Jun 11, 2014
The Websites I most often produce are for local small businesses. My customers vary not only in their professions, but also in their knowledge of IT and the World Wide Web. So it is not unusual for me to be asked a myriad of questions ranging from the the most basic to the quite technically advanced. The concerns my customers have usually fall into a couple of different categories: Whether it will look good and promote the business they are in, and how easy will it be for them to manage and update the website when it is finished.
Naturally, my go to solution on both of these counts is to create a Website using CMS Made Simple. The flexibility of CMSMS is perfect for almost any style or design and the templating system is beautiful in its simplicity - and indeed far easier to manage than some of its competitors! Fairly recently, I have also embraced the use of Compass and Sass for creating stylesheets. I have found that Sass combined with the Template Externalizer module has really improved and speeded up my design process and helped me to produce some really neat websites which impressed the client.
But a website not only needs to look good to do its job, there are also other ‘behind the scenes’ considerations to take on board when looking at the promotion of the business. The use of pretty URLs for example, can be a useful step in making a site more search engine friendly. Then there is the all important meta description tag which can have a dramatic influence not only in search engine results, but also in social media. I looked at the meta description tag in a previous article, so it goes without saying that I always code in a user friendly content field for this vital tag. Again, CMSMS is perfect for the job.
As for staying in my ‘comfort zone’, apart from my recent conversion to Sass, I used to think that if the customer didn’t require content management then it was appropriate to build a static website, and to be honest, it became a bit of a habit. But not any more. I don’t know if anybody else is also still in the routine of creating static websites, but I learned a long time ago that using CMS Made Simple for even the most basic sites provides many advantages. For example, the flexibility and ease of adding functionality to a website by installing and adding modules. And even if the customer doesn’t require it, I know that by utilising the content management capabilities of CMSMS means I can very easily add and update pages, news articles, galleries, slideshows, and more; usually without ever editing a single line of HTML!
Of course, if an end user does require content management, then after a very quick demonstration they quickly realise that CMS Made Simple is not at all daunting and makes updating their content a breeze. And the added benefit of using CMSMS to start with is that if the client later comes along and says they want to expand the site and make it larger and more functional, the foundations are already in place to build upon. Which makes life so much easier.
So when it comes to staying flexible and productive and producing a Website that will not only fulfill, but hopefully exceed, my client’s wishes CMS Made Simple is always my preferred choice. The incredible flexibility, both in the creation and the functionality of a site, combined with a super friendly end user interface make CMSMS the obvious choice for my clients.
As an existing CMSMS user, you already know how good it is for developing awesome websites. But what about your current methods? What type of sites are you using CMSMS for? Are you taking some of your work practices for granted? Are there some processes you could streamline and improve? How do you use CMS Made Simple in your creation process? I’d love to know...
(Originally published in the CMS Made Simple Newsletter)
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Tony Williams is the founder of TDL Web Developments and specialises in creating effective and affordable Web solutions for local businesses in Wirral.
Follow on Twitter @tdlwebs