Introduction to Content Management: Is it the right solution?

Part of providing an infrastructure for web publishing at Marshall University is opening up the ability to create web content to users who might not have the technical skill required to build a website from scratch. One of the ways that we do this is through the use of a content management solution that allows users to create basic web content in a familiar “what you see is what you get” interface.

Some users may question whether this approach is right for their group or department. This short overview of the pros and cons of using a content management system will help you make the right decision based on your specific needs.

Pros of Using a Content Management Solution for your web content

  • Content is relatively simple to create, using a familiar word processor style interface
  • Existing content can be easily edited and maintained as textual changes are required
  • The University template will be applied to your site, helping maintain the look and feel present in top level content
  • No technical skill, HTML knowledge, or understanding of the underlying framework is required in order to create a page
  • Content creation can be distributed among many users, with granular user control
  • Authentication to your content management based site can be controlled using your existing security framework
  • A rich plugin architecture allows you to simply and quickly expand the functionality of your site

Cons of Using a Content Management solution for your web content

  • Highly customized or intricate designs will be difficult to create and maintain
  • Site specific custom widgets (flash animations, custom menuing, DHTML and AJAX scripting) are more difficult to apply
  • Styling beyond changing the design of the content within the page is not supported

In short, if you need to maintain a site with many users whose primary job responsibility doesn’t include the management of web content, a CMS solution will help you simplify this content creation, and will allow you to easily bring your site design in line with top level University content.

If you are a skilled technical user, comfortable with the creation of HTML pages, CSS, flash animations, etc. and want a highly customized look and feel for your site, you would be better off using a standard HTML/ASP approach to site design.

If you have additional questions, or want to find out more about our content management offerings, please open a ticket with the Marshall University Help Desk requesting more information.