What is Content Management?

White Paper: Content Management Software

Date: Monday, 21 July 2003

Author: Reuben Jackson, Web Widgets Ltd

The traditional approach to website design is to pay a web designer to create you a website, then pay additional fees every time you need to make a change. Often this can be an expensive or timely exercise when only small changes are required.

The most common changes you might need to make to a website are to add a news release, change a price, add a new product photo, or fix a spelling mistake.

Content management software enables you to keep your own website up to date yourself. Typically, the software is fine-tuned to a specific purpose. For example, to update a news page, or maintain a links page, or maintain a product gallery.

When you select content management software you need to keep two main things in mind, the ease of use versus the cost. The best content management software is normally developed for one specific purpose and customised for your needs. This software is often very expensive, requiring an experienced developer to build a new program from scratch. The cheapest content management software is really just the same thing as web design software. However, this cheap software is often hard to learn, requires training, and can enable to you make horrific mistakes to the design or navigation of your website.

An excellent middle ground solution is an out-of-the-box template approach, that makes updating a website easy, and affordable. Just select the most appropriate template layout for your needs. E.g. a gallery template might have photos down the left with information on the right, or it might just be 3 columns of thumb nailed photos taking up the whole page. A news template would have the most recent news at the top of the page, whereas an events template would have the most forthcoming event at the top of the page. A links page might have the information presented in alphabetical order.

Web Widgets provide an affordable out-of-the-box template approach, with over 50 layout templates for content presentation, and over 50 layouts for background, style and navigation design. Your existing website design can be easily converted to wrap around the content layout templates. Some templates also provide interactive features like shopping carts and discussion forums.

Making changes to your website typically follows this sequence:
1. Login to the Web Widgets website
2. Select the web page you want to change
3. Click the browse button to find a digital photo file on your computer
4. Enter a title and description for the photo / news
5. Click Save
6. Click Publish Changes

And that's it. There is no special software to install. You just need a web browser and access to the internet.

Contact Web Widgets for more information.

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