Content Driven Websites

Why go for a content driven website?

If you ask yourself why you visit a company website you will almost certainly say: “to find the answer to my question”. You are looking for content that is of use to you. If the website:

  • takes too long to load; 
  • insists on you watching a video introduction;
  • tries to force you to register;
  • opens pop up boxes (hopefully you have pop-ups blocked);
  • puts information in pop-up boxes (which you will never see because you have them blocked...);
  • hides the information under a sequence of too many links;
  • has out of date information;

you will go and search somewhere else. And if you are the owner of the website, then you have lost lost another potential customer.

A content driven website is a bit like a bookcase or set of display shelves. There is an overall style and structure which is more or less constant. But content is grouped by broad headings and comes and goes as required. The content may be authored by one person or many. in a well designed content driven website, all the navigation menus and groupings are automatically updated as new content is added, and out of date material archived deeper into the site (but never deleted).

What are the challenges with content driven website?

When deciding to go down the content driven route you are deciding that “content is king” within design priorities so deciding how you are going to create the content is a major issue. The web is littered with beautifully designed websites with “under construction” as their main content. Another common problem is woefully out of date information. Both are negative images to project into web community.

However, once set up, maintaining a content driven website is easy, whether by an individual, group or community.

What is involved in maintaining a content driven website?

The core to a content driven website is the CMS (Content Management System). This allows all the content to be created, edited and managed through a simple web based interface. It really is an easy process. If you have ever posted to a blog or used an on-line form, you have probably already been using a CMS! 

All CMS include a process of user privileges to control access to sensitive parts of the system. However, once set-up, only very occasional access is ever needed, and often routine technical maintenance can be automated.

How do I set up a content driven website?

Here at Tech-Trends we like the Drupal CMS. It’s Open Source, it’s free, and it is used by the US Whitehouse. We can’t think of a better field test as every hacker in the world has probably had a go at it. 

Setting up a Drupal site from scratch is a one off, and very technical task, that is one of the things that Tech-Trends is good at doing. We work with established third party ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and ensure that everything is properly set up in your name. We never like to tie clients solely into our services. We can also customise Drupal (it is designed to be customised and extended) to ensure it meets your exact requirements.

Why can’t I set Drupal up myself?

Of course you can set Drupal up yourself. There is extensive on-line documentation and many books are available. You will succeed if you have the time to invest in learning the necessary skills.

Unlike many businesses, Tech-Trends is very happy to work with clients and their extended teams. We recognise that many businesses rely on IT support from family members or friends. We believe that it is important you retain such support and control over your own systems so are happy to consider providing you with the right kind of support.

Please talk to us if you think we may be able to help.