For many small business owners, having the ability to make changes to their website quickly and easily is a must. You need to keep the content of your website fresh and current, not just for Google, but for your visitors too. In the not too distant past most small bsuiness owners were reliant on a web developer to make even minor content changes. Today those changes can be made quickly and easily by the business owner using a modern content management system (CMS).

I think the first thing you need to consider when choosing a CMS is what you really, truely need. Don’t be tempted to spend money on an all singing all dancing CMS when a free Open Source one will do what you need.

Things you should consider:

  • Do you want a blog as part of your website? Beneficial. Gives fresh content quickly and easily.
  • Do you need to be able to add new pages, edit existing ones and delete redundant ones? Probably your most basic requirement.
  • Do you want to control your navigation (menu) system? If you are adding new pages then most likely yes!
  • Are you more comfortable with a WYSIWYG editor than writing HTML code? Unless you are a programmer or a geek then you probably want WYSIWYG.
  • Do you want to add images and/or video to your website? A great way of creating more engaging content.
  • Do you want to optimise your site for Google? Now why wouldn’t you.
  • Should your website reflect your current business branding? Sensible really, consistent branding.

It may be tempting to think that a drag and drop free CMS like Wix or SquareSpace is a perfect solution. If you are serious about your business these probably aren’t the best solution. Your website is an important business asset and you need to own it outright. It should be portable – if one hosting company lets you down you should be easily able to move your website without having to start again. The same goes for ‘website builders’ that come as part of a hosting platform from companies like GoDaddy and 1and1, your site won’t be portable. In order to move you have to start from scratch – and take it from an ex-developer, you don’t want to be doing that!

OpenSource platforms like WordPress or Drupal would be a better solution for a small business website. These give you ownership of the site – 100%. You will get flexibility and good value for money. The website can grow with you as your business grows and if you fall out with a host then you can simply have your site moved to a new host with minimal downtime.

There are lots of paid CMSs out there that do loads of lovely whizzy things – don’t be tempted to believe that because it’s paid for it must be better. WordPress is still one of the most popular and trusted CMS platforms there is. It is well supported and you can pretty much find a solution for most issues on the internet for free – or it can be sorted by a decent developer in a short time cheaply.

We can help you develop your own WordPress site or we can pop you in touch with local devlopers who will create your site and hand it over, with training, for you to manage. But before you do any of theses things – decide what you really want!