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Monday, February 1, 2010

Asking important questions about content management systems

Don’t you just love technology! Today you don’t have to be a fancy webmaster to create and maintain great looking district websites. Gone are the days of tediously writing HTML to design your website. How, you might ask? Three little letters – CMS, or content management systems.

Content management systems today allow users at all technical levels to effortlessly contribute to your district website and harness the power of communication tool that district websites are trending to become.

As someone who tests our content management system on a regular basis, I find myself asking, will the end user find this easy to use? Will they want to use it? Is it fun to use? It is important for me and my colleagues to ask these types of questions so we can always stay on track with developing and delivering a user-friendly content management system so our clients can have great websites that they can easily maintain.

Easy to use? Content Management Systems are designed with the user in mind, so people with very little technical knowledge can update news stories, lesson plans, home pages and more. Once you get the basics down, the more advanced functionality becomes easy and fun to use.

Will they want to use it? As a web-based application, content management systems provide users with anywhere, anytime access to create, modify, and update content pieces and/or web-site look and feel. Users on the go can work from home, school or just about anywhere with an internet connection. By being able to access your website’s content with a click of the mouse, users will want to update their content regularly so it can stay fresh and up to minute.

Is it fun to use? Web 2.0 tools make creating and updating content on district websites fun and engaging. By using videos, podcasts and blogs, users can creatively let their students, teachers, and community members know about the highlights of last night’s basketball game or about the hot topics of the school board meeting in a new and different way than just plain text.

So when looking for content management systems, consider asking yourself these questions – is this content management system easy to use? Will my staff really want to use it? And is it fun to use? If the answer is yes, then great! You probably have happy teachers and staff updating your website. If the answer is no, then you may want to consider you options. Check out our CMS today at www.schooleffects.com and see what you think.

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