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TECHNOLOGY: Maintaining content management

One of the guiding principles of good website design is to change your site's content as often as you can. The problem, of course, is how to keep your site bang up to date without it costing you huge amounts of time and manpower that would be better spent elsewhere in your business. But what if you could update any number of pages on your site by just filling in a few online forms and clicking a couple of buttons? This is the promise of content management systems (CMS) that were once the province of large corporations, but are now affordable for any size of enterprise.

So what exactly is content management and why should your business be investigating what it can do for your website? Kerry Marriott, UK marketing communications manager of Mediasurface, outlines what CMS is capable of: The purpose of every website is delivering the right information to the people who need it, when they need it. The easiest way to do this is using a content management system.

She makes the point that, when changing a logo on a site that appears on every page (regardless of whether you have 30 pages or 30,000) the issue is still how much time it will take to get the job done. By using a manual system, a company would have to upload the image, store it on the homepage, then repeat on every page where the image appears. That is going to take one person a significant amount of time. A good CMS, she says, will allow the company to drag the item into their site, and save it in a repository where it naturally propagates itself throughout the site ñ a job that is most likely to take approximately two minutes.