. These plug-ins can be used across many websites which reduces the need to recode something that already exists. Extending the functionality of a website is never easier.

Using a content management system to build websites offers you the benefit of collaboration. Several people can be working on it at the same time. Changes are revisions are tracked so there is no fear of content getting accidentally overridden.

A website built from a content management system can easily integrate the latest social media widgets to extend its functionality even further. RSS feeds can be generated. Updates on the website can be fed to social media platforms like Facebook. This reduces time required in manually updating each different channel.

These are the types of content management system benefits that make this such a smart choice in website development. Knowing HTML is still very relevant. In fact, if you know enough HTML, you can customize your CMS-based website even more. But if you just want to be able create a page or make content changes on your own, using a content management system is the answer.

Web Content Management: Maintaining Control Over Your Pages

If you are the owner of a website, you are probably going to be posting plenty of information on that site. Oftentimes, this information is going to be similar and related since most websites are focused on a particular topic. This is why it is important that you use web content management to make sure you always know what you have already posted.

As a website manager, you need to know that there are certain limitations to how many pages you can realistically manage on your own. If you do not have some control over this, you are doomed to fail into the trap of not being able to keep the content fresh and the Internet users viewing your material. A survey taken by CMSwire writer Robert Jacoby found the following about how many web pages people believed a single individual could manage:

Responses indicated most content managers work on small or medium-sized websites. The single largest category was sites with less than 1,000 Web pages.

These are important findings because they show that most people agree that there is a limit to how many web pages one person can really manage by themselves, and that limit seems to be under 1,000 according to most people. These are good reasons to establish web content management for the websites that you manage. If the amount of pages that you control starts to get high enough, you might start to feel overwhelmed, and that is not a place you want to be.

With web content management, you are helping to make sure that the pages that you do have are not becoming so repetitive that people are not going to want to read them. At the same time, it is helpful in making sure that you are keeping fresh content on all of your pages and not letting any of them be forgotten.