A lot of my clients have asked me this question regarding websites.
Think of a website being made of “layers”.
A website is built from HTML code. The design of a website displays content so it’s user-friendly to the viewer. In a way, the design is like a skin, and the HTML is the bones. Some websites are simply built with those two layers, and if the site needs to be changed, you (or a website developer/coder) need to directly work on the HTML code.
Don’t know code?
So, what if you want to change your website content but you don’t know HTML code? A content management system (CMS) makes the website user-friendly to you, the owner and administrator. It’s like another “skin” — this time on the back-end — that helps translate what you want to change in the website into HTML.
Do I really need a CMS?
I urge people to really think about whether they need it or not — because yes, it takes more time (money) to create a user-friendly back-end to your website. And it’s not always necessary. But sometimes it’s invaluable. It all depends on your needs.
How do I know if I need a CMS?
A good place to start planning is to think about what information on your website will need to be updated, changed or replaced on a regular basis. Say every week or every month. Your CMS can be as minimal as a single-functioning widget that helps you upload a new product image every week. Or as robust as managing your own news, products, orders, blog, and other content.
If you only need yearly updates, or fewer, I wouldn’t recommend adding a CMS to your website. Those updates can be done by a skilled developer who charges you for a couple of hours’ work per update.
I can help.
I work together with you to help you plan your website. You may not know what you need updated. You may not even know what content is going to be on your website. Figuring that out is part of what I do.