Website Content

Web site content management is the buzz word lately. What is content management and how can a business use it to add value to their existing web site?

Content management can take on many forms. A web site can use online forms using a browser and update information or images to a predefined template that is controlled by the design team or webmaster. Software can be used to update the web site content and add and remove pages. Software can come in a variety of faces from web based using only a browser to windows based using a program that is installed on each user’s workstation.

The cost of content management can vary based on the solution that is chosen by a business. Software that is purchased and installed on the workstation can be the least expensive of all types. Forms based content management is the next step up and cost is based on the amount of programming the web team or webmaster will have to perform. An online content management system is the most expensive of all forms of content management offering a full range of features and cost to operate.

The benefits of each type of system will depend on the solution that a business desires. While an online content management system is the most expensive it can offer the biggest variety of features, flexibility and security for a team or organization of users. Online content management systems are tailored to the needs of each organization and users are given restricted access to the areas of the site that they are allowed to update and modify. Another benefit of online content management is it allows users to log in anywhere internet access can be found to manage the content.

Software that an organization purchases and installed on each workstation can be a viable solution and a less expensive alternative to a full online content management system. Smaller organizations can benefit from the lower cost of software when only a few employees are going to use the system to manage content. One drawback to software is the learning curve can be higher than the online versions of content management. An employee must learn the interface of a software program whereas almost anyone uses a browser in their daily lives.

The last form on content management is forms based. Forms based content management allows the use of a browser to update content on the web site. A user would log in and navigate to the administration page for a particular page or section of a site and update the content using text boxes, drop down list and many other controls. For an organization needing to control the exact format of the content forms based management is the way to go. The look and feel of the content is maintained by the web team or webmaster and others are allowed to change sections of the site based on need. A good example of using forms is an online store that adds product to the site and wants to control the cost, description, images and other aspects of a product while maintaining the design of the site and display of the products.

Whatever type of content management your organization needs is available. Content management is what companies are demanding from web firms today and designers and programmers have answered the call with a variety of solutions tailored to the needs of any type of business.

Brian Simmons