The recent boom in self-made websites has been in part fuelled by the increase in readily available programs that are easy to use and give great results.
These programs are often based around content management systems that allow users with little or basic knowledge to build and maintain their own website, a massive advantage for small business and those just starting out.
So if you’re looking to start your own content managed website, what are the 10 essential features that you should look out for?
1. Good-looking design
Always try to look out for a content management system (CMS) that is well designed and good-looking itself as this will often mean that the templates that they have for you to choose from, and therefore the finished result, will be of a higher standard.
2. Intuitive navigation
One of the big technological changes that we’ve seen in recent years is the improvement of intuitive navigation, and the care that companies now take to ensure that their programs are easy to use.
So if you can’t find your way quickly and easily around the CMS site, start looking for another one. Especially as, if their own site is hard to navigate, your one probably would be too.
3. WYSIWYG editing
WYSIWYG – an acronym for What You See Is What You Get – allows people with little or no coding experience to design their web pages easily and effectively.
Without a WYSIWYG, it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to get the look that you’re aiming for.
4. Picture management
As pictures tell a thousand words, having an effective and easy to use picture and media manager is a must.
Ideally your CMS should allow you to do a bit of in-site editing and should give you a few different options when it comes to placing the images on the page.
5. Drag and Drop
We’re probably all a bit spoilt for choice now when it comes to moving files around the place, but for many, not having a ‘drag and drop’ system would now be unthinkable. So if your CMS has this capability it’s a big bonus.
6. Tips and advice
If you’re just starting out in the world of content managed websites, you’ll probably need a little bit of help and advice to get you started, so try to go for a site that has its own forum for connecting with other users.
Not only is this a great way to get inspiration, you can also ask other users to have a look at your site and give you their opinions as to how it can be improved.
If anything does go wrong, you’re going to need easy to follow support to get your site back up and running, so a CMS with a dedicated support team is a must.
Test their response times by submitting a technical question before you sign up, that way you’ll know if they’ll be there in a crisis.
Keeping your website nice and secure is a priority as unwanted infiltration can cause havoc with your business.
Always change your automatic password, and try not to use anything generic like ‘admin123’ or ‘password’.
Having a CMS that conforms and molds to your needs makes building a site a lot easier, so having a little bit of flexibility is important.
It’s especially crucial when it comes to layout, as some CMS sites have very rigid structures, resulting in all sites built on their platform looking the same.
10. Faultless functionality
Is intuitive navigation, endless flexibility, 24-hour support, great looking templates as well as faultless functionality too much to ask? Well maybe, but you should try to get as close to all of these qualities as you can in order to ensure that you build yourself a website that you’re 100% happy with.
We advise you take a look at WordPress, which is a great CMS and web development too.