True North Custom Senior UX Designer Eric Clarkson discusses ways that content management systems help marketers manage their organizations’ websites—no coding experience required.
Examples of content management systems include WordPress, Drupal, and HubSpot. These systems vary in complexity, but typically consist of three main components: a database to house information, functionality provided by developers, and templates designed to shape the presentation of the content that comprises an organization’s dynamic site.
“A CMS helps you manage all aspects of your dynamic site,” Eric says. “It gives you the ability to enter text and graphic information, gives developers a place to insert functionality, and gives designers a place to set up layout templates for all of the content that’s generated.”
The CMS Advantage
According to Eric, content management systems provide three primary benefits:
Ease of use—When organizations maintain a static website, content isn’t generated dynamically through a database. Content generation is a manual process that requires the expertise of developers with HTML knowledge and access to a server with file-transfer-protocol access.
Websites developed using a CMS are different. These systems eliminate the need for coding and designing every piece of content that is posted. Depending on the complexity of the system, marketers with no HTML experience can upload content. In many cases, uploading and formatting content to a CMS is as simple as using a word processor.
Scalability—Scalable content marketing strategies are designed to accommodate growth. CMSs support scalability in several ways. Because CMSs are easy to use, more than one person on a hospital’s marketing team can upload content. Instead of funneling everything through a developer or designer, multiple team members can share web maintenance responsibilities. You can decide who needs access to the CMS based on job responsibilities and designate secure accounts for each user.
Additionally, many CMSs have built-in scheduling functions. These tools can help ensure projects stay on track by giving marketers a snapshot of where each piece of content currently is in the writing/editing/publishing process, and allowing individual users to manage their deadlines and day-to-day tasks.
Consistency—Because CMS templates are used to upload content, content is formatted and styled automatically. This ensures that each piece of content adheres to design brand standards.
With a CMS, you can also use the templates created for your dynamic site to streamline the creation of emails. To make the most of this functionality, your template should contain a field for each content type. You can then copy text and photos into emails that can be distributed to your subscriber list via an automated email marketing tool, such as MailChimp.
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