Updating Your Web Site Efficiently
Many new webmasters, and even seasoned web designers, create web sites that are very inefficient in regard to updates. Updating your site keeps visitors coming back day in and day out, while at the same time giving search engines plenty to index. Yet if the task of updating your web site is not an efficient one, hundreds and thousands of hours can be lost. Using simple solutions, such as content management systems, the efficiency of updating a web site can be improved dramatically.
The Trap of a “Simple” Web Site
When I first started learning web design, I learned enough to make a simple web page. “Cool! I made a web page!” I thought. Indeed. Then I proceeded to make an entire web site, several hundred pages deep. “Cool! I made a web site!” Then came time to update the site. This is what I call the trap of a “simple web site.”
An inexperienced webmaster makes a web site using HTML with no CMS (Content Management System), no Style Sheets, no includes, then finds things need to be updated and goes through and changes every single page on the site. Mean while, a Webmaster using includes or a CMS is able to update his or her site in a fraction of the time.
Fortunately, the trap is very easy to escape, and if the problem is addressed right away, not much time is lost at all. The downside is that if you get stuck in the trap, you can spend countless hours making changes to your site that otherwise could have taken minutes.
Getting Out of the “Simple” Web Site Trap
To get out of the “simple” site trap, simply transfer your site to a CMS or use includes and style sheets. There are huge numbers of CMS solutions available. Some are free, some charge a one-time fee and others charge a subscription fee. To get the best service, you will have to pay a little more. Having someone there to answer your questions when you need them answered is a huge plus. Spending the extra money to get the extra service is often well worth the investment. If your budget is tight, Open Source CMS solutions are available for free. A good programmer can do a basic installation of such a system in a few hours. PHP Nuke is an example of one popular Open Source CMS.
Many CMS solutions do much more than just allow your web site to be updated easily. A top-notch solution will include email marketing, web forms, e commerce, members’ areas, lead management, and more. If you’ve found yourself in the “simple” site trap, the best thing you can do is get out right now. Still, careful research will ensure that you will get the most for your money.