CEDC
Nonprofit Design by CEDC

What is a 'content management system?'

Submitted by laryn on

Most of the sites we develop are built under an open-source content management system (CMS) after they've been designed. We use either Drupal or Joomla! depending on the site requirements, since they are both suited to particular types of sites. Here are a few benefits that they both offer, in laypeople's terms:

  1. You can update and edit the website contents even if you don't know PHP, XHTML, CSS, MySQL, FTP (or any other acronyms)
    The CMS gives you the ability to log in through a web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. You can use the administrative interface to add new content or edit existing content on the site and when you save it, the site updates immediately. This allows you to keep the site current and keep your stakeholders informed. You could even spread the responsibility for the website across a number of staff people if you don't have one person dedicated to it.
  2. It is very easy to extend the website
    The CMS' that we use allow easy add-on of additional features such as forums, galleries, members' areas, and file downloads.
  3. The site can be built in a way that allows you to change the theme or update a menu across the entire website at once
    In the old days of static HTML, changing the structure of a menu or updating the look-and-feel took ages since each page often needed to be loaded and edited separately, then saved and re-uploaded. With a CMS, the theme (or template) can be updated and applied to the entire site. Likewise, changing the menu structure will update on every page the menu appears. This helps to prevent a number of the common problems you will find on old static HTML sites such as broken menu links and inconsistent theme implementations.
  4. Since the CMS packages we use are open source, there are no licensing costs for the software
    The software is free! The only costs you may incur after the initial site set up are hosting charges, domain name registration, and whatever degree of support you may require for future security patches or upgrades.

We can either start from scratch (if you don't currently have a site) or develop based on what you currently have. Contact us if you have a question or would like to discuss a particular project related to your site.

Click here to view some sample non-profit websites that we've designed.