What’s a CMS, and Do I Need One?
Great. Another acronym being thrown at you. But don’t worry, this one is on your side.
By Shawn Hazen
A Content Management System (CMS) is a way for site owners to update text and images themselves. So, with a CMS you won’t have to deal with that pesky designer every time you want to make a change. You log in online and manipulate the pages directly or through an administrative interface.
Not every site can be “fitted” with a CMS, though if the site is planned and designed carefully, certain flexible CMS systems can be made to fit almost anything. The development cost is understandably a little higher since the site needs to incorporate code beyond what it takes to simply display Web pages. But that careful planning and design can also minimize the costs in the long run.
That said, like a blog, a CMS isn’t for everybody. During the early stages such as site-mapping, be honest and thorough when considering how frequently things will really need updating. If there are one or two spots that will change often, it’s possible to employ a pared-down bit of CMS-like technology in just that area—news blurbs on your home page, for example. For less consistent or clear-cut situations, you’re better off to save the money you’d spend on the CMS and just call up that pesky designer a couple times a year for a quick update