So you’re shopping for a web designer or web developer and everything seems to be in a tail-spin around you.  There is a lot of technical words you’re trying to figure out and a lot of artist’s portfolios look superb!  Are we pretty much spot on?  We’ve been there too.

Generally when you start looking for a website, budget is not always in the forefront of your mind.  Many of our clients just landed a big sale or decided its just time to get a website.  But, the future budget to maintain that site should be at the forefront of your shopping process.  Think for a moment: Who’s going to update your website?  Do you know HTML? CSS? PHP? XHTML? HTML5? Caching? If no, then you really need to look at exactly how your site will be updated.

It may come as no surprise that many developers and designers out there manually update your site.  How that process works is quite simple: You send them your content, you pay them, they put it on your site.  Think about that for a moment, you’re paying someone to virtually do the work you just sent them and all they will do is copy and paste that information into a file that has the header and footer of your site already in place and ready to go.

The three letters you want to hear from your designer or developer is, “CMS”which does what these manual web designers do, automatically and without any need for help or technical knowledge.  CMS stands for Content Management System which acts as a very easy method for you to update just areas on the site that should be updated in a MS Word-Like interface without any dread of hosing your site.

We use WordPress which is a superb, open-source CMS that allows you to update nearly any text on your site without any extra charge or fee simply because you’ll be doing it yourself!  Because it is free for us to obtain, it is free for you to obtain as well!

The next web designer or developer you talk to, ask them, “Do you offer an Open Source CMS?”.