Many times when we engage our clients in a Content Management System (CMS) training session, we’re introducing a CMS to individuals who have not previously been involved with updating the back-end of a Web site. At the start, there’s often a sense of excitement, followed closely by anxiety and nervousness. The training attendees seem outwardly concerned that one mistake will drop their company’s Web site like a house of cards – and leave them holding only a pink slip! The good news is that it typically doesn’t take any time at all for these staffers to relax, gain comfort, and become pros.

A CMS after all, is an application which is intended to allow less technical individuals to update, edit and manage content on a Web site without necessarily being knowledgeable of coding or Web site programming. Having a CMS at the fingertips of internal staff allows for easy and instantaneous Web site maintenance. While some items still require a technical Web developer, a large portion of work can be handled by non-technical staff members using the CMS.

Many of today’s Content Management Systems are power-packed with flexibility and function. Features of a highly automated system may include an online store, shopping cart, credit card processing, inventory management, cross-selling, customer and order history, gift certificates, coupon codes, automated email notifications, shipper integration, invoice and packing slips, customer ratings/reviews, content management and much more.

Not surprisingly, individuals really prefer to utilize a system that looks and feels familiar. Something that isn’t intimidating to even a beginner. One of the many reasons, after all, that the Internet itself became increasingly accessible and desirable around 1995 is that people became more comfortable with it – and so, CMS users also seek a system that is easy to understand and navigate.

A particularly well-liked CMS among our clients is a proprietary system which we refer to as “SmartCommerce System”. The SmartCommerce system is appealing because it looks and feels familiar right from the start. Compared to many other CMS, the SmartCommerce system is search engine friendly and the code is W3C compliant.

SmartCommerce basically puts a Web site on auto-pilot and improves the functionality and overall user experience – both for e-customers and for personnel who manage the company’s Web site. With the user-friendly Content Management System (CMS), non-technical personnel can easily manage the Web site’s content directly. For example, staff members have the direct capability to modify existing product information, upload new products, and specify custom quantity discount levels as needed. In addition, staff members can upload Web site videos and product images. Furthermore, they can designate product pricing – and set up related products to display together on the same Web page.

Most CMS software can be adapted and tailored to meet the needs of any e-commerce level – from an existing e-store handling thousands of daily transactions to a new e-store launch. For example, a simple start-up site may only require basic capabilities of online store and credit card processing, while a more sophisticated Web site may utilize the fully advanced features. The front-end design is also typically flexible to meet the marketing image and design of any product or corporation.

Are you currently utilizing a CMS? How is it working for you? If you’re not utilizing a CMS, may we answer any questions for you?