Content managers are an optimal solution to have a presence on the web or start projects in which different people need to communicate via the Internet. Although some of them like WordPress o Drupal are well known, the open source world offers us many other options that we will talk about in the next article.
Let's start by explaining what content managers are
The usefulness of content managers
Making a website is easy. Making a website that has visitors is complicated.
You have to take into account design guidelines, compatibility with different devices and that search engines "like" it. It must also be made accessible to people with visual and motor disabilities and, if multimedia content is included, hearing. Finally, all this has to be transformed into code instructions.
Then comes the content. You need to choose certain keywords that you think can arouse interest in the potential audience and write articles that include it enough times, but not too much so that the search engine's algorithm decides that it is being manipulated.
And, let's not forget to comply with state privacy regulations.
In practice, doing all this would require one or more professionals. What content managers do is freeing ourselves from design and coding tasks allowing us to focus on content. Basically we just have to upload it to a server, fill in some data, select the graphic aspect and we can now dedicate ourselves to writing articles.
In the case of the most popular content managers, many hosting providers already offer plans in which they are installed and they are the ones who take care of the updates.
When to use content managers?
Keep in mind that content managers is a generic concept. We mean tany application that allows separating the process of adding content to the web from the page design process. Since every page is unlikely to have its own layout, always having to write the same code instructions is highly impractical. That is to say that even if we choose For a site written from scratch, you will likely use a content management system as well.
So let's reformulate the question to When to use a predesigned content manager?
In an ideal world, it is best to hire a professional web designer, programmer, and content writer. Then buy a good hosting plan and invest large sums in advertising for search engines and social networks. But, we know that this is almost never possible.
Content managers are not the best; the most complete They require a lot of resources to run and come with features that you will probably never use. They are not exempt from security problems either.
The latter I experienced in my own flesh; Years ago I put together a website for a business with one of the best known when it had just branched off from another project. They had a security bug that someone took advantage of on my page to pish Bank of America clients. I ended up having to change the domain first and losing the client later. I do not name it because they fixed that problem years ago and did not have catastrophic failures again. Anyway, I never used that content manager again.
But, even if they are not the best they are good enough. That is why much of the web uses this system.
The objection that many tend to make, at this point, is why bother to have a website when social networks exist. It is more or less the same as wondering why buy a fishing rod if what attracts the fish is the bait and the hook.
We talked a long time ago in LinuxAddicts about what It happened to CollegeHumor. They relied on the popularity of Facebook to distribute their content, but Facebook decided to change the rules of the game with which they ended up losing almost all their followers, laying off a large part of their staff and selling for much less than what had been bought.
Social networks are very useful to attract visitors, but, it is the websites that keep them with us as long as the experience of visiting them is worth it. And with the open source content managers that we will discuss in the next article, providing it is much easier.