No matter what you want to communicate, a website set up using a content management system (CMS) is just the ticket for a low-cost online conversation with the public. Perhaps you have interesting (or even mundane) experiences that you wish to blog about. Or maybe you have a product or service you want to market and sell. A CMS can be configured for any of these purposes, and a whole lot more. These systems are designed to allow one or more individuals to publish material on the web for very little money. Many website CMS systems are free – the only cost you have is securing a unique domain name, which can be done for $10 or less. How do you get started? Here are a few tips:
- Design: Pick a website CMS from among the available free packages. We recommend a WordPress website because it uses the most popular and flexible CMS freeware. Then, choose a theme to reflect you content. Many WordPress themes are free, or you can buy a commercial one for well under $100. Specify whether you want to include a blog. You can also set up widgets such as a shopping cart to facilitate sales on an e-commerce site. You can add marketing pages, a forum, a Q&A page, even biographical or testimonial material. It is completely up to you.
- Content: Once you have settled on a basic design, you need to populate your pages with content. Unfortunately, even the best CMS won’t do the writing for you. Remember to use proper English grammar and syntax. Keep your sentences short and to the point. It is important that you avoid errors that would detract from the authority of your site. If necessary, you can select from the community of freelance writers available via a web search — they can help you create and/or edit your content. This can be especially useful if English is not your first language.
- Backlinks: Once you have your website up and running, you want to make sure it receives a good amount of traffic, especially if it is an e-commerce site. To do so, your site needs a high Page Rank. You get one by having backlinks set up from other sites (ones which already have a high Page Rank) pointing to your website. You can purchase backlinks at websites set up for this purpose. Look for purveyors that specify the quality of the backlinks. For instance, the higher the Page Rank of the source site, the better quality (and more expensive) the links will be. The backlinks should always emanate from the main body of a source page, never the sidebar or footer.
By following these simple tips, you can use a CMS to create a successful, popular website that will serve whatever purposes you have for it.