Websites constructed using tables are almost unheard of now, similarly, plain html pages that require your designer or developer to change and upload for you on your behalf are on the way out.
Websites need to be dynamic and content should be kept fresh with regular updates of news. You need to be in control of your content and have the ability to easily change it without the need for any special software.
A good content management system will allow you to update your text and images easily, creating standards compliant web pages. You should also have the ability to add new pages to sections as needed.
Good content management systems will allow you to add the following pre styled elements to your website whilst retaining a continuity of styling on all pages:
• Heading 1
• Heading 2
• Heading 3
• List items
• Bold, italic
Image positioning, floating left and right is also important with any margins and borders automatically taken care of. Changing the size of an image is also needed, you won’t be able to make the image any bigger than the original due to stretching but you should be able to make them smaller and the image proportions should remain intact.
You will need to have access to add and edit meta tags in a very simple way such as your:
• meta title
• meta description
• meta keyword (not very useful nowadays)
When images are added to your website appropriate ALT text should be added to describe the image and your CMS should allow this easily.
You should be able to add links to other websites as well as to pages within your website, in addition each link should have a title attribute and be easily added via your CMS system.
It is essential that new pages are added to the sub navigation for that section automatically. The main navigation for your website will normally fall outside the bounds of your CMS system and this is not necessarily a bad thing as all too often a main navigation gets out of control and leaves your website looking ungainly.
Follow these simple guidelines when looking for a system to keep your site up to date!