How to update your CMS website

Content Management Systems (CMS) websites allow you to update your website and maintain it. This means you have control, but also means you have to know what to do when updating your site…  and what not to do.  Here are some of the things that we’ve found to be important:

  1. Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. It adds lots of junk formatting that you can’t see and will mess up the way that your text looks.  If you want to write your text when not online, use Notepad, or another very simple text editor and format it (with bullet points etc) in the website.
  2. When you make changes to settings, change one thing at a time. It is tempting to change settings, and that is usually fine – but do them one at a time and look to see what the effect is by refreshing the site each time.  If it doesn’t have the desired effect, it may be better to change it back. And if it goes wrong, you can tell your webdesigner exactly what happened just before it went wrong, and they can fix it much more quickly (and therefore cheaply).
  3. Update your site with a blog, news or some new content regularly. What to talk about? What you know about. What you’re doing. Share your experience and your knowledge. It doesn’t need to be long (it could be just a few lines).
  4. Include a picture whenever possible in your news/blog. It adds a bit of visual interest to help people read the text.
  5. If you refer to something, link to it. This means both things that you refer to inside and outside your site.  For instance, if in this post, I referred to my post about feeding your blog to your twitter and facebook accounts, I would link to it, so that you could find it easily if you wanted to read it – or more importantly buy it, if it were a product that you referred to.

That’s the basics. Do those things and you’ll be on the right track.

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