What is a content management system?

We all know how important it is for your business or organization to have a presence online. When you first decide to set up your site – or when you decide to make a change in how the site is run – one of the most critical decisions you can make is whether the site will use a content management system (CMS).

A content management system allows you to make changes to your own site, even if you have little technical knowhow. Instead of calling up a developer every time you’d like to change some text, rates, or a phone number on your site, a CMS lets you log into an administration area with a username and password and make the change in an editor. Once you’ve made the changes, they’ll appear instantly on your site.

Features of most content management systems

Content management system editor

Content management systems often feature rich text editors that allow you to style the text of your pages.

Most content management systems allow you to do a number of common tasks on your site.

  • Adding and removing pages
  • Editing pages in a WYSIWYG editor
  • Inserting links and images on pages
  • Customizing page titles and addresses

Reasons to use a CMS

There are a number of reasons why content management systems make a lot of sense for businesses.

  • Save money: Instead of paying a web developer every time you want to change your site, you can make edits whenever you like.
  • Save time: The changes you make in a CMS are published instantly; there’s no waiting hours (or days) for a change to be done.
  • Stay in control: A CMS lets you have complete control of what’s on your site. If you want to add or remove a page, or if you’d like to change some text, it’s easy to do!

We’re about to release the latest version of our own advanced CMS, datAvenger Pro. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll feature more posts about content management and how to make the most of your site!

Advertisements

New ways to manage assets

We just activated a new set of features in datAvenger lite having to do with asset management. We think these changes will really speed up the assets on your site: both for you in management and for the visitors who come to your site. You’ll now find three new features in your Assets tab: editing, resizing, and compressing.

Asset editing

You can now edit the name of your assets from within dA lite, a first for any Sephone content management product. Click on any asset in the Assets tab and you’ll be given the option to change the name of that asset. From that point on you’ll see the name you choose in the Assets list, and we’ll make a web-friendly version of the name you choose for the file’s actual name (for example, if you give a photo a name of ‘Nubble sunrise’, we’ll give the asset a web filename of ‘nubble-sunrise.jpg’). Search engines prefer descriptive names instead of those generic filenames you’ll find on digital camera pictures and the like (‘IMG_0429.JPG’), so rename to your heart’s content!

Editing an asset in datAvenger lite

You don’t even need to worry about your content. datAvenger lite will go through the pages on your site and change any references to the asset to the new name as long as you keep the checkbox on the edit screen checked.

Asset resizing and compressing

Have you noticed that JPEG images (usually photo files) take a little while to load on your page? That’s probably because they aren’t web-optimized. We’ve now given you the option to optimize these images right from the Assets tab.

There’s a new option in the context menu for JPEG files called ‘Resize / Compress’. Once you’ve selected that option, you’ll be given two new ways to save space and speed up the load time of your photos: you can resize or compress them.

Resizing an image in datAvenger lite

To resize an image, just drag the slider to the left and right depending on the desired size for the photo. Smaller photos will take less space and will load faster on your pages. We find that most users never need a photo larger than 400 pixels wide if they’re using it on a content page; that might be a good dimension to use as a starter. Of course, you can always go back into the resize area and shrink it down again if you like! (You can only resize to a smaller size, though.)

If you want to keep your asset’s current dimensions, you can try compressing the image. This may result in a little bit of quality loss, but most users don’t even notice a change… and it will save you a ton of space in many cases!

We’d love to hear what you think about these new features. If you have any questions, please let us know as well.