A website which is easily changed and updatable is a universal goal of site owners. While a Content Management System (CMS) can take you a long way towards this goal, sometimes it is just not enough; sometimes it is not appropriate; and sometimes it is just not within your budget. Why?
Shortcomings of Content Management Systems
A CMS tries to give regular users a word-processor-like interface through which they can add and edit content for their website. Since webpages are made of HTML code, and regular users don’t know how to write HTML code, the CMS tries to ‘translate’ their input into the needed code. A CMS that has been well customized can do a reasonably nice job of this. However:
- A CMS ‘WYSIWYG’ text editor (What You See Is What You Get) is not a word processor. If you’re expecting functionality similar to MS Word, you’ll be disappointed and often frustrated. A CMS editor interface is several orders simpler and less versatile.
- A CMS ‘WYSIWYG’ text editor uses only a limited subset of HTML and cannot finesse the output like someone knowledgeable in HTML and CSS can.
- Working with a CMS involves a learning curve; you must be willing to learn the ins-and-outs of the system to make good use of it.
- Consistency is an important part of a professional looking website. You must be willing to learn and stick to a ‘style book’ and keep your formatting simple and uniform to avoid looking amateurish.
- Set-up, customization, and upkeep of a CMS can be costly. Sometimes this cost may be necessary to get the functionality that comes with a CMS; sometimes the cost can be prohibitive.
Benefits of Webmaster Services
Nothing beats the simplicity of a webmaster: pick up a phone or write an email explaining the changes or additions that you want to make and you’re finished. Attach a Word document or any content that you wish, or copy/paste your content into an email. Your webmaster then makes the changes to your site. Whether using (and finessing) your CMS, or by direct coding, your webmaster is an expert in creating webpages; your webmaster knows the ins-and-outs of your CMS; your webmaster understands how to write for the web.
Whether you’ve tried using a CMS and found it frustrating or inadequate, or whether you’d like to avoid the expense of a CMS altogether, a professional webmaster may be the answer to your needs.
- Is an expert in writing for the web and making your pages user-friendly;
- Possesses excellent writing skills;
- Is an expert in Photoshop and can create and optimize visual content for your site;
- Is an expert in HTML and CSS and can make your content look it’s best;
- Is an expert in Search Engine Optimization and knows how to make your webpages search engine-friendly;
- Is an expert in the use of your CMS (if you have one);
- Knows how to maintain, upgrade and add to your CMS.
What Kind of Webmaster Services Do You Need?
The type of webmaster services you can get varies with your need. If you’ll be doing most of your website updating yourself using a CMS, you might only need a webmaster to maintain and update the CMS and make occasional changes to your server’s settings. If you have a website with no CMS and only infrequent changes needed, your webmaster can make those occasional changes for you on an as-needed basis.
If you prefer to have someone else doing all of the changes to your site, perhaps helping you with copy editing and preparing images, helping you maintain your search engine rankings, or a range of other services, you might like to have a webmaster available when you need one.
Is a Webmaster the Right Solution for You?
Will an editable website which you can add to by yourself make you into a web designer? Probably not, but it may be perfectly adequate for your needs. Do you want to learn the skills you’ll need to turn out exceptional quality web pages? Perhaps you won’t need to.
Insite Website can help you to decide whether a professional webmaster is the right solution for your project and exactly what services you’ll want from him, or whether you’ll be better served by an in-house approach augmented by training and, if appropriate, a customized manual. Either way, we’re here to help, and to be your partner in achieving the best possible website.