CMS Happiness in Slavery

CMS pros and cons

I pronounce you FREE – free to update and add to your website anytime using a content management system! Wondering if a content management system (CMS) is right for your business? Then a quick review of the information here will allow you to make an educated decision.

The wrong CMS can hinder your marketing.
Some content management systems are overloaded with code (known as code bloat) causing slower load time.  Most are not URL friendly and must be expertly upgraded in order for your URL to be indexed by the search engines.  Take care and choose a quality marketing company to program and design your CMS so your site shows up well in search.

You will need some training – especially if you have limited technical skills.
Not everyone is technology savvy and, even if you are one of these people, plan ahead and be sure your marketing company includes 2 – 5 hours of training with your CMS package. Remember to take notes – you’re going to need them. Content management systems are more complicated than Facebook and Twitter.

Content management systems can be glitchy.
They are, after all, software.  Have you ever dealt with software that didn’t follow your command?  Content management systems aren’t exempt from glitchy moments and sometimes act as if they have a mind of their own!

Your costs will be higher.
This is because all CMS’s have a database.  A CMS site takes more time to design and code hence the higher price.  In addition, depending on how much information you plan to store in your database, your hosting cost may be higher as well.

Interest generating design is even harder to find.
I see it all the time. Many CMS designs don’t stand apart.  Yet, it’s of utmost importance your design stand apart and generate interest. Pre-programmed constraints combined with a lack of artistic ability and effort are the culprits. The reason for this:  Programming is a bottom up cognitive skill. Art is a top down skill. In order to market effectively, you need a marketing company which has both and knows how to use them in tandem. Qualify your marketing company before you buy.

Whether you have a CMS or not, leveraging the web means a commitment to content creation.
And a commitment to content creation takes time.  Gone forever are the days when you could effectively market with a brochure style website.  From this day forward, if you want to legitimately compete, you and your team must put time into content creation which means you must drill down and create pages for every unique service or product you provide. To retain a dynamic, competitive position on the web, new pages should be added every month.

Whoever creates your content must understand SEO.
And it can’t be a general knowledge of SEO either. Search engine optimization is just as creative and complicated as content creation and should be done in concert with it.  Whoever handles your content creation must know how to do keyword research and market to the long tail.  In addition, many CMS’s come with built in SEO features which, when used correctly, boost your organic search rank.

“Don’t open your eyes you won’t like what you see
the blind have been blessed with security
don’t open your eyes take it from me
i have found
you can find
happiness in a content management system.”

Oz2 Art Director Rick Brady’s adaptation to “Happiness in Slavery” by Nine Inch Nails.

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About Catherine Lockey

Catherine Lockey @oz2designs | oz 2 designs LLC

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18 Responses to CMS Happiness in Slavery

  1. Keyuri Joshi (on the ball parent coach) September 25, 2010 at 5:18 am #

    Must admit that I wasn’t aware of CMS and more particularly that I should be adding new pages every month. Great information to keep my content fresh and real.
    Thanks

  2. Catarina Alexon September 25, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Interesting post Catherine. If I ever decide to add CMS I will contact you to find out what system you recommend. Definitely.

  3. Catherine Lockey September 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Thanks Catarina and Keuri. Glad to help.

  4. Sherryl Perry September 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Building a website with CMS software is definitely not for the faint-hearted. As you point out, it can be glitchy and it can get overloaded with code quite quickly. Unlike static websites coded in HTML, CMS websites pose more exposure to potential security threats. It’s very important that the software is updated on a regular basis. The ongoing costs of maintaining a CMS website is definitely something that needs to be kept in mind.

    Nice post Catherine. I’ve been wanting to write an article on CMS software. So, it’s great to see that you’ve addressed it.

  5. Catherine Lockey September 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Thanks for the compliment Sherryl. I’m thinking this post will make a useful pdf as well.So often, people are looking for a quick fix. That’s why they gravitate to FB and Twitter. The heart of their marketing efforts should come from their website which takes lots of time and effort – especially if they have to use their own CMS. Nevertheless, it’s well worth the time and a CMS can make marketing easier in the long run.

  6. Susan Corey September 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi, Catherine,
    You always manage to stay on top of the newest information and knowledge. Thank you for the information. I had not yet heard of this topic or its relationship to SEO.
    Susan

  7. Mark September 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Catherine,

    couldn’t agree more, especially with the bit about it “hindering your marketing.”

    But the biggie for me is always the end user.

    As someone who has helped many clients with CMS, I’ve looked at thousands of them over the years. (And that’s not an exaggeration.)

    And it always seems to come down to how easy it is for the end users to use. Most users will not be technically or even that web savvy, and having to learn a new “program” is always difficult.

    Even with CMS I’ve thought we’re very easy to use have presented problems for some users.

    So I’m always on the lookout for CMS that are easy for non-techie people to use.

    Of course the problem then becomes if you try and make a CMS really simple, you start to restrict a lot of the flexibility you need to make it work as a marketing tool.

    Then there’s the whole free open source vs paid proprietary system. Both have their pros and cons.

    I’ve yet to find one I’m completely happy with although a few are close.

  8. Susan Oakes September 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Hi Catherine,

    Interesting article. For small businesses what is your opinion about using WordPress for content and one of the premium themes to help with SEO rather than getting a website built?

  9. Catherine Lockey September 26, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Hi Susan – that’s just as do-able as any other CMS option.

  10. Catherine Lockey September 26, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Your expert opinion is always appreciated Mark. Thanks for visiting.

  11. Chris Paulsen September 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Catherine,

    Thank you for sharing this information about CMS. There is clearly much to learn about effective both CMS and SEO.

    Chris

  12. Dragan Mestrovic September 27, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    Great article. To generate traffic with interesting content is always a challenge.

  13. Robert Pianka September 27, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    Timely reminders: “leveraging the web means a commitment to content creation” plus “…it can’t be a general knowledge of SEO either.”

    Exactly where I sit: I create content…and then don’t have the energy or know-how to get it read!

  14. Julia M Lindsey September 28, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    I am learning the hard way that there is more to a CMS then adding content. I like having control over adding my content but as I learn I find there is so much more to learn. Thanks for this post.

  15. Catherine Lockey September 28, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Hi Robert – that is a challenge. There are many ways to resolve your dilemma and they all take precious time. That’s why content strategists are going to be more and more in demand as time goes by.

  16. Catherine Lockey September 28, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    It really never ends does it Julia??

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