The Art Of Managing Website Content
There are two sides to the coin of website content management; the technical side and the creative side. A successful website has to be appealing to its users both in the way it is presented and in what content it has to offer.
Unfortunately, a lot of people often place too much emphasis on the visual design- in terms of how the website looks, and very little on the quality of the content being offered. In order to make a meaningful impact however, a website has to also pay close attention to the content being offered as well as how to manage that content.
It is also important to bear in mind that great content can take many forms ranging from captivating articles, infographics to even video and a lot of other formats in-between. It is not necessarily the format of the website content that matters, but rather the level of care and thought that goes into creating that content that counts.
The Importance Of Great Content
Great, dynamic content is essential for the success of any website because, let's face it, no one likes a stale website. People will visit a website regularly if it has fresh and interesting content. Great content is what gives a website its unique characteristics that allows frequent visitors to the site to identify with a certain idea or theme that they are drawn to. It enables the site owner to build expectations from visitors who expect a certain level of consistency and quality.
Great content also allows a website to reach out and communicate the website owner's views and provide a platform from which those views can receive feedback from site visitors. But in order to do this, the content has to be engaging and it has to be able to elicit participation from the people who visit the website.
The Creative Side Of Content Management
Creating and delivering great website content is a learned art form. Like all pieces of art, it evolves and gets better with practice. It is however challenging to consistently deliver great content in the long run, and for this reason, a plan is needed in order to manage a sustainable long-term content creation strategy.
Planning is central to success because it gives the content creator a map or guidelines that direct the creation process. It also ensures that the creative process is not random but is directed to ensure consistency. I, for instance, have a timetable for when in the week I will start writing an article for this blog and how may revisions it will undergo before finally publishing. I even pick out the potential topics I will write about in advance. You will be surprised how a little bit of planning goes a long way.
A certain level of creativity is also needed to maintain a long-term content creation strategy. The content creator needs to produce great content sustainably over a long period of time and the content has to stay fresh and relevant in order to retain the interest of site visitors. It helps to draw from one's experiences and use them to inform or entertain the target audience. Placing the target audience in mind and as a central element to planning and creating website content is bound to produce desirable results.
The Technical Side Of Content Management
If a website rarely gets updated or does not have a lot of new pages added often, it is not so critical what technical tools are there in place to facilitate the process. For a regularly updated and changing website, however, this is a critical point. This is where it makes a difference whether the website is static or dynamic.
Static websites are designed only in raw HTML, the technical language of web pages, and require advanced technical skills to edit and update. Dynamic websites on the other hand are equipped with a Content Management System, CMS, that allows for easy update of the website through an easy to use interface, without exposing the content creator or editor to the technicalities of code.
There are several Content Management Systems out there for anyone to take their pick when developing a website and some of the good ones are free and open source. Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal are the topmost three popular and can just be downloaded and installed. Of-course, installing them may not be straight forward for most people but updating and adding content to a website implemented on these platforms is quiet straightforward.
Managing Content In A Nutshell
Proper management of content is an art that brings together several elements. The creative element can come through an individual or it may be a team effort. If a CMS is used on the website, most have inbuilt collaboration tools, allowing multiple people to collaborate in the content creation process. Content management involves both the creation and updating of existing content, and having the right tools in place expedites these processes. Having a definite plan and schedule for the creation of content also ensures consistency and long-term sustainability of the content creation effort.