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What is an Editable Website?

What is an Editable Website?

Editable websites, or Content Management Systems (CMS) are tools that allow the client to keep their websites up to date themselves, without having to know website coding. I like to call them editable websites, simply because non- technical people get confused with “Content Management Systems”.

Editable websites are an excellent solution for people who need to keep their website content up to date, on a frequent basis. The issue with normal HTML websites (from the client’s point of view) is that they can become expensive to maintain and keep up to date, as they need to contact a developer to update the content, who may charge anywhere between $40-$120/hr! This means you are constantly paying for your website! I believe it makes much more sense to pay for your website once, then use the money you would have paid a developer (to update your site) on something you need at that time- like print advertising, monthly costs of running your business, etc.

One question/comments get frequently are: “How is it different”? “how does it work”? “sounds complicated, I don’t think i’ll be able to manage it myself”…

the way an editable website works is actually quite simple. The developer takes the design work for the website (either the finished HTML pages or the slices of the web page) and feeds them into an online database. This database is programmed to take the design elements and throw together pages (which allows you to create a new page in seconds), move the design frame down to allow the page to grow when you add more content, and most importantly, allows you to edit the content on the pages.

The page editor is a tool that allows you to manage the content on each page via an easy to use interface. We, for example, build our client page editors to look a lot like Microsoft Word- this is to make it more familiar to the user. All you need to do is log into the admin area of your website (it is protected of course; you don’t want anyone and everyone changing your website content!) click on the page editor function (or sometimes on the page name, it all depends on how your system was built) and begin changing content. When done, you click save and voila! the updated content is now displayed on your website.

Editable websites are more expensive than simple HTML websites. This is because there are 2 types of developers involved- a designer and a programmer. However, your actual per page cost of development is MUCH lower compared to HTML, as the designer just needs to design 1-2 page layouts, and the database will use these to create the new pages. With HTML, the designer needs to create each and every page, which can be expensive. If you are looking to save money in the long run, then an editable website is the best choice. Not only do you never have to pay anyone for website updates again, you control when the update is done… (clients of ours who have worked with other firms and developers understand what I mean about control) Many firms do not give simple updates a priority in their production schedule, so clients end up waiting days, if not weeks, for their simple update to be done.

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