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Is a Content Management System Right for Everyone?

When it comes to website, there are constant updates and changes to how things are accomplished. The creation of tools such as content management systems has revolutionized the creation and maintenance of website. CMS make it easy for people of all skill levels to easily design and update their sites. Whether or not this is actually a good thing is up for debate.

With only a small amount of technological knowledge needed, the use of content management systems has sky rocketed over the last few years. The most obvious benefit of using content management systems is that website owners can now take responsibility for their website. They can add new content so that visitors and search engines have something to find on a regular basis. Web designers also no longer have to spend hours and hours on maintaining a person’s website.

On the other hand, maybe site upgrades and maintenance should always be performed by a professional in order to ensure the quality of the site remains intact. Simply providing a means for website owners to do professional work does not mean that they will always benefit from the convenience. To better analyze whether or not CMSs should be used by everyone; it is a good idea to go over the different clients who probably will not receive the maximum benefit from content management systems.

Lacks a Designer’s Knowledge Pool

Is it a good idea to allow a client to take care of his or her own website management when they know absolutely nothing about proper web design? A content management system can be a very bad idea when the customer has no knowledge about usability and design principles. People have a habit of letting their creativity run away with them as they use a number of different fonts, colors, poorly placed images, etc. The fact of the matter is that it is impractical to expect people of no experience in design to stick to the design rules we have all come to know and love.

There is a very good chance that web designers could become heartbroken as they see their hard work slowly turn into a disaster. While small changes here and there may not have a negative impact on a casual blog, some sites rely on uniformity and attention to detail. If a client insists on doing their own management, make sure to mention the fact in your portfolio. Potential customers may not be happy to see what some of your work has eventually become.

Websites without Content Updates

As previously mentioned, the biggest benefit of CMS is that people can make changes and updates on a regular basis. What about business owners whose websites do not require changes weekly or even monthly? Brochure websites are examples of sites that probably will not need the content changed. Small and medium businesses normally have only a couple of pages that will probably do alright not being touched for months at a time. If any content needs to be added or updated, it is normally for special events or important announcements.

In general, these types of websites are very straightforward with contact information, products and services overview, and business goals or missions. The sites are so that business owners have a placeholder on the internet where visitors can get more information. There are many types of businesses that prefer to have sites like these including non-profit organizations, restaurants, and locally based stores.

The use of a CMS may be a waste of time and money because these owners will not reap the full benefits of having one available. The businesses with static websites normally have a set budget, and it can be cost efficient to simply hire a professional to make any necessary updates a handful of times throughout the year.

Temporary Websites

Owners of websites that will be up for only short amount of time will not be able to get the full benefit of a content management system. These types of sites often are in reference to conferences, contests, promotions, or special events. Because they need to be up quickly and will be maintained until right after the event, the temporary websites often require a great deal of maintenance and content changes during a short span of time.

It is extremely important that all the work be handled efficiently because it is probably one of the main information outlets for whatever is being planned. Clients handling these events often have their hands full with other responsibilities. They will be counting on a professional to take care of the website.

Wants Professional Maintenance

Many website designers like to have control of their own creations. Clients do not necessarily share the same sentiment. There are people out there who simply do not want anything to do with the technical side of their websites. They would rather use a professional so that they know that the website is taken care of at all times.

Whether it is because the clients have other things to do or they simply do, not like working with technology, designers should be ready to run into clients who want nothing to do with content management systems.

By allowing a professional to keep their website up and running, clients do not have to be concerned about the quality of the changes being made, and they often appreciate having one less thing to worry about.

This is the reason why many web designers have started to offer regular maintenance services. Clients can have confidence about the services they are receiving while being able to focus on their own work.

Should you offer Regular Maintenance?

If a business owner will not fully benefit from managing his or her own site, services will need to be provided by a professional. This brings to question whether or not you will take advantage of this need by providing the service to your clients. There are some great benefits to adding maintenance services if you have the time to do so.

The most obvious benefit is extra income. Updating is an extra service that you can charge for on a regular basis. This can really add up over time. Web designers are also able to keep their current clients close to home so that if any other work is ever needed, clients will not go looking to someone else. Evaluate your own schedule and see how well you can work in the extra workload.

So back to the original question at hand, should web owners be given control of their websites with the use of a CMS? The answer really depends on the client and the designer. If a client feels that the cost and the time investment is worth the hassle, then by all means, let the managing begin. A responsible web designer should present clients with all the information so that both options can be considered.

Take the time to explain how each option affects the client’s current situation. For instance, do they fall into one of the previously mentioned categories? If you are not willing to offer the maintenance services, or if you simply are not comfortable with letting clients work with a content management system, be sure that clients are aware of this upfront.

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