Written by Smartt Team on March 28, 2009
The problem with traditional websites
Traditionally, websites began with nothing and were built from the ground up, one page at a time. These sites were designed with a web design or illustration program such as InDesign or Adobe Dreamweaver. To make a website, the designer is required to build each page by hand, from scratch every single time. What that means is that if you need 10 pages, the designer needs to make the same page 10 times. In order to maintain the look at feel of each page, the designer must recreate each page over and over again, manually adding links to other pages within your site. The only difference between each page is the content.
This method not only takes a lot of work and a lot of time, but it also often results in inconsistent web design. Sometimes you’ll come across websites that have a homepage that looks one way and the inside pages looking another way. Working in such a piecemeal way makes it easy to make mistakes and to have an inconsistent look at feel to the site.
Another problem with working this way is that it’s impossible to update your site. What do you do if you want to add a page or change some content? You go back to your web developer, pay him a lot of money, and he’ll go back to the drawing board, recreating another page for your site. Now, what would you do if you wanted to add a blog to your site? You can go to any free online blog software, sign up and (pay your web developer to) create a link from your main website to your blog. Now you’ll have a website that has one look to it and a blog that has a completely different look at feel.
This lack of branding can confuse your customers. They might go to your blog and question if it’s really part of your website. Not only that, but it takes them away from your main site where the majority of your content is and where you inform them about your products and services.
Branding saves the day
Branding is the process of creating a look and feel for your products and services that is unique and different from everything else out there. Branding is a promise to your customers. It lets them know who you are, what you stand for and what they can expect from you and your products.
A consistent website instills confidence in your buyers and lets them know that you’re an authority in your field. It helps build a trusting relationship between you and your customers. Using your website as part of your branding will set you apart as professional and as an authority in your field. The problem with traditionally designed websites is that they don’t give you the freedom to change your content and update your site while keeping the consistent branding of your product or service.
Using a CMS
A Content Management System (CMS) solves this problem. When you use a CMS, the look at feel of your website is designed at the beginning. You choose your colors, your logo, your banner and any design and navigational items you want. These elements are written in the code of the website and always stay consistent no matter how many changes you make. In fact, you can add as many pages as you want and change the content whenever you want all while keeping a consistent look and feel. This enhances your brand by letting customers know who you are what you stand for in all your pages throughout your site.
A CMS also makes it easy to add images to your website. If you want to add extra banners or place your logo on all your pages, you can do that easily with a CMS. When it’s time revamp your brand, there’s no need to hire a web developer to completely redo your site. Instead all you need to do is change the pictures or update the colors. It’s that easy.
Instead of working one page at a time, a CMS allows you to work with your whole site as once, making it one whole unit rather than a few pages linked together. If you want to add a blog, that’s no problem with a CMS. Your blog is seamlessly incorporated right into your website, with the same look at feel as the rest of your site. No longer will your customers be confused about your branding or will you have to hire a designer to create a blog that matches the feel of your website.
Branding builds trust with your clients and a consistent website helps build your brand. When you use a CMS you’ll be in a much better position to brand yourself to your clients and to establish yourself as a trustworthy authority in your field.