Companies launching a new website or redesigning their current website in 2012 are looking at what content management system to use to build their new website. There are several out there right now: Adobe Business Catalyst, Drupal, Joomla, Expression Web and the use of blogging software like WordPress. The purpose of using one of these systems to build your website is so that once the site is built, the web developer can turnover the website to the company staff and people without web development skills can continue to update the website on their own.
Adding one of these systems to your website usually increases the cost of the website upfront and the length of time needed to develop the new site. The savings or benefit is supposed to come once the site is launched. Since the staff at your company has access to the website content, they are supposed to make the website updates on their own and no longer have to rely on website support. At least that was the idea…
Website Maintenance and Content Management Systems
You would think that a website maintenance company like Cybervise would rarely encounter a content management system, but we have seen them all. All the systems I listed above and then some. As of the writing of this post, 67% of the clients where we perform regular website maintenance have sites built on Content Management platforms. 100% of the clients signed in the first quarter of 2012 have Content Management systems. So why are these companies looking for a Website Maintenance firm? Aren’t they supposed to be updating their websites on their own? Here are some of the problems are clients experienced with their CMS systems:
- The interface where they administer their site is too difficult to figure out.
- The templates are limiting – in order to do what needs to be done, someone needs to write html code at some point.
- Simple updates take a long time to figure out for someone who has not worked on a website.
- Volume of updates required is still too much for their staff to keep up with.
Is this progress?
We have a client that we have done website maintenance for since December of 2007. We have taken care of at least 4 different versions of their company website. Since they started with Cybervise, the have been on a Weekly Maintenance plan and it has always more then covered their web maintenance needs. Until Fall 2011, when the latest version of their site was converted to a Content Management System, Adobe Business Catalyst. Since the conversion, they have been consistently exceeding their Weekly plan hours and we may have to upgrade the plan just to cover all the basic updates that we used to be able to do in a matter of minutes with html and asp/.net code. The system them purchase was expensive to implement and we keep running into roadblocks with Adobe about what we can and cannot do with the site.
What is the purpose of adding a Content Management System?
If your company is right now in the discussion stage about building a new website with a Content Management System, really think about why you want to make your own website changes. A good reason would be that the content on your company website has become so critical to your business mission that you need the ability to post things quickly and not wait for someone to do it. Another good reason would be that your business is a completely online business and you need that control.
But if think there will be major savings by doing website updates yourself, I would crunch the numbers and make sure you will really save the added expense upfront. Or maybe your relationship with your web developer or past developer is not working out and you just want to avoid working with them again, get better help before you take on the expense up front and then the time needed to maintain the site.
As always, our advice is to take control of your business. With any website project, make sure there is a good business case to justifies moving forward. Shop around there are lots of options. If the developer you are working with is pushing one system, ask around and see if someone else is using that system and what their experience has been. Or give us a call! We have worked with many different CMS systems and compare them for you.