CMS as a starting point for new web designers

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Website Design |

Most experienced web designers don’t solely use a CMS to create websites, but many use it as a starting point. Once basic design has been created using a CMS, the details can be finalised with more advanced software or with HTML coding. Whether you use a CMS to create your entire website or just as a place to start, these nifty programmes have brought the art of web design to the masses. What is a content management system? For those people not familiar with the world of web design, a content management system (CMS) is a programme that allows a person to create a website without having to worry about all the bits of programming that go into the background. These programmes take all the complicated aspects of web design out of the equation and make it easier for just about anyone to get a website up and running. There are numerous free ones available for download that can help you make straightforward websites in a couple of minutes without all the hassle of having to code in HTML or worry about whether or not your links are working. But is a CMS the answer to every web designer’s dream? The pros and cons The first and obvious advantage would be simplicity. A CMS makes the whole process of web design a thousand times easier and allows you to focus on the design and look of the website rather than on all the details. This means you can spend more time making sure that your website attracts and holds website visitors’ attention rather than worrying about whether it works correctly. This does come at a price, however. Most CMS allow you almost total freedom of design – but there are almost always elements that you won’t be able to customise. Some CMS’ offer you the chance to edit the code manually to get around this, but not all do. If you are not too fussed on having control over every little element of the web design, then a CMS is the answer for you. But if you want a truly customised website for your business, get a professional web designer. Contact WSI for web design in South Africa. Please follow and like...

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Content management systems make web design easy

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Website Development |

Creating a website from scratch using HTML and CSS coding is all good and well for the experts or those people that have time, but for newbies to the web design world or people without a lot of time, a content management system (CMS) can make a huge difference. A CMS is a programme that helps you create, organise, store and link all the elements (pictures, pages, sounds, etc) of a website – without having to fiddle with any actual coding. Free CMS are available online There are a number of free CMS’ available for download. These have been around for some time and are the tried and trusted programmes of many a professional web designer. Joomla is perhaps the most well-known CMS out there. It is easy to use and allows you to create web pages and web applications. As open source software, the community attached to Joomla also gives you access to Joomla experts who can give you a lot of advice and guidance. Drupal is second to Joomla and is used by millions of people and communities to power their websites. Easy to use with customisable templates, Drupal allows you to create design a simple website in a matter of minutes without any hassle. SilverStripe is another open source CMS that allows users to create an entire website in a matter of minutes. The online community offers a variety of templates, applications and other add-ons to make any web designer’s dreams come true. WordPress is not technically made for websites, but is a powerful CMS for creating and maintaining blogs of all kinds. WordPress allows users to upload blogs, change styles, manage comments and much more – all from a simple interface that is easy to use. These are just some of the CMS programmes available online at no charge. Most of these programmes are open source and have a bustling community behind them making changes and enhancing the capabilities on a daily basis. For anyone new to web design, these CMS programmes are the perfect place to start. Want a truly unique website, but don’t want to mess with CMS or other website builders? Contact WSI for web design in South Africa. Please follow and like...

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How to protect your search rankings with SEO

Posted by on Aug 12, 2010 in SEO |

One of the biggest fears for web site owners that have long relied on search traffic for new business is a sudden drop in search engine rankings.  Some webmasters are experiencing this very situation as a result of Google’s recent update. In most cases, it takes a lot for a tenured web site to mess up its search visibility.  In other situations, it doesn’t take much at all. Avoiding mistakes that result in exclusion, penalties and more often confusion for search engines are often overlooked.  Don’t fall victim to carelessness and ignorance when it comes to maintaining the search visibility achieved from years of content and online marketing by avoiding these common mistakes: Website Redesign Probably one of the most common situations that result in fluctuations in search visibility involve significant changes to a web site’s design, content, internal linking relationships and the new use of Flash, Ajax or JavaScript for navigation. Search engines copy websites and the links between pages. Think of it as taking a picture of your site. If you change your site from what the search engine has a copy of, the new form might not include the same content, keywords and crawlable links. The worst case scenario is when a company decides to redesign the website and over write all previous SEO work. Upon finding that search visibility has completely tanked, they call up the SEO agency and demand an explanation. Solution: When significant changes are planned for the company website, work with your SEO to identify how the new design will impact search visibility. Have them map out and prioritize the implications of page layout, content and keyword usage, navigation, links and redirects. New Content Management System (CMS) Along the lines with a new website design, changing content management systems can create a lot of confusion for search engines. Many companies have had websites long enough that the legacy CMS used to launch the site no longer serves the needs of the organization. Large companies may find that the hodgepodge of CMS used by different business units and acquired companies is inefficient and a common content management system would better serve the organization. A change in the CMS means a change in the templates that format web pages, navigation and oftentimes the URL structure of pages.  It’s common that major changes in content are rolled out along with new website software and that can spell confusion for search engines. URLs that change can also create confusion. For example, web page file names that previously ended with .asp and now end with .aspx are perceived as completely different. Solution: While the IT department or web developer will understand the importance of redirecting old URLs to their...

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