What Content Management Won’t Do

By Deane Barker • Posted on October 15, 2006

Here are a few accumulated thoughts that need to be said to companies that think content management is the solution to all their Web site woes. The fact is that content management just manages content from a technical perspective, not from an editorial perspective. The editorial part of content management is all up to you.

The bottom line is that when you implement a content management system, it’s really only as strong as the underlying content. If you have no underlying content, or are incapable of generating and maintaining it from a editorial or grammatical perspective, then content management is in service of...not much.

The best experience I ever had implementing content management was for a client up in Toronto just recently. Before I even started building the site out, they delivered all the content in dozens of Microsoft Word documents – one per page. Every page was there and had been obviously drafted by a copywriter and labored over by a search engine specialist. It was stone-cold perfect copy.

I had a great amount of peace in this situation because I know that content exists in two dimensions: the editorial and the technical. Since I had the technical side covered, it was nice to know that someone else had put a lot of thought into the other side of the coin. The resulting site exceeded everyone’s expectations.

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