I’m very excited…about some software. People who know me will be amazed (apart from my rather dubious attachment to Guitar Hero 3 for the Playstation, this has to be a first). I’ve just started building my website using the content management system Drupal and it’s the most fantastic tool for a content writer like me; in fact for anyone thinking of re-doing their company website. I can:
- Produce, edit and input content to my site whenever I like
- Change the images, navigation and menus with ease
- Write news stories that publish at a click
- Include feeds to my blog articles on my home page
- Incorporate a whole host of extra features should I feel so inclined, including forums, newsletters, ecommerce and picture galleries.
I have always thought that content management solutions were for large organisations but now smaller professional companies and individuals can get control and change their content regularly too. Drupal is a free a software package that allows you to ‘easily publish, manage and organise a wide variety of content on a web site’. It’s an excellent framework for a dynamic business website.
Like any web project, a Drupal website still takes effort to set up. As usual, you’ll need a combination of:
- Sound project management and planning to ensure the end result meets your business’ requirements: defining your audience, your message, and specifying the content you’ll need (now and in the future) to get this message across.
- Specialist web design skills: someone who knows how to get your brand across visually on the web.
- Technical expertise: to set up the site using Drupal, configuring it to your requirements, hosting and running it.
- Great content that gets your message across to your readers in a way they’ll understand and respond to.
The beauty of Drupal is that, once your website is up and running, you are in control of the content. You can update and create new content and add new features whenever you like, without having to go through an expensive site redesign process every time. I’ve been banging on about how a website should be dynamic (less like an online brochure and more like a regularly updated magazine) for ages. The process I’ve used to achieve this for my clients has been effective but cumbersome, usually involving a willing web designer updating the text as and when we need it; not the best use of a talented designer’s skills.
I can’t wait to introduce this to my clients. With Drupal the process of building and writing a website is easier. You can collaborate on writing the content, track changes and see To Do lists, all online. I have no doubt this would make the process of building and writing a website much quicker and more manageable for a busy small business.
Finally, websites have caught up with blogs and become easy and cheap to update. This is a whole new world. It puts content right where it should be; at the heart of any business web project, whatever the size of your business.
Do not miss this opportunity. Whether it is Drupal or another solution, if you are thinking about re-doing your website, why not invest in content management.
Anyway, must split. Got content to write.
I really welcome your feedback and will amend or add to the site if anyone comes up with useful suggestions.