Two of the most common complaints about web sites are the cost to build them, and the difficulty in changing them once they're built. Many sites launch with good designs and current content, but then require ongoing work by web developers to be kept up to date. This represents a considerable recurring expense. Many companies wind up lowering costs by reducing the amount of information on the site, and never updating the design. The result is often an old, unattractive site that is of little use to anyone.
Content Management Systems (CMS) were invented to solve these problems. A CMS allows site administrators to make changes to a site with much less effort. The result is often a site that stays fresh, relevant, and attractive.
Abivia has extensive experience with content management systems. We work exclusively with open source products, such as "Joomla!™" and Drupal, where the initial cost of acquisition is zero. We are "Joomla!™" experts, and are making an ongoing contribution to the project as part of the development team.
The first step in implementing your site with a CMS is to look at the three aspects of functionality, presentation, and content.
Functionality refers to the things your web site has to do. Basic functionality, such as the creation and presentation of text and graphic content, is built into every CMS. A good CMS will also provide extensions that are designed to deliver specific functionality. Leading CMS solutions offer hundreds or even thousands of extensions that make it easy to add the desired functionality. Extensions can provide functions for:
A good CMS also provides an application framework and a programming interface to allow developers to create their own extensions. If the specific functionality you need isn't already available, then it can be built for you. The "Joomla!™" developer's API makes it easy to use the powerful CMS framework, which dramatically lowers the effort required to build a custom extension.
A CMS uses a template system to isolate the visual design and layout of a site from the information that is being presented. By separating presentation and content, it is possible to completely update the appearance of a site without changing your content.
Most popular systems have a wide variety of templates available at a nominal cost. Many templates are flexible and can be adapted to the appearance you desire. Beyond adding your name, logo, and relevant images, templates can also be customized to give them an appearance that is more unique. If a truly distinctive appearance is important, then a fully custom template can be developed from scratch.
In a CMS, "content" is the information that is delivered to the user of your web site. In the simplest case, content is text and images, much like the article you are reading now. Content can also include rich media files such as videos and music, or content can be a database of information like a customer list or a product catalogue.
Content is the most difficult and most important part of a site. Your content determines how your site is indexed by search engines, and the impression that site visitors have about you. A CMS will help you organize your content and present it in the best possible way, but it won't create it for you.
This is where Abivia is truly unique. Our technical expertise is critical to our success, but our goal is always to deliver sites that meet our client's overall business needs. As part of the initial design process, we work with you to understand who your audience is and how they will interact with your site. Then we help you develop content that is well written, appealing, focused on your target market, and accessible to search engines.
Once your site is launched, Abivia can use both CMS and third party statistics to ensure that your site is performing as expected. This analysis will show which content is most appealing to visitors, and which pathways users take through your site. This information can then be used to reorganize the site to make it more effective. Reorganization can be as simple as rearranging menus, or it might require modifying some content or tweaking the site's design elements.
Whether you're looking to put up a small site with just a few pages or aiming to build the Internet's next hot property, Content Management Systems offer major benefits and make the job easier.
Contact us by phone or mail. It's the first step to a great site!