Can the site owner edit his or her own site and what is a CMS?
Absolutely! In fact, I encourage the owners to participate in adding content on the site. This does take some training. It honestly is not that difficult to learn how to do this if you use a content management system (CMS). What is a CMS you ask?
A content management system is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface. Such systems of content management provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment. [- Wikipedia]
I predominately use a CMS named Webvanta. Webvanta is similar in some ways of other CMSs. (You may have heard of WordPress or SquareSpace.) However, each CMS has some major differences.
Webvanta is a proprietary CMS which means the backend is controlled by the Webvanta company. This makes its system safer (security-wise) and more foolproof to use than many others.
Its monthly or yearly cost is very competitive especially if you add in the problems other CMSs often cause the site owners having to hire a professional to fix it because there are broken parts of the site tht the site owner does not know how to fix.
What I really love about Webvanta is I can give my clients worry-free sites that are easy to use (even for the least techie), secure, can be totally customized for each business and comes with wonderful built-in features such as a Blog, a Photo Gallery and each site's own database.
Having your own database means you can store pieces of content in their own individual places and have that same content repeat in whole or part on any other place of your site. Below are some ways I use this feature:
- Blog posts
If you have a blog on your site (always recommended to get good Search Engine Optimization), I can set up a piece of code that will bring the newest post, just the titles or the top 3 posts to, for instance, appear on the home page. You just have to write the post once and the system does the rest.
- Photo gallery
If you have a lot of photos you want to display of your products or services (such as for: landscape design, architect/builders, artists, storefronts, manufacturers), you can apply multiple categories for each photo and have it display within different galleries, on its own page with descriptions or in pieces on any other page.
- Image renditions
Webvanta has a feature that upon uploading one or several large photos it will create renditions or different sizes of those photos allowing them to be used for multiple reasons.
- Mobile ready
You only need to put in your content in once. I set up content to display in the right way for whatever device the visitor is on, cellphones, tablets, small or large desktop computers. And we can determine how much of the content should be for that particular device.
At the end of a project I give the site owner training and a manual, customized for the site, with easy step-by-step directions how to do things. And, I make myself available for a period of time after the site is finished for free "How do I do this?" phone calls.