Choosing A Content Management System For Your Web Design
Written by: Steph Kendall, Published March 2008
You’re probably familiar with the concept of content management system (CMS) style Web site design. This type of Web site has increased in popularity over the last few years, mainly because:
- It can be quick and easy to update text and images
- No knowledge of programming code is required
- Multiple users can update pages
- The look of the Web site can be changed via a re-designed CSS (style sheet).
A major concern about many of the CMS sites being used by New Zealand businesses for Web marketers is that although the designs of the sites look great, the sites themselves do not always rank well on search engines. This was often because the structure or build behind the CMS was not designed to be search engine friendly in the first place. For example, perhaps the CMS did not allow the administrator or developer the ability to optimise their Web sites thoroughly via features such as:
- Non-dynamic looking URLs (e.g. new-zealand-web-design.html as opposed to product.php?categoryid=1&productid=10)
- Unique Meta data (especially titles and descriptions) for each section, category and content item.
One of the CMS style Web development softwares available that combats these types of problems is Joomla!. Joomla! is written with the PHP programming language and uses the MYSQL database by default. The beauty of Joomla! is that it is constantly being developed by programmers all over the world, who create ‘plug-in’ components. These components can be customised as required by skilful Web developers and programmers.
Joomla! so far seems to be standing up extremely well to the requirements of programmers, Web site owners and viewers. Some of the features that make it particularly noteworthy amongst its CMS peers include:
- OpenSEF – Search engine friendly component
- Interactive components such as forums, guest books, shout boxes and polls
- Variety of up-to-date content-driven components such as blogs, clocks, eCards, FAQ, quizzes, weather and RSS feeds
- Capabilities for galleries, podcasting and streaming media
- E-commerce compatibility including auctions, catalogues and shopping carts
- Easy to update advertising space (banners and classifieds)
- Comprehensive administrative back end with a range of access levels provided for different users.
If you think a CMS style Web site best meets your requirements, talk to a variety of Web designers and developers. Ask them what the costs involved are (for design, development, hosting and maintenance etc) and why this is the best solution for you. They should be able to show you samples of their CMS development work and walk you through many of the most common features used by Web site owners. Feel free to contact Avatar to discuss your CMS requirements.
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