Webvanta Blog: Creating Effective Websites

Should You Use a CMS? Yes!

We often hear from designers who have been building static web sites for years, and question whether they need to shift to using a content management system (CMS). They’re comfortable with their workflow, typically building sites in Dreamweaver and then pushing them up to a server via FTP.

We’re biased, of course, but we fervently believe that the answer is an unqualified YES. Here’s why:

  • Your clients can edit their own content. This is hugely empowering to them, and it results in sites that are updated more frequently and are therefore more useful and deliver better business results.
  • You don’t have to spend time on every little content change, so you have more time for creative work. You came to web design to be creative, not to spend time updating a store’s hours or announcing their next sale, right?
  • When the time comes for design changes, you can update a template or two, and the entire site is instantly updated to the new design. No more tediously making the same change to page after page.
  • Your clients’ sites can have RSS feeds, commenting, and other features that aren’t possible on a static site.

Given all these compelling reasons, why isn’t everyone building sites with a CMS? Because it has added complexity to the task of building the site and, if that task is contracted out, it can add significantly to the cost.

To set up your design, you typically need to deal with PHP code or other complexities, and figure out how to map the design into the CMS’s template or theme system. Hosting is also more complex. You need to worry about having the right version of PHP and MySQL, or whatever server-side software the CMS depends upon; getting the CMS software installed and running properly; ensuring that patches are applied promptly (forever) so the site doesn’t get hacked; and backing up not just the files that you uploaded, but the database as well. And when you have problems, it isn’t clear where to turn for help.

With Webvanta, that’s all changed. Once you invest just a few hours in learning how to use Webvanta, designers tell us they can build and deploy sites more quickly than with their old methods, while continuing to design in the same way they always have. No longer does using a CMS mean that you need to install software, or struggle with an obscure templating system, or work through a GUI that sits between you and the code. With Webvanta, you can use whatever HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code you want. And we take care of all the software, maintenance, and backups. We want you to be able to focus on design, content, and business results, not on technology. That’s our job.

And when you have questions, we’re here for you. No more posting to a forum and hoping someone will reply. No more struggling to understand how the CMS works and having nowhere to turn for help other than a bunch of obscure, poorly written documentation. We are devoted to the designers who use our system, and we provide outstanding, over-the-top support via chat, email, and phone.

If you’ve avoiding building sites with a CMS, this is your chance to move ahead in a painless, risk-free way.

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