Advanced options for managing your website copy

  • Dreamweaver: This is a professional-grade software package, and it costs roughly $400. It offers a full complement of website coding tools – from text changing capabilities, to swapping out images, to making site-wide changes. There’s much more of a learning curve and much more of a chance that you’ll accidentally make a change incorrectly and mess up your site because of the increased functionality of the tool. So, if you decide to go this way, be sure to learn the software well, and to make a clean backup copy of your site before you undertake any major revisions, so that you won’t be entirely in trouble if you make a mistake.

The other issue that you’ll run into with Dreamweaver is that their built-in uploading software module, which transfers your website files from your computer to your website host, isn’t always the most reliable. So, it’s often a good idea to also invest in a piece of FTP (file transfer protocol) software and to use that to transfer your files. For PCs, I recommend Cute FTP, and for Macs I recommend Transmit.

  • Content Management Systems (CMS): A CMS is a piece of web-based software that allows you to log in to your own website and edit the text content. From a user’s perspective, it’s a very simple system to use. But, it appears in the Advanced tactics section because it requires a lot of setup and implementation when you’re creating the site to make this tactic work well.
  • I have yet to see a solid, problem-free implementation of a content management system that I’d recommend for my small business clients.

    Many of the better CMS’s are very technical, and require the services of a specialist to set up and develop. These specialists often busy, and if you can get on their schedule, their services are expensive.

    Some CMS’s also require a hefty set-up fee or a large monthly payment just to use the system – and this, especially when paired with the cost of hiring a specialist to design a site and program it into the CMS, will often price it out of a small business’s budget.

    CMS’s can also limit the design options that you have with your site. Some content management systems only allow the navigation to be designed on the left, for example. They can also make it more difficult to redesign your site.

    I have, however, begun hearing good things about WordPress. I don’t have a lot of details on that at this time, but will probably be writing more on it in the future.