Content Management

Unless you have specific experience in developing and maintaining content for a website, you really do not have a good feel for how difficult it can be. Everyone has a picture in their mind of what they want to say on their website, but that is not the same as words written in an understandable structure.

At A Minimum, Content Represents Two Distinct Jobs: Creating and Managing

Creating and updating content on your website must happen—it keeps your website alive. You should budget for it now. You will need to budget some of your time and some of ours. Your time will be harder than you think, our time will be more expensive than you want. How much more greatly depends on the nature of the web site. But do not think in terms of tiny edits and little additions.

Content Development

You will need a concrete plan for the development of your content. This needs to happen before you begin designing or redesigning your site. Regardless of how your initial site content is developed, setting up actionable plans for creating and maintaining content is a must. Most people underestimate the effort it takes to create compelling content that is both engaging to visitors and understandable to search engines.

Content Management

Many site owners feel they need a website on a Content Management System (CMS). This is easy to understand, you want to be able to make changes to content yourself whenever you feel the need. But in reality, most sites owners find these systems too awkard to use. Before you decide on the need for a CMS you should first have a clear understanding of how a CMS works.

One thing we often see is a number of claims from companies saying they have overcome the complexities of HTML and now anyone can build and maintain their own site using their system. If only this were the case. These claims are made by small and large companies alike — Adobe Systems added a new claim just recently. Adobe has made this claim several times before — PageMill, CyberStudio, Dreamweaver, Business Catalyst, Flash Catalyst and some others. ("Catalyst" must be marketing-speak for "easy".) All these claims have a ring of truth to them, which is why we keep biting. They are like the exercise machines advertised on TV. If you add the work and the discipline needed they can be very effective. But the reality is that most people do not have the time or inclination. CMS systems are typically most effective in organizations that have highly structured content and dedicated people to manage that content.