Content Management Systems Equal Business Suicide!

One of the fastest way to minimise your chances of web business success is to use a Content Management System (CMS). There are a number of open-source CMS products, such as phpWS, Mambo, Plone, Drupal, Geeklog, Siteframe, and phpNuke etc and and a plethora of proprietary CMS products espoused by individual web design companies as the answer everything from lack of HTML knowledge to rapid shopping cart deployment etc.

Expressing this in simple terms, its said that possibly as high as 80% of online purchases are made from leads generated by search engines. CMS systems place a huge handicap on achievable Search Engine rankings. meaning there is a direct, immediate and practically insurmountable conflict with business aspirations. There are multiple reasons for this.

Duplication of Content
Search engines loathe duplicate content. In the average CMS, there are numerous common design elements, images, HTML and/or JavaScript code blocks etc, which are portrayed across ALL sites using the same system, and this is not a good thing.

Many CMS systems make it hard to impossible to generate unique page Title, Description & Keyword meta-tags, meaning all pages can look identical in search engine results. Many CMS systems do not permit you to assign keyword-rich image names, or apply unique and specific image ALT tags, and the page file names are usually not directly controllable. Few CMS systems allow you to easily add anchors on specific pages, and to link to those anchors from other pages. All of this translates into losing you valuable search engine optimisation opportunities.

Shared IP Addresses vs. Unique IP
Proprietary CMS systems usually go hand in hand with a “total package deal” that includes web design, web hosting and CMS.

The hosting is invariable on a “shared server” meaning your site has the same IP Address as all other sites on the server. Should a situation occur Where another site or sites are offering very similar or identical products and services, there is a potentially serious conflict of interest which the web design & hosting company will probably not advise you of! The first
site is highly likely to be given priority rankings and treatment by the search engines, and all subsequent sites are highly likely to be consigned to oblivion as Search Engines will probably regard them as “duplicate content!” So two or more “Christmas gift shops” on the same “shared server,” or two or more “human resource consultants” face a problem they will be blissfully unaware of. Having a unique IP address assigned to your site is far more sensible!

Open-source CMS systems are written by geeks and nerds, for other geeks and nerds. It is painfully obvious that none are written by people with the faintest understanding of search engine optimisation, or an awareness of the old adage “form follows function.” As for “usability testing” there is no demonstrable evidence that any research and science has been applied to either the user or the administration interfaces! Unfortunately, the same criticisms can be levelled at the commercial CMS systems on offer.

CMS and Being Held To Ransom
In terms of the proprietary CMS systems, you are also seriously at risk of being captured and held hostage by your web design company, because they now “own” your site and you cannot easily escape without sacrificing your total investment. In this respect, use of CMS demonstrates a complete lack of business risk analysis. From that point on, you can also be
systematically milked like a cash cow for every amendment, change, edit etc that they carry out on your behalf! Believe me, it happens every day… and I’ve seen people charged $90 for a simple edit that took me less than 2 minutes to implement!

CMS Saves You Money?
Yeah, right!!! The overheads of managing a CMS are usually far in excess of managing a conventional site. Content percentage-wise, most sites actually change very little, and the majority of pages are static and do not change at all. CMS is total overkill for the average business site.

Stand Out from the Crowd
To succeed on the web today, you need to be a clearly unique entity, with original content, properly organised, logically described, and all pages must be optimised for a set of specific keyword phrases that accurately describe your products or services. Anything less is a compromise, and is to YOUR business detriment. A CMS system has a direct, negative impact on almost all desired outcomes – from minimising business risks, improving search engine rankings and prompt return on investment.

Ben Kemp