Whether your business is building its first web site or upgrading an existing site, a Content Management System (or “CMS”) based website like WordPress might be the best investment you could ever make!

Today, many small-to-medium sized businesses often overlook several key elements to creating and maintaining a successful web-presence. Of course, a great looking, well organized and easy-to-navigate site – designed by a professional design studio like Grow Fish Design is critical. The work, however, doesn’t stop there – actually that should be just the beginning!

It’s important that your web site become an integral part of your daily business. It should be just as important as your brick-and-mortar storefront, business cards, or phone number and ad in the “Yellow Pages”.

With the ultra-competitive Internet marketplace of today, it’s not enough to simply launch a web site and ignore it for the next year or two. Static text and web content that isn’t actively updated is…well, boring! Let’s face it, why would a consumer, potential client or site visitor want to come back to your site that looks the same as it did last year or even last week? Frequently updating the content of your site with keywords relevant to your site and industry can dramatically increase your number of visitors and ranking on search engines like Google.

It’s also important to offer your visitors extra features or incentives on your site to improve the user experience and/or interaction – and give your visitors a reason to “click”. Keep in mind that increased visitors, traffic to-and-from your site, industry relevant content and clean web coding are some of the best (and cheapest) SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques you can employ to get an edge in the search engine arena. And as you probably know, the better you do there – means the more visitors and potential customers you’ll have. That translates to more profit for your business!

So, how is a small-medium sized business with a limited web design budget supposed to afford a web site loaded with all of these bells-and-whistles – and offers easy-to-update content? Well, a “CMS” can give you all of that and much more – for surprisingly less cost than you probably think.

What is a “CMS” website anyway?

You’ve probably heard the term “CMS” tossed around before and might even be wondering what in the heck a CMS is after all. In short, a Content Management System (or CMS) is a very powerful application that controls the look, function and editing of a web site using a web-based administration/control panel. Often, they are referred to simply as a “website builder”.

Most CMSs are relatively new – first being developed in the early-mid 1990s for use by large companies for in-house intranet content management and by large portal-based web sites like Yahoo and MSN for Internet content management.

In the last decade, thanks to a boom of more affordable and easy-to-use alternatives, CMSs have become hugely popular. Today, CMSs come in all shapes and sizes – from complicated and expensive enterprise solutions, to simple personal blogs. WordPress is by far the most popular option – it comes in a self-hosted or remote hosted versions. Other popular CMS platforms include Joomla and Drupal. There are even e-commerce specific CMS options like Magento (now called Adobe Commerce).

Why your business can’t afford to NOT have a CMS-based website?

Well, you want to save money and increase your return on investment, right? Of course! A Content Management System (CMS) can do just that. A CMS makes adding new content and editing existing content super easy. It requires no HTML or web page coding knowledge and can be done by anyone using a web-based control panel. Editing text on most CMSs is very similar to using a word processor like Microsoft Word.

This means that the days of having to call your Web Designer for a simple text update on your site are long over. No more waiting for your quick typo to be corrected by your designer, and no more $100 an hour bills! Sounds good, huh? And that’s just the beginning! Most CMSs also allow for much easier and less expensive implementation of advanced features – like shopping carts, message boards, forums, photo galleries, contact forms, e-newsletter signups, polls, member areas, recent news, article comments and ratings, etc.