Working with CMS Systems

CMS is the future

If your here, you are likely already familiar with the concept of Content Management Systems (CMS) and what they do. The attraction is simple, the ability to give your marketing folks (yourself in some cases) the ability to directly edit content of your website without any HTML expertise or a concern that they might break the site.

I bought into this idea working with the folks at one of the local design firms. A BIG attraction for me is the ability to tweak key SEO elements of my clients’ sites without their Webmaster fearing that I will break something.

When I launched the website for my SEO consulting business in 2007 I used WorkPress, which might be considered a kind of CMS-lite system. WorkPress very capable and each successive generation of WP has become slicker and easier to use. However, WorkPress would not be appropriate for a large website as it lacks the flexibility to control elements (Google Ads, etc) with any granularity.  

I have a small, relatively relatively low-traffic site for audio enthusiasts. The site is an outlet for my enthusiasm and a platform to experiment. The site is a an affiliate site for eBay, Commission Junction, and Google AdWords. Over the past couple of months, I have been working my way through learning and converting the site to Joomla .

I continue to be impressed with just how flexible Joomla is. The price that is paid for its flexibility is the complexity of initial set-up and many designers hate it for this reason.  I don’t want to imply that learning Joomla has been easy for me. The conventions used in Joomla have been very foreign and it has challenged my thinking on more than one occasion! However, as I have worked through the configuration and set up it has steadily gotten easier.

Don’t like the page layout? You don’t change the HTML, you change the settings and voila, the layout changes. With Joomla, if it’s not native, there a module to accomplish almost anything. Want to syndicate your content (RSS feed), take orders (e-commerce), the ability to send newsletters to people that frequent your website… it’s a few clicks away and many modules are free. 

I believe down to my toenails that CMS systems are the future. If you are building a new website or are considering a rework of an existing site, I would encourage you to explore CMS options. I picked Joomla to use for personal projects as I feel it has the greatest momentum and expect it will become easier and evolve and to be the platform of choice.


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