Should I use a CMS?

Should you use a CMS...or a "content management system" to power your company's website? This question is finding it way thru cocktail hours, board meetings, and conferences across the globe. It is an important one, because wither or not you use a content management system is essential in terms of the bottom line of a company and/or a project. So the short answer as with anything is of course, maybe. Surprised? No? As with anything you have to know what your resources, goals, and requirements are. CMS can be can quite the money savers, but can also gobble up time as a SUV gobbles up gas. First of all, what is a CMS?

A CMS is a system designed to keep track of your/your teams website assets, (files, such as music, pictures, and videos) enable a coding interface for advanced users while having a WYSIWYG (visual editor) for those with limited coding knowledge, and provide a consistency in theme and branding throughout the website via templates, widgets, and plug-ins.

My first official, company website was built on a Wordpress platform, one of the many free CMS platforms available. It was quite the challenge. I spent weeks trying to figure out the difference in between "posts" and "pages" and additional weeks trying to figure out how to install a simple plug-in. Lol, yes, it took that long. Eventually, I figured it out, but I'm assuming that you don't that kind of time. So content management systems can streamline the process of starting a website, including the joy of not having to deal with php, html, css, or any kind of coding. But the catch here is that when it comes to customization, you need to know not only what web developers know, but specific knowledge about the CMS you're using. So if you have more time than money and a resilient thirst for learning, jump on in!

There are a lot of CMS out there which seek to fulfill different needs. For small businesses, I definitely suggest using one of the free WordPress, Joomla, etc CMS. But as your company grows the option to have a CMS becomes more mandatory. Different departments would have different assets, needs, and reasons to log on to the company site, therefore making the CMS the only viable option for managing a robust web presence. Also, at this level CMS like WordPress become a little to confining. I have personally worked with Cascade and software developed by Oracle, no problems. However, here's a comprehensive list of large scale CMS Platforms. Good Luck, and I hope this helps a little!

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