Web Content Management Systems
Manage your website easily
We specialize in building sites with excellent web content management systems (web CMS or WCMS), applications that provide easy-to-use tools for creating, editing, and managing website content.
We work with a wide range of systems, whether developing new sites or integrating with and extending existing sites. Every site is different. We can help you figure out which tool is right for you.
If you would like to learn how Quinn Interactive can help you use a web CMS to manage your website, give us a call at (415) 296-9000. Or fill out our Free Consultation form and we’ll contact you right away.
Benefits of web CMSs
- Easy content editing. Most web CMS enable non-technical people to edit page content, through a graphical web editor. Graphical web editors make it easy to format text, add images, and create hypertext links without needing to know HTML.
- Separation of content, design, and functionality. At the heart of any web CMS is the concept of separating the page content (the words and content images) from page design and site logic. Templates contain all of the page design, including the layout, navigation, and other common elements. When a new page uses a template, only the page content needs to be added. The CMS automatically handles the task of merging the page content into the design template.
- Design consistency. When changes are needed to a common web page element, such as the site footer, those changes can be applied just once to the template. All pages using that template then reflect that change automatically.
- Self-management of your website. A web developer sets up a web CMS and builds the web page templates. A good CMS, however, enables non-technical folks to administer the website and make content changes, add new sections and pages, upload images and files, and other day-to-day tasks.
When is it right to use a web CMS?
Websites always change. They need to change to stay relevant, accurate, and up-to-date. Whether it’s the page content or the common page elements, web CMS help make those changes easy to manage.
Some argue that small sites won’t change, and therefore don’t need a web CMS. We’ve found, however, that all sites require changes from time to time. Web CMS make those changes possible without having to hire a web developer.
Many think web CMSs cost too much. However, many web CMSs are free and open source. Total cost over the life of the website is significantly less with a web CMS despite the upfront development cost.
- Web-based administration. Once the web CMS is set up, site administrators use a web interface for content editing as well as administrative tasks, such as adding and removing users, setting up automated publishing, viewing usage reports, and assigning permissions.
- Permissions management. Depending the particular CMS, groups of users may be granted permissions for editing, review, approval, or full administration. Typically this can be done on a site, section, folder, or even a page-by-page basis.
- Reusable content. Most web CMS allow content to be referenced on multiple pages. For example, a site map might show the titles of all pages on a site. If a title changes, the site map automatically reflects it.
- Reusable page elements. In addition to standalone page templates, common elements like footers or banners can be made into modules and then included in many templates.
- Pre-built website features, plug-ins, or modules. Most CMS have libraries of add-ons or modules, like tag clouds, send-to-a-friend tools, image galleries, and forums.
- Workflow. Often the person who publishes web page updates isn’t the one who edits the page or reviews the changes. Workflow sets rules for who can edit, review, and publish web content. Notifications can be sent when workflow steps are pending and/or completed.
- Versioning. Many CMS tools allow for previous versions of web pages to be archived and easily restored. Some tools also let you compare versions.
- Page locking. In a CMS with page locking, once a web page is checked out for editing, it cannot be overwritten by other editors until it is checked back in.
- Pre-publish or staging environments. A staged site is a duplicate of the live site, but private. It’s handy for viewing changes without affecting the live site.
Important considerations in choosing a web CMS
- Hosted vs. self-managed. Hosted web CMS are available usually for a recurring subscription fee. This model is also referred to as “software as a service” (SaaS). With a hosted CMS, all software maintenance is taken care of, and often website hosting is available, letting you concentrate on building your website and entering content. Alternatively, other web CMS are downloadable at no cost or for a one-time price, but require installation and periodic upgrades.
- Open source vs. proprietary. Open-source web CMSs are usually free and supported by large developer communities. Documentation, however, is often lacking. Proprietary systems are supported and maintained by a central organization, usually for a price.
- Dynamic vs. static pages. Most web CMSs store page content and templates in a database, then build the web pages on the fly as web users navigate to them. Other web CMSs merge templates with page content ahead of time, so that static pages are served from the web server. Static pages offer faster page-load times and the ability to serve more simultaneous users, but the publishing process can be time consuming. A few CMSs can give you the best of both worlds, through customizable full or partial page caching or their dynamic content.
SilverStripe is a programming framework and web content management system (CMS), built on the model-view-controller (MVC) design pattern. SilverStripe works best for medium-sized sites requiring complex relationships between data types, custom functionality, or precise control over the visual display. Quinn Interactive, Inc. is an official certified SilverStripe partner. This strategic alliance means that when QI works on your SilverStripe-based Web CMS or Web application implementation, we do so with the full backing and technical support of SilverStripe's headquarters in New Zealand.