Web Sites and Content Management Systems

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Transcript

Okay, now website, the thing that will cause more people to tear out their hair over time running a company sit just about anything. Websites look easy. They're hard. They're hard for technical reasons. They're hard because the technologies keep shifting. And they're really hard because making decisions and coming to agreement on what you want to say, is hard.

At the same time they've become the smile to the world, your first impression for your business is very, very, very likely your website. So I'm going to talk a bit about possible platforms, possible approaches to getting up and going. This is not the last advice you'll ever get or need. You'll probably end up getting and using professional help with the web. But I want you to armed and informed at least at the starting point with your business. I want to talk about websites.

Generically and in web content, that's the term and various content management systems and web platforms that are readily accessible for small or medium virtual and cloud minded business content management system, frequently abbreviated as CMS. So if I say that, apologies, I'm okay. It used to be that we used special programs to edit websites, people still do. And the more complex a website, the more likely it is that that'll happen. The probably best known big dog of web editing is Adobe's Dreamweaver program, which is wonderful and can do all sorts of stuff for the website. I've got it because we subscribe to Adobe's wonderful, Creative Suite.

I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. For what we do with our website, it's not just that the tool is big and complicated, it's actually that I want to be able to change our website as agile as possible. And my experience with sites that get complicated or that are done with a heavyweight desktop tool, is eventually one person knows how it's put together. One person knows how to touch it, and it ends up becoming a major piece of their job. The reality of your website is you won't change it as often as you think. But I would encourage you to try to set yourself up for the ability to change it the ability to add content, the ability to respond to market conditions as much as possible.

And frankly, in in a mobile world. In a world where tablets and mobile phones are fully capable of computers, the web based content management systems start to have even more efficient manages over desktop solutions. I'm not knocking Dreamweaver. It's a wonderful program for small, medium growing virtual cloud based businesses. My experience and advice is that a web based CMS has some substantial advantages. I'll explain what I think those advantages are.

Let me recap something from talking about domain hosting though, I said I really advise you to get a lamp Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, LAMP stack, web hosting arrangement. One of the reasons one of the many reasons for that is that most of the major content management systems that are available and free run on that LAMP stack. So you actually want your domain hosting company or domain hosting arrangement to have MySQL databases possibly another kind Postgres, but most likely my sequel, which is relational database, Running on your hosting company up there in the sky. You also want to make absolutely sure that your domain hosting company and your domain hosting package includes PHP which is a very capable wicked fast, widely widely used programming language. many if not most of the content management systems use PHP. So what I think of is the sort of three most common I'm betting the numbers would back me up three most common content management systems are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

On WordPress started life as a blogging platform blog weblog. People who started blogging and adding entries started really generating more and more complex websites and in nutshell, WordPress, you may have seen this floating around in the world, WordPress is really grown up to become quite a content management package. WordPress, as far as I understand it, technically, is PHP scripts and a MySQL database on the back end, and usually an Apache server on the front end. There may be other options but in a nutshell, run on the web hosting package, I recommend it. And there's some design resources and tool resources for WordPress that makes it wonderful. Joomla is another common option.

I've used Joomla quite a bit, both recently and over the years. And then another terrifically capable site, or sorry, Site Content Management System is Drupal. I don't know what's with all the goofy names in open source world, but there you go, I believe. And I'm pretty sure I'm right about this, that the US White House website whitehouse.gov runs on an open source content management system. I'm pretty sure it's actually a Drupal site. So I'm betting they get more traffic than we do on getting betting to get more traffic than you do.

So don't let anyone tell you that an open source CMS can't actually handle the load on why content management platform. I'll try to boil it down to two fairly simple things. One is editing and changing the content on your site in WordPress, and Drupal and Joomla is something you can do through a web browser. Or frequently through tools, especially mobile tools that are made to talk to those content management systems. I've seen people edit their website, on their phone. You may think you never need to do that.

But boy is having that capability. Kind of cool. Does that open up some of the world? I've seen people make blog posts to their WordPress blog. Right from an event you know, here's the picture. Here's what I'm doing Off you go.

And by the way, WordPress, don't underestimate there are professional businesses whose web content content is what they do big ones that actually run on WordPress. I'm pretty sure that Giga home runs on WordPress and that's a that's a big booming home com great, fascinating reading. It's a big booming thing started as a blog, in a sense, professional one, but I'm pretty sure they still run on WordPress. So as with Drupal can handle the load. These are just a couple of quick screenshots. That's a edit post screen from WordPress.

