Content Management Software (CMS):
Updating your Website
Using Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress or Custom CMS
Research shows that visitors are more likely to return to your website if it is updated frequently. They want to see new services, helpful tips, learn of new employees, see interactive elements etc. But with limits on your time and staff's knowledge of web design - how can you maintain your website in a cost-effective basis while retaining control over content? Website maintenance is no easy task.
At Lenox Web Design, we make it easy to update your website. We will be glad to perform updates on your website on an as needed basis or as part of a site maintenance contract.
Lenox Web Design offer a range of maintenance options from open-source Content Management Software to custom CMS solutions. We can also guide you to free open-source editing tools to maintain your site. This method provides easy, low cost maintenance. You can edit text, add photos, etc, but you may not be able to add/delete pages.
If you don't want or need to maintain the site yourself, we provide maintenance and updates on an hourly basis.
If you are interested in a full CMS solution, Lenox Web Design can design your web site using Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla, the three leading open-source CMS solutions on the market. All have advantages and disadvantages. here are some links comparing the three leading CMS systems. A word of caution, however, All three CMS systems are evolving fast with new releases and much added functionality, so these comparisons may be dated.
Which one is right for you depends upon the application. From our experience, Wordpress is the easiest to set up, but it was originally designed for blogging. As a CMS site for an organization or business, it can be somewhat limited. For blogging, however, it is unsurpassed.
Drupal just came out with Drupal 7 and Joomla just came out with Joomla 1.6 and these two releases make the software much easier to use and correct many/most of the issues. But as of this date (February 18. 20110), there are not very many plug ins or modules to add a lot of functionality. This will be corrected over time.
In either case, they provide for very easy maintenance and updating from any computer anywhere. All you need to do is to go your website and log on as the administrator. Then you can create content, edit content, add pages and delete pages at will. You can even add photos, illustrations and Flash to your site. You can provide for different levels of access control so that you can designate different people in your organization to be able to update and change only certain pages. You can create/edit links to internal pages and to external websites. And you don't need any technical skills or learn any complicated software. When you make the changes online, the changes take effect instantly.
There are some disadvantages of the Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla CMS systems however.
- If you want a very intricate custom design, it is often harder and more expensive to provide a full custom design using one of these three, due to the template nature of Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla.
One ease of use and flexibility:
- Drupal is the most flexible and the easiest to customize, but it is the hardest to use
- Joomla is not quite so flexible but can be customized easily. Joomla is in the middle
- Wordpress is the least flexible and the hardest to customize, but it is the easiest to use
A custom-designed CMS system, however, will allow us to provide a full custom designed web site AND provide content management for the pages that you want to update. We set up these pages as dynamic pages using PHP and MySQL. This allows you to have full editorial control over the pages you need to control but still offer a full custom design. This is the best of both worlds. The number of pages in your website that need to be dynamic (with content management) will determine the overall cost. If it is just a few pages, maybe to pull data from an MySQL database, then the extra cost would be minimal to nonexistent. However, if you wanted a full custom CMS website, this could be quite expensive. In that case, it would be much better to stick to Drupal, Wordpress or Joomla.
In all cases, if you make changes with the CMS, you need to make sure that you have a back-up in case you want to restore the page. Actually this needs to be the rule in all web sites. Make sure you back up the site on a regular basis. It is not good to depend on your web host provider. They may say they back up on a regular basis, but this is not always the case. Be sure - backup your web site!