More and more people are coming to see us about wanting to manage their site’s content. This struck me as very surprising the first time I came across it as I had always had access to my own websites when I worked within organisations. The thought of having to pay someone every time I wanted to make a change or add a new page would have sent a shudder down my spine! Who has the budget for that?!
There are only two instances where this kind of thing is acceptable for me. Firstly, if there is a phased project where you need a site RIGHT NOW and the only way to get that done is to let your website developers do it and get it live within the limited time available. At that point, sure you are going to be charged when you want to make a change because there is not enough time to get the site live, to train you and for you to work with the developers. Phase 2 or 3 of your project will then see you being armed with all the tools you need to manage the new site.
The second instance where I can understand people not wanting a content management system is if you truly are on a limited budget and only need a small brochure style site. At that point, yes pay the upfront fee for a limited number of pages and hope that in 3 months you will not want to make any changes to your site. If you do, keep your fingers crossed that you have the budget to pay your developers again to make said changes.
Get a website for £599!
In the world of SEO, content has always been king and getting new, keyword rich pages onto your site is a great way to help your organic search results. Therefore why would web development companies make it so difficult and expensive for you to do this?
The answer lies in the fact that they offer “5 page websites from £599” or “8 page websites from £899”. Using this pricing strategy for web design is a great way to lure people in and then start charging them any time they want to make a change, add a news story or add new pages. From a client point of view, you may have no other choice as you cannot afford to pay anymore than the upfront fee of £599 but, over the life of your affordable new website you would have paid for a well designed, well structured content management system 5 times over and made all the changes you wanted!
Think long term
If you are interested in doing well in the search engines, becoming an authority in your industry or just regularly updating your site to add new images, stories, products and pages you need to invest upfront in a content management system (CMS) or go back to night school to learn how to edit your site in flat HTML. The cost of a CMS may seem big initially but think about the huge benefits to you and your organisation. Do you want to find yourself in a position where you would like to add a new page or fix spelling mistakes on your site, but the cost to do so is not quite in the budget that month?