August 5th, 2017 • Steve Forcash

Quite possibly the easiest way to update your website ever!

We haven’t minced our words. We are not huge fans of WordPress and neither are most of our clients. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve started working with a new client whose previous developer gave them a WordPress site that they hated working with, or simply didn’t know how to update.

While we’ll happily work within the WordPress realm if there’s a reason to do so, we’ve recently unveiled a new Content Management System (CMS) that for 90% of our clients, is the best thing since sliced bread.

When we looked at what our clients’ were using their CMS for, without question, the overwhelming answer was updating some written content, switching out images and occasionally adding new pages and changing links throughout the site

Why this CMS is better than WordPress:

Simply put, it’s easier. Much, much easier. When we looked at what our clients’ were using their CMS for, without question, the overwhelming answer was updating some written content, switching out images and occasionally adding new pages and changing links throughout the site. These are the 3 areas are where our new CMS really shines.

Our platform shows you a live version of your page with the simple addition of an edit bar at the top of the screen. Want to change some text on your page? Just start typing. Our CMS uses an inline editor, meaning you can literally click on a section of text on your page and just start typing. Images? Simply click on the image icon, choose a different image or upload a new one. Links? Simply highlight your text, hit the link button and copy and paste your link.

Our platform is intuitive. We can teach a 5 year old to use it in 5 minutes and we HAVE taught 70 year olds to use it in 5 minutes.

Okay, it’s easy. What else?

Security

For one, it’s secure. One of the ongoing hassles with WordPress is that it requires constant updates to keep it secure. Forgot to update? A lot of websites have been compromised that way. Or maybe you did update but are now finding one of the plugins you’re using is broken.

Long story short, our CMS platform connects through the back-end to allow you to make updates to the site, but we don’t build the site on the CMS. This allows us to build out completely secure, custom back-end code without the need for you, or us, to worry about maintenance to the CMS.

No more battling with pages, posts, categories, etc

Each client we work with is different. Their needs are different. Their content is different. Our CMS allows us to build the file structure and flow of your information in the way that makes sense for you.

Effectively, with this CMS, everything is a page on your site. In almost all cases, you’ll have the core pages that we build out plus template pages that you can use to add additional pages to your site as needed. You’ll simply choose to add a new page, name it and then start typing (or copy and pasting) your written content onto the new page. Insert some images, add some links, rinse, repeat.

It’s a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, but this isn’t WIX or SiteBuilder or Squarespace.

This is an important distinction that I’m not sure a non-technical user would get. WIX, Squarespace and the other “DIY” platforms have made vast improvements to their editors over the last few years, but at the end of the day, it’s still a theme based platform, each with their own, proprietary means of getting your content onto the page. In most cases, they spit out extremely horrible back-end code which means slower load times, more difficult search engine optimization, very little or no control over server configurations and at the end of the day, you’re married to their system and all the good and bad that come with it.

Our CMS platform, while offering an experience that’s just as easy (if not significantly easier) on your side, doesn’t force us, as designers and developers, into using anyone else’s platform. We custom develop your site in the way that makes sense for you, your content and your business. We simply use the CMS as an add-on tool for you to keep it updated without having to pay us or someone else to do it.

A Quick Look at Updating a Page:

Step 1: Login using the username & password we’ve sent you:

Step 2: Select the page you’d like to edit:

The example here is for a single page site so only the one page is listed. On your site, you’d see all of the pages, labeled however you want.

Step 3: See a live version of your page with an edit bar at the top and editable areas outlined with a dashed line

Step 4: Make whatever changes you need and hit save!

No need to make this more complicated than it is. Simply make the edits to your site right inline and hit the save button when you’re done. No complicated administrative area. No more figuring out where your content is.

It’s really that simple

Of course there are more features and benefits we haven’t covered here in interest of keeping it brief and to the point - Create new pages, duplicate sections and much more.

At the end of the day, we’ve tried scores of content management systems over the years, from the big guys like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal to the smaller guys like Concrete 5 and others. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Does this system make sense for everyone? Nope. If your site has a major eCommerce component or the need for users to be able to login and for you to be able to manage those users, this probably isn’t the right platform for you. If you have what is primarily a marketing site with mostly static content and blog posts, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option.

See it in action

Talk about your project?

Call us at (925) 999-5294 or shoot us an email at info-at-4sdesignstudio.com