Do You Need to Manage Your Own Content?

Like most decisions you're going to make about your website and your web marketing strategies, the answer is: "it depends."

10 years ago the idea of managing your own web content was pretty exotic and very expensive. It meant having a database application custom written, putting up with hardware shortcomings and bandwidth bottlenecks. In short, it wasn't even a consideration for most website owners.

Today, content management systems (CMS) are as common as laptops and broadband connections. In fact, if you throw in blogging software, one might argue that CMS is the most common way websites are managed.

This information still begs the question: "should you partake?"

Having helped develop a comprehensive CMS tool, trained hundreds of people to use it and been involved in the development of custom CMS applications, here is what I've learned:

  • If you have a lot to say about you and/or your business - Yes.
  • If important facts about your business change frequently (a REALTOR's listings, for instance) - Yes.
  • If your website is a key component of your marketing effort and you have someone who can devote the time to managing it - Yes.

On the other hand, CMS is not for everyone.

  • If your are short-handed and adding another task would hurt your ability to grow and run your business - No.
  • If you don't forsee having new content to add on a regular basis (at least monthly) - No.
  • If you have difficulty learning computer-oriented tasks or simply don't want to learn - No.

The important thing is to be honest with yourself, because your web services vendor may not be honest with you. CMS is not for everyone. But remember, web success is. Whether you're managing the content yourself or having a professional manage it for you, your website MUST grow and change over time. So when you're choosing a vendor be as sure as you can be that he or she will be with you for the long haul.

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