Many new web designers, and even seasoned web designers, create websites that are very inefficient in regard to updates. Updating your site keeps visitors coming back day in and day out, while at the same time giving search engines plenty to index. Yet if the task of updating your website is not an efficient one, hundreds of hours can be lost. Using simple solutions, such as content management systems, the efficiency of updating a website can be improved dramatically.
When I first started learning web design, I learned enough to make a simple web page. “Cool! I made a web page!” Then I proceeded to make an entire website, several hundred pages deep. “Cool! I made a website!” Then came time to update the site. This is what I call the trap of a “simple website.”
An inexperienced web designer makes a website using HTML with no CMS (Content Management System), no stylesheets, no includes, then finds things need to be updated and goes through and changes every single page on the site. Meanwhile, a web designer using includes or a CMS is able to update his or her site within a fraction of the time.
Fortunately, the trap is very easy to escape, and if the problem is addressed right away, not much time is lost. The downside is that if you get stuck in the trap, you can spend countless hours making changes to your site that otherwise could have taken minutes.
To get out of the “simple” website trap, simply transfer your site to a CMS or use includes and stylesheets. There are huge numbers of CMS solutions available. Some are free, some charge a one-time fee and others charge a subscription fee. To get the best service, you will have to pay a little more. Having someone there to answer your questions when you need them answered is a huge plus. Spending the extra money to get the extra service is often well worth the investment. If your budget is tight, Open Source CMS solutions are available for free. A good programmer can do a basic installation of such a system in a few hours. WordPress is an example of one popular Open Source Tool that can be used as a CMS.
Many CMS solutions do much more than just allow your website to be updated easily. A top-notch solution will include email marketing, web forms, e-commerce, members’ areas, lead management, and more. ORBTR is an affordable lead tracking and marketing automation suite for WordPress that adds email marketing, lead tracking, landing pages, and even mobile marketing to your website. If you’ve found yourself in the “simple” website trap, the best thing you can do is get out right now. Still, careful research will ensure that you will get the most for your money.