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Aug
29

How you can update your own website

Posted by robventer on August 29th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

After paying to have a website built, people have never been happy paying again every time the slightest text or image change was needed.  That’s why Content Management Systems were invented.

Make your own website changes

A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to login to the backend of your website and change things without needing to know any code. Predictably, CMSes have become so popular that these days any good web developer will be able to give you a CMS website if you ask for one.

Is a CMS website easy to use?

Usually logging in to the back end and changing your text is very simple to do. Depending on the CMS you’re using, it’s just a matter of typing and saving. Changing pictures will be slightly more involved, but only because photos need to be a certain height and width to keep your website looking decent. With freedom comes responsibility, and as you may have guessed, you will also have to ability to royally mess up your website. The easiest way to do this is by uploading bad pictures that are the wrong size and shape for the intended area on your page.

So how do I get a CMS?

A CMS is simply to do with the way your website is coded. Any web developer who knows Php can create a CMS for you, but some programmers have got together to create tried and tested CMSes for the whole world to use for free. Because they are used by so many people, these open source CMSes are continually improving. The 3 most popular open source CMSes are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, and of the 3, WordPress is literally 1000 times more popular than the other 2. And when I say literally, I mean there are actually 1000 times more people using WordPress than the other 2. That’s because WordPress is faster, and easier to use, as well as being very versatile. It’s also favoured by Google, which means people will find you more easily just because you chose to use WordPress. In my opinion, WordPress is the way to go.

So how do you get a CMS so you can update your own website? You simply ask your web developer to install WordPress. Once he’s done that, he’ll give you a user name and password to login to the backend of your website and start making changes.

Do I need to rebuild my website from scratch?

Your web developer could go through your site and recode it according to WordPress structure, but with the amount of recoding it be just like rebuilding your current site into a WordPress template that looks exactly like your current site. So you are basically starting over. Nows a good time to decide whether to build it according to your current design or have a fresh new look.

So I have to use templates?

Templates are something of a misnomer. The moment you have a website where any 2 pages look similar, you are using a template – a page based on another page. It’s what keeps things looking tidy and professional. With WordPress, you can have your own template built by your web designer, or you can download a free one built by someone else. But at the end of the day, a template is really just a website design. You can have your own design, or find a free one that is being given away. You can also buy a design from someone you don’t know.

With a CMS, can I keep my domain name?

Some clients have asked me whether they can keep their domain name with a CMS. The answer is yes, because everything remains the same except the way your website is coded.  If you already have a website and you’d like it transformed into a CMS website. The easiest way to do this is to build the site again as a CMS, so be prepared to budget for a new website.

In conclusion

To be able to maintain your own website without knowing any code, the best option is to ask your web developer to build you a WordPress website. WordPress is a free, open source Content Management System (CMS) that has become extremely popular amongst website owners all over the world.

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