Just about every web user has experienced landing on a website that just looks old. Normally a quick scroll to the bottom of the page confirms the site copyright is from 2007 or worse. To today’s web surfer, this two to the three-year-old site may as well be a hundred years old.
If you were having guests for dinner, would you serve them two-year-old leftovers? Obviously not. Why then are so many websites serving up two-year-old content? Two of the biggest reasons are:
First, it used to be enough just to have a website and a static site was fine.
Second, adding content was difficult and could be expensive.
Content Management Systems to the Rescue
Because of the rapid increase in social media applications such as blogging and sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, website visitors expect something more than three-year-old content. They expect to see fresh relevant content, to be able to create content and form communities. You could contact Website SEO Experts like Houston SEO consultant to Rank #1 on Google.
Content Management Systems are the answer. Previously the cost of a Content Management System (CMS) was prohibitive to the small business owner that wanted to establish a presence on the internet. Now, however, CMS’s are available at little to no cost to provide a solution to the boring, static web 1.0 site. Two of the best open-source platforms are Joomla and WordPress.
Six Ways to Web 2.0′ize a Website
- Add a blog. Blogs are one of the easiest ways to generate new, relevant content and establish the website owners expertise. Furthermore, comments provide interactivity.
- Convert the current static design into a Content Management System (CMS). Converting to a CMS will make adding new content as easy as writing an email.
- Web users today want to build communities and collaborate with other users.
- Add Twitter and Facebook feeds. Social media is here to stay and is a great business tool. As was the case with websites several years ago, customers are beginning to expect that your web presence extends beyond your website. Twitter and Facebook are great ways to interact with your current and future customers.
- Add a shopping cart. If you sell products that could be ordered online but don’t offer this service, expect to see reduced revenue. Add a shopping cart and allow your customers to buy your products at exactly when they want too.
- Add relevant content feeds from other sources. The web is now a huge content generating machine. So you don’t have to create all the content. Find reputable experts in your industry and feature their blog postings on your site.
Joomla vs WordPress – The Great Debate
Among the web development community, the question of whether to use Joomla or WordPress can cause quite a stir. A recent posting by Barrie North, one of the original Joomla programmers, recently posted five reasons why to use Joomla instead of WordPress. In my opinion, Joomla is best for website development. Extensions are plentiful, and some are outright amazing and best of all are very inexpensive. And WordPress is best for blogging. Clearly, both platforms can do the job, but I chose to pick the best of both worlds and use them together.
CMS an overview for novice web designers
I have been surprised to learn that there are still a great number of web site designers who are not aware of what a CMS is or to give it its full name Content Management System/Software is. Essentially a system that will alow your clients to maintain the content on the web site you develop with your intervention or requirement to know HTML.
So is it a fancy term for software that allows users without HTML knowledge to update their own website? well there is a little more to it than that. Essentially it seperates the design of the website from the content. The content will usually be stored in a database (although there are some basic systems that use a flatfile system)
You may say that design and content is already sepearate as you make proper use of CSS stylesheets and that your clients can use just the most basic of web editors to create content. A CMS system will go a step further. So if you want to add a new element to a website or a whole new section of content you will not need to amend dozens of pages to make room for this.
You may well say that you can do this with simple PHP includes. However a CMS system will let you go further than PHP includes ever could. The other benefit of using a CMS system is the dozens or even thousands of plugins that will be available to you. So if your client asks you to add a gallery, forum or twitter feed you will usually find their is an easy to install application which will extend the web sites functionality without having to start from scratch.
As a web designer you will find 50% or more of your clients will want this kind of website. When it comes to designing for CMS systems every system has its own intricacies, however many use the SMARTY template engine. If you choose to specialise in SMARTY there are multiple applications you could design for.
You could, on the other hand, choose to specialise in one of the leading systems that are out there. No matter which system you choose you can be assured of a steady stream of work if you are any good. The main system that are popular today are Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.