Content Management Systems
These types of websites (also known as CMS-based websites) offer ways for you, the business owner, to be able to change the information on your website without referring back to your web designer. Originally built as blogging platforms more and more businesses are using them to form a strong and functional base for their websites.
There are many CMS readily available to download or use through your browser. They are often free or minimal cost. Here are some examples.
CushyCMS is a browser based system that I often use which enables clients to access and alter specific sections of their website. The website is created by the web designer and then coding added to relevant sections to enable the client to update the information as necessary.
WordPress is a popular CMS that offers control over all the content of your website. There are many (at least hundreds) free themes which can often be tweaked to personalise your website further or you can go a little more exclusive and buy a theme. Some designers can offer bespoke themes built especially for you. Free plugins are also available to add even more functionality to your website.
Drupal & Joomla are two other free CMS with themes, plugins and so on that can create a great website for your business.
Larger web design companies often use their own, specially built, content management systems which offer similar functionality but are more personalised for your business.
To use an content management systems you must have a hosting solution that offers something like PHP/MySQL abilities as CMS need a database to operate and some way of you and your website to interact easily with that database. Your web designer will be able to advise you of the best solution for you.
*part of the “Get on the Net” series soon to be published as an ebook