What is a CMS and why does your website need one?

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Umbrellar Connect

With so many acronyms in the IT world to figure out, no-one has time to cover them all. Instead, this post will stick to just CMS – a rather important one when considering a new website or looking to update an existing one.

What is a CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System and over half of all websites are built using CMS platforms of one kind or another.

Essentially, a CMS makes it super-easy to build and maintain a website with limited technical knowledge and resources.

CMS platforms such as Umbraco and Sitefinity are perfect for small to medium businesses – although many Enterprises would be happy with them as well.

Why you should care

Think about that last Instagram update you did. How easy was it? No coding needed, just pressing a few buttons, selecting/writing some content then sharing.

CMS offers the same ease with updating your website. All the infrastructure of a CMS website is taken care of and you as the user only need focus on creating and inputting content.

CMS platforms have the same five basic attributes:

1. No coding knowledge required
Got limited technical resources or time? You can still have a powerful website.

2. Easy collaboration
Have a few key people taking care of content? CMS allows access to multiple users at the same time, improving workflows and productivity.

3. Built-in features and extensions
Most CMS platforms have out-of-the-box and third-party tools so you can do more with less effort.

4. Predesigned templates
A selection of predesigned templates means you can quickly customise appearance and affect behaviour of your website – all without needing to write a bunch of code.

5. Simple updates
Make changes to website content fast – whether updating an image or doing a complete page redesign.

Which CMS do we recommend and how do they broadly compare?

Let’s showcase two of our more popular CMS platforms – Umbraco and Sitefinity – using real client stories to demonstrate how they can make the job of managing your website content simple and streamlined.

Umbraco – flexible, neat and budget-friendly

Umbraco is a free, open source and Microsoft .NET-powered content management system that deals very well with structured content. The content editing in Umbraco is very simple and easy to follow – ideal for clients who don’t have the time or resources to be focusing on overly complex content management.

A perfect example of Umbraco’s no-fuss, low-cost, yet high-quality CMS is the Hey Mama Movement site.

Hey Mama founder and trainer Daz Burns is super-busy – wife and mother of three young kids, fitness trainer and Director of Hey Mama Movement and Burns Construction, she needs a simple, streamlined way of adding content to keep her website fresh.

Her online fitness subscription service is a one-of-a-kind and enables women to connect virtually and exercise together with their friends, anywhere, anytime.

Umbraco’s platform is the perfect choice for Hey Mama – low-cost; structured content management makes it easy to update and a light framework made it super-quick for the Enlighten team to customise, style and deliver.

For more examples of Umbraco sites we’ve built, check out the websites for Mother Earth and ProductSpec, a subsite of Construction Marketing Services.

Sitefinity – intuitive content creation

While Umbraco could be compared to a toolbox, you could say Sitefinity is more akin to a nail gun. Sitefinity is a licenced, proprietary and Microsoft .NET-powered content management system that comes with out-of-the-box functions, such as the drag and drop layout builder that allow novice users to create complex page layouts.

If your business is big enough to have one or two dedicated marketing/web content management people, they will appreciate the increased power of the Sitefinity CMS platform (and it always pays to keep your marketing people happy!).

A recent project with Te Waka let Enlighten harness the power of Sitefinity CMS to deliver not just a visually stunning solution but one with features that make managing content super-easy.

Te Waka is a business-led and governed organisation with a mission to drive economic growth in the Waikato region. They had inherited multiple sites promoting and encouraging economic development and wanted to consolidate into one streamlined, easy to manage website that showcased all the region had to offer.

Using Sitefinity, Enlighten built a comprehensive site that is easy to maintain by Te Waka, featuring time-savers such as inbuilt forms to capture content from external contributors for the news and events pages.

For another great example of Sitefinity in action, check out Unison Networks Ltd. Their intuitive, user-friendly website allows seamless content updates to keep consumers informed, including a custom outages tool that saw Unison’s call centre experience a drop of 20% on fault calls in the first three months after go-live.

Building a site with CMS – and Enlighten – makes sense

Using CMS platforms such as Umbraco or Sitefinity to build and manage your website is cost-friendly, time effective and headache-free.

If you’re an Enterprise organisation looking for a CMS with an integrated marketing platform, keep an eye on our blog for a post on Sitecore coming out in the next few weeks.

Whether you’re after a Web Health Check for security and optimisation, Insight in an Instant website review or a brand-new web presence, Enlighten Designs is the creative technical agency to help you find the best fit for your specific needs.

Give us a call and set up an appointment with our Web Development Team.

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Umbrellar Connect

Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.

Enlighten Designs

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Enlighten Designs creates beautiful, user-friendly digital solutions. As an award-winning creative technical agency, our mission is to deliver digitally transformative experiences for customers ranging from small businesses to enterprise clients. Founded in 1998, Enlighten Designs is based on our passion to bring exceptionally designed, innovative and custom technology solutions from the shores of New Zealand to the world.

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