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kathy@andesandassociates.com

“Easy” Website Content Management Systems …

Many of my clients have some sort of self-managed websites also known as content management systems (CMS). They can be a franchisee site, a storefront, a CMS from a hosting provider, or even a “free” blog template format that can look like a website (WordPress and Joomla).

When my clients involve me in reworking their web pages and copy, they often ask if I can load the pages for them.

I am not a programmer, but if on-call assistance is available, I can do the job. And I like it because if something doesn’t look right once loaded, I can quickly make changes myself.

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I’ve learned a heck of a lot about various systems. I have yet to find a CMS that is truly “easy.”

To be sure, they are all easier than trying to learn how to write HTML code. But every single system I’ve worked with gets squirrely … often!

For example, a task you think you can do in the blink of an eye gets hung up, and you spend the next couple of hours fixing the problem. The reverse is also true: A task you think will be complicated, you get done really quickly.

I have one client whose web designer set her organization up on Joomla. It’s a very powerful platform that, like Word Press, is easy for lots of different users to upload content. My client also liked that it was free.

I worked with it and encountered numerous problems. One day my client said to me, “Our web developer said we would be able to make changes easily ourselves.” After a pause, I replied, “Yeah, right!” Don’t get me wrong, Joomla has grown on me and I quite like it. It just ain’t easy.

And from observing a friend’s struggles, I think I’d say the same thing about WordPress.

Personally, I prefer the systems with 24-hour phone support. That way if I want to work late or on a Saturday, I don’t have to wait for help. These are available from large providers and although they are not free, they are low cost.

Easy Web Tip 78: Even if you have an “easy” content management system, plan on some man hours and a learning curve for properly maintaining your website.

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