Taking control of your CMS

How a Content Management System worksWeb design and development is a complex matter requiring specialist knowledge, however once the framework is built, uploading and amending your website’s content can be fairly straightforward.

It begins with gaining an understanding of the systems and processes your website is using, and how to access your information, so that if – God forbid – your web designer goes AWOL, all is not lost.

Firstly, you should know which company is hosting your website, the level of hosting you are on and the web host’s contact details. You should know what platform the website is built upon, if it is a template or custom build and if you have a CMS (more on that later).

Further to that, you should have all login details and passwords – readily available, not buried somewhere in your Outlook – to access all aspects of your website’s backend if necessary. If you don’t have them, ask your web developer for these details, explain to them why and they should appreciate your diligence.

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Next you should have recent backups of your entire website stored securely. That’s backups plural. Once again, your web developer can supply this and it’s not a big job – they should already have backups of your website anyway.

If you didn’t already have all of the above, chances are that if you wanted any content added to your website you had to request your web designer to add it  – which can be expensive, especially if your updates are regular.

How a CMS worksWhile structural changes to websites usually requires advanced knowledge, many websites run a content management system (CMS) built on a platform like WordPress or Joomla. In this case, uploading content to a blog should be fairly straightforward. Moreover, if the site was built using a template, the changing or adding of text and images throughout the site should also be fairly easy with a little training.

Rather than paying high fees for a (hopefully) highly skilled web designer to do basic tasks, a junior staff member can easily manage content uploads with a CMS like WordPress. Modern integrations will even guide you to ensure your content is reasonably optimised for SEO.

If you regularly have your designer post content to your site and discover your website is NOT using a well-known and easy-to-use CMS, find out why and then seriously consider adding one.

Your web developer should offer full CMS training. Unless you start learning code, or your website is incredibly basic, you managing your content is not going to put them out of a work. There are still plenty of advanced functionalities, integrations or framework amendments that are better left to the professionals.

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