Saturday, March 7, 2015

Content Management Systems in modern web design

Content Management Systems in modern web design by Robert Sheppard, lead in-house designer at web design Cambridge.

Content Management Systems have transformed the way both designers and website owners approach the internet in terms of design and their technical requirements and expectations and how these can create a better more rewarding experience for the end user. Before Content Management Systems entered the horizon of modern web design, websites were static entities. More precisely, website designers would design and engineer the website according to the instructions of the website owner. If further changes were required once the website was live, for example new images, pages or edits to copy,  then the web designer would be re-hired to make these changes as only they had the necessary technical skills and knowledge of how the internet worked, image editing applications and programming languages such as html, css, javascript, php and mysql – together with a solid understanding of FTP (File transfer protocol).

Of course it was soon realised that site owners would want to keep their website up to date quite regularly for all their users, encouraging return visits, recommendations and possibly the addition of new products on an online store environment encouraging further purchases. So the advent of what is now known widely in internet terms as Content Management Systems was soon to appear. Content Management Systems combine the front end visuals of any website with a backend database to store the page content, image locations etc etc and a website administration area. The website designer is employed to build the website in this more technically advanced way so the website owner can make any changes agreed through the website administration area. The website owner only will have access to this privileged resource and they will be given a unique username and password so they may access this administration area and make changes on their website any time they wish.

The website designer may still be hired for more advanced changes requiring programming. The changes available to the website owner depend on what sort, how advanced the Content Management System is and what features/functions were agreed. It is very important that the website designer and the owner of the website have a detailed meeting upfront to discuss and decide exactly what elements of the website they want the freedom and ability to access and change them selves. For instance they may just need to edit the type on any page, they may want to be able to add new pages and therefore new navigation elements to lead to these new pages, they may wish to upload and add new images themselves. For instance there may be a banner or slideshow 100% wide on the homepage which features say 3-4 images and text captions which revolve automatically for the end-user.

The website owner may wish to upload and be able to swap images themselves and to be able to edit these captions. One of the issues for the web design build is if the owner is uploading images themselves do they have the knowledge and technical know to upload the image in the correct file type ad be able to crop the image so its is the correct dimensions to be in keeping with the original layout. The Content Management System must make this process as easy as possible. Some popular applications, especially the very well known wordpress Content Management System already have these functions programmed in making it a very popular choice for any web designer. It also uses PHP and mysql which are the most popular choice of programming languages.

Please do consider web design Cambridge for all your business online requirements.