Web Design Choices

Content Management Systems

The purpose of a content managed system is to give the client full or partial control over the content of their website without any need to request changes by the designer.

Information which is input by the client is usually stored in a database on the same server that hosts the pages of the site. Instead of the links on the site pointing to static pages they point to a container page which is connected to the database.

Links and database queries

The links will each contain a query which sets the parameters which the database acts on and then returns the data associated with those parameters. In different circumstances they may request a single article id number - which might correspond to a page on a particular subject; or it may be a complex query which in, for instance, a jewellery store might request all necklaces, which are in a Celtic style, and which are coloured gold. Users may be given a menu with such options preselected, or they may be given a search form.

The administration panel

The content management is done via an administration section on the website in a passworded area. This will usually have a variety of forms which will list existing pages and allow editing of them, as well as allowing new pages to be created. Where necessary there will be an image upload facility which may allow automatic resizing where there is a need for standardised sizes of product photographs and thumbnail versions for lists.

Content management systems vary in complexity - the simplest ones will have the least facilities but will be the easiest for an untrained user to administer, whereas some more complex ones allow more advanced formatting and image insertion but may require more training and awareness of the underlying systems to manage effectively.

If you have any questions about what a content management system can do for you and how it can be tailored to your needs then please contact us and we'll be happy to discuss it with you.