March 05, 2007

Customizing content management Systems

Web Sites can never be considered complete. Regular content updates are necessary if you hope to benefit from the existence of your web site. It becomes difficult to keep going back to your designer to get content updates on your web site and HTML is definitely not your cup of tea then you should consider using a Content Management System also known as CMS in the digital world.

There are two options available to you when you are looking for a Content Management System. One is that you have your web designer create a Content Management System for you, the other option is that you pick up a ready-to-use content management system and make some changes to customize it to your requirement. Most small to medium sized businesses choose to use a ready-to-use Content Management System so that they can keep the cost of development within limits and be ready to use the software within a couple of days.

Most ready-to-use content management systems are simple to implement and requires some changes to make it match your web site. Customization of an existing Content Management System can be done by your web designer and once this is done, all it takes to make changes on your web site is access to the system. Making changes become as easy as editing a simple Word document. Listed below are some of web design elements which need customization when using a ready made Content Management System.

  1. Look and Feel of all the pages which are delivered by the Content Management System. One of the first things which need to customized in the look and feel of the content management system driven pages. This can be done by adding a customized header and footer. One of the disadvantages of ready-to-use content management systems are that they do not allow for unique graphical display. Most of them are restricted to certain layouts and color schemes and you need to conform to that.
  2. Link structure or navigation structure. The link structure need to be customized as per your web site and once this is done, you can just choose the page for which you would like to make changes to and do it with the Content Management System. The navigation structure should also allow you to add pages under a specific link as well as add a new link to the web site.
  3. Administration set up for easy management of the Content Management System is required to be done at this stage so that you can assign permissions to different groups of people to manage the web site. You can also choose the type of editor (HTML or plain text) which you would like to use when creating the content and updating your web site. Most people prefer HTML editors as they are very simple to use and are also known as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors.
  4. Before customizing a Content Management System, you need to review the various modules available with the provider and choose the ones which are most relevant to you. Some Content Management Systems may also provide additional modules such as shopping cart system, newsletter management system, user tracking system, advertisement tracking system etc.

Content Management Systems are sure to enhance the value of content as delivered on your web site and if you are tired of a web site which is as old and as the hills; it is time you upgraded yourself and got a CMS for the web site.

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