It runs in a browser. This is a screenshot of it, but it runs in a browser. If I had a WordPress site, I could log in in the browser, say I want to edit a post or I want to create a new post and I'd be in the game of adding or changing content. To my site or rearranging pages and menus and relationships on my site on Drupal, edit and manage the site directly through a web browser, you know, Joomla, edit and manage the site directly through a web browser. So that's one of the big reasons I think a content management system has some real advantages. The word the phrase kind of tells you more broadly what it's going to do for you.

It's not just about making pages, it's actually about managing content. So simple minded example. If you've got a seasonal aspect to your business, if it's Christmas, you pop out Christmas sales, and you do a whole bunch of work creating pages to talk about Christmas sales. With a content management system. You could say, here's the Christmas stuff. I want it to expire and disappear from the site.

In January, oh, PS I might want it to reappear so I can start editing it again. come late. November next year. So it actually helps you automate the management of those pieces of content, the writing the images, the video assets that make up a compelling site. So it's one of the big reasons through a web browser and management of content. The second thing that I think makes that a solution, well worth considering, especially in the early days of getting your business off the ground, is that you can buy design templates that make WordPress or Drupal or Joomla look terrific.

So you've got a starting point that's not a blank page, you've got a starting point. That's a theme or a template that gets you close to the look and feel that you're after. And that you can then sort of customize and take from there. I'm just clicking it random into a I really don't want to download that theme. into a WordPress theme. Same thing exists for Drupal.

Same thing exists for Joomla. It's not to say that you won't hire a designer to do a custom website for you someday. But initially and early on, I would say getting a good looking site is better than a lame sight. And if you can't afford custom design, taking a template, customizing the template to your business, replacing the logo, changing the colors, replacing the images, is a very cost effective, Quick Start. Early on we did template templates and modified them for sale usually calm as the business grew over time. We started hiring the design expertise to do something even more tailored to us.

But content management systems aren't so complex that you can't do a heck of a job that yourself my wife's my wife's business which is on meal delivery and Chef training and she Probably holler at me if she watches this video sits on WordPress. We pick the template that she liked. I installed the template for I trained her for a couple of hours on how to use that WordPress template. And then I was able to do this. And she edits and changes her site herself. She hasn't asked me for help with a WordPress site for months, which is terrific.

She's in control of what she wants to do with her website and with her business. So I would encourage you to look at your web hosting package, see if installation of one of those one or more of those packages is available. For example, my my buddies here at media temple actually have a one click application of WordPress and Drupal meaning if I put a new domain there, I could click start, click a few other screens and presto I'd have a Drupal bare bare bones starting Drupal site Goblin starting WordPress site not to confuse you, but WordPress is also a company that provides hosted WordPress sites. See my earlier discussion about domain names you want to control and own your own domain name. You want your website in your control at your domain. So godless WordPress and what they do for bloggers but for your business, only control your own website and you can put like essentially a copy of the WordPress web application where the WordPress scripts on your host on your web hosting service and log in and edit your website go to temp.

One last note, there are some emerging content management systems that are a little less open source put them anywhere a little more capable. I've been impressed with the design work I see out of them. So I'm putting out there for you to take a look at expression engine looks highly capable to me Squarespace Gorgeous. You, you end up pointing your web service to Squarespace. So it gets a little confusing. We've got a, we've got a business that's web hosted at Squarespace.

We control the domain, we told that domain name server, the Web Part of this is actually over there. I'm still in control of the domain. So I was able to do that. So not contradicting the notion of being in control of your own domain and your own hosting. But I would take a look at the two of those. last note about websites and CMS is that's changing really rapidly.

We're not just accessing websites on square computers that sit on desks anymore. An increasing percentage of everybody's traffic is coming from mobile phones. It's coming from tablets. There's there's a lot of design challenges to that for people who design websites because phones are typically held like this. monitors like that. tablets are some sighs in between the phrase that's a popular way to describe what everyone in the world wants, but that's very hard to achieve is adaptive design.

Meaning a website that looks one way on a PC and a different way on a tablet because it looks right for each device. Some of those cutting edge content management systems have adaptive design essentially out of the box. So if your audience is likely to be mobile heavy, go take a look at Squarespace and expression engine. Because adaptive design templates for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, I'm sure they're out there. I don't think they're necessarily that common, or necessarily that simple to administer yet. So I hope that gives you an idea of the landscape in my recommendations for websites.

Get a content management system and start with the template. Don't start with a blank page and design it yourself unless you're a designer. If you can afford A professional web designer, terrific, you might actually have them design your site on WordPress or Drupal or Joomla. Think of it as designing your site template on those things. In the long run, for you to be able to edit and change your own website is a really, really important capability. I can't count the number of clients I've talked to who feel handcuffed by their inability to change their own website.

There's no reason to be stuck in that until you get to a much bigger scale. So take a look at those CMS is and make sure that your hosting company can handle them. That's it.

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