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    Why you need to have a professional looking website!

    Your website is your shop window. It is in competition with thousands, perhaps even millions of web sites throughout the world. A professional appearance will give your visitors the confidence to deal with you, instead of a competitor.

     

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    How to create beautiful web sites and graphics for the web!

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    How to create a website that really sells your product, service or idea!

    There are innumerable tools you can use online to help you create a stunning website. Some are free, and some (not always the best ones) have to be paid for.

     

Content management systems - should you use one?

A CMS or Content Management System is a web application designed to allow users to add, edit and manage a website. CMS's are generally fairly straight forward to use, and simple enough for non-technical users to navigate. Although they are not necessarily crucial for your website as there are alternatives, such as building a website from scratch, they are becoming increasingly popular as they are a useful and effective way to improve your website's maintenance.

A CMS also does much more than simply manage your content, they are great for 'behind the scene' work such as: making content searchable via metadata and keywords, and tracking the activity of your website’s visitors.

They can however, limit the control you have, because integrating your website into a CMS means you’re committing to a fixed structure that must fit your content, it also means you will never have full control of your website as custom work will require a developer.

Content Management Systems are more beneficial to some than others, and can come with both advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of using CMS

- Content editing is kept separate from the design and functionality of the website, which is favourable for non-technical user, as it allows users to add and edit content on the website without disrupting its design and coding.
- A CMS also allows you maximum control of your website's content at all times.
- CMS allows multiple users to access the content management, whilst limiting the access permissions of certain users if required.
- The use of a CMS usually means content can be updated almost instantly, the turnaround time for websites using CMS tends to be much quicker than those that don't. - It can also can help to increase your website's SEO, as CMS's are generally designed to include custom page titles and metadata - allowing the creation of SEO-rich content.

Cons of using CMS

- Sometimes the cost of building a user-friendly CMS can be quite dear as they often include a high up-front fee.
- The framework of a CMS can also hinder design flexibility.
- Access to multiple users can potentially pose as a security risk, leaving the website in a vulnerable position.
- The efficiency of a CMS means accidental mistakes can go 'live' very quickly, and before the error can even be spotted.
- Managing a CMS can be a time-consuming job and can often get neglected, which can cause a negative impact on the website's hits.

As outlined above, there are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using a Content Management System and whether or not you choose to use one for your website depends on your requirements and personal preferences. Not everyone find that they can benefit from a CMS, but many believe they are an imperative investment when it comes to maintaining a website efficiently.