Making content production straightforward – website development with a CMS

Crucial to the success of a business website is a strong working relationship between the website development company and their client. It is essential that this relationship between developer and client is both collaborative and concrete.

Too often, the web development can happen in isolation with minimal client involvement. Typically a web developer will receive a brief from their client and then “go off and build it”. Client and producer will then meet up at the end and the client will be shown the result. Sometimes this process can work well but more by luck than design. A more likely outcome is that the web designer may produce a beautiful looking visual masterpiece that is, however, far removed from the original aspirations of the client business.

There is one very effective means of dealing with the potential disconnect between an SME and their web development company. The solution lies in the implementation of a CMS, or Content Management System.

In the early days of the Internet, anyone with more than a passing interest in the World Wide Web was really keen to have their own website. Software packages were accordingly produced which made website production ‘easy’. It was possible, using an affordable tool such as FrontPage, to create a respectable home page without having any knowledge of HTML coding and without high design skills.

However, in the past decade or so, websites have become considerably more sophisticated. Websites now, as a matter of course, host streaming video and audio, as well as the ever-present images. Meanwhile, users expect to interact more with a website than they perhaps used to; they like to post comments, to vote and, possibly, to buy goods and services.
Moreover, users also appreciate customisation such as the ability to see, for instance, recommended purchases based on their past shopping habits.

Such features require clever software working away in the background. Whilst packages for the amateur website builder are still sold, they are not as popular as they used to be, simply because accommodating the more complex demands of today’s internet do not make them so viable for the hobbyist.

Many end users now prefer to work with a Content Management System, or CMS. A CMS works in a user’s web browser and enables them to add content in a ‘What you see is what you get’ (WYSIWIG) interface. Effectively, they can post text, images and other artefacts to the website, and the changes can be previewed then made live, all with a few clicks of the mouse.

Here at Click Consult, a leading website development company, our bespoke CMS enables clients to add trial content and try out the site before it goes live. The CMS thus becomes a key shared platform between the developers and the client. The client can give rapid feedback on an aspect of look and feel or navigation and corrections can quickly be made, ready for the next preview session.

The CMS therefore enables continual, open and straightforward consultation between us and our clients, producing a richer end result than would otherwise be possible.

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