Content Management Systems (CMSs) are used in almost all of the websites CityCenter builds now. A CMS allows our clients to easily add and modify content on their website and therefore saves them time and expense.
CMSs have changed the way we approach web design projects. Rather than building everything from scratch, we can now plan out and research what resources are available online that will achieve the client’s goals. For instance, only a few years ago if a client wanted a password-protected section for their website we would have to write the programming code for that feature and fully customize it for their exact needs. Our strategy now is to look for a plugin that would provide that basic functionality. This can dramatically lower the initial costs of creating a website.
But there are tradeoffs in creating websites with a CMS.
- Lower initial cost, but less flexibility. The plugin or module selected to give a desired functionality may not be exactly what is needed. Sometimes the plugin can be modified to meet the exact needs, but often it is necessary to custom write a plugin if the needed functionality is critical.
- Staff can make many of the website changes but they need to learn how to do it. There is a learning curve to be able to make the changes, and if there is staff turnover then this training time will need to be repeated with the new personnel.
- Upgrade, backup and maintenance time is greater with a CMS. All CMSs receive regular code and security updates and those must be installed in order to protect the integrity of the website. Since all changes to a CMS-driven website are recorded in a database, that must be backed up regularly to make sure that the most recent copy is available in case of server failure. The same applies for all of the plugins or modules installed on the website – they must be upgraded whenever a new version comes out to ensure the greatest functionality and security.
Overall the benefits of using a CMS for a website far outweigh the additional work necessary. But it is always good to know what you’re getting into.