We've been building websites since 2002 (and for most of us, even earlier than that!) so we've got a pretty good idea of what Content Management System (CMS) is going to suit your needs.
- If you haven't had a chance to check out our previous episode, get amongst it! It's all about Facebook advertising in 2018 and is our most popular episode of this year (already). We're sharing tips and tricks with incorporating Facebook advertising into your digital strategy for 2018.
- Branding is still one of the most important aspects of any business and it shows, as our most popular episode is How to create your brand strategy. We give you a step by step overview on running your own branding workshop, which isn't exactly the easiest thing to do!
- We also mentioned in the episode that Life Size Media, well known for helping to build successful brands in the Northern Hemisphere, are offering a free six part series about building a successful brand. You can find out more detail and sign up on their website.
- An overview of the most popular CMS in the world, Wordpress, and what it's good for, why most people want to use it, and how it can help you achieve your business objectives
- The difference between various Content Management Systems like Wordpress, SquareSpace, Craft and completely custom CMS'
- The difference between an open-source CMS and a proprietary system
Jessica: Hello, everybody. Welcome to episode 26 of the Bam Creative Show. This is a digital marketing podcast that has no comedy or laughing or jokes at all.
Richard: Or crimes.
Jessica: Or crimes.
Richard: There are hardly any crimes.
Jessica: So today we're gonna talk about ... well, there's a couple things. Our last episode, which is episode 25, and that was Facebook advertising in 2018, that did really well, so if you're thinking of doing Facebook, or doing Facebook advertising in 2018, check out that episode, and let us know if you have any feedback.
Jessica: That was actually one of our most popular podcasts of this year, which is only a couple months, but even in the last few months the reception's been really awesome, so I just wanted to plug it again if you haven't caught that one.
Richard: It's good to plug.
Jessica: It's good to plug. And our most popular episode, which is about creating a brand strategy, I just wanted to segue here and give a shutout to another business actually because they're called Lifesize Media and they ... I don't know if you guys follow them at all, but I have been chatting with the CEO of Lifesize Media. Her name is Alisa Murphy, they're in a complete different hemisphere, so don't worry. But they're awesome. If you check out their Instagram content, they basically help green companies with their branding, and Alisa's Instagram content is awesome.
She's all about branding. She has so many thoughts about how any sort of content you create as a company all stems from branding, and it's just awesome. But they're sharing a six-part series on how to build a successful brand, and it's all for free so you can sign up on their website. And I will chuck that in, in show-notes, 'cause I feel like that's kind of an awesome [inaudible 00:01:46]. A lot of people really trying to figure out how to do their own brand, which isn't exactly the easiest thing, but I just wanted to plug that because she has so much knowledge and it's not just for improving energy and things like that, it's just for any kind of company, so I wanted to plug that, 'cause-
Richard: So it's green, like energy?
Jessica: Yeah. But I wanted to-
Richard: Is it like, trees and stuff too?
Jessica: Yeah, pretty much.
Richard: Carbon neutral businesses?
Jessica: Yeah, pretty much like that. But I wanted to plug that because I'm also a huge champion of people who are offering really good quality content for free. And just trying to help other businesses as well. So that's what I wanted to chuck in there, but does anyone else have anything that they wanna add, any questions, any questions [crosstalk 00:02:30], any name-dropping, any true crime comedy podcast they wanna share?
Josh: Can't think of any at the moment. I do know that there was a company called Bang Creative, I think, or Digital? And they were in the green business over in San Francisco.
Josh: But it was to do with cannabis.
Jessica: Oh cool.
Josh: And so they specialize in promotion that's just for cannabis-related businesses, or any other businesses that target that demographic. I thought that was pretty interesting.
Jessica: Is that why you just wanted to just confirm what I meant by green?
Richard: I think they've got an office here in Perth actually too.
Josh: You know what, I don't think ... I can confirm they don't. I can confirm they don't because we were approached by a lead that had a social network, and it was like a ... the main thing with the social network was just drinking, and so their person thought it'd be great to make contact with Bam Digital in Perth, and then try and say "hey, look, we love the content you put out, and we love the audience that you target", and then I had to explain to them after the briefing-
Richard: Are you sure you're talking about [inaudible 00:03:38] cause I've just searched and there's another Bam, and it's not us, and they specialize in promotions for cannabis, and that related-
Josh: Does Bam have another-
Josh: Does it mean something for people who do that sort of thing, is there some context I'm missing here?
Richard: Maybe in San Francisco, I don't know. But I can confirm that he never got back to me afterwards.
Jessica: Aw, shame.
Richard: Yeah. I cried. [inaudible 00:04:06]
Jessica: Yeah. There's another Bam Creative as well, but I haven't really dealt with ... looked into them.
Josh: There is a big Bam that used to be over East. They were massive-
Josh: A massive advertising agency. Yeah, I think-
Richard: [inaudible 00:04:19]
Josh: Yeah. I think the CEO of [inaudible 00:04:21] was actually telling us of the owners. But Bam didn't actually mean something explosive. It was literally the names of those people. Three directors.
Josh: And it made the word "Bam".
Jessica: Pretty sure there's another Bam on Oxford street too. They're photography, or they do digital things too. I think they're actually called "Bam Digital".
Jessica: Something like that, yeah.
Josh: It's a crowded space.
Jessica: Unless they're still there. I think we should change our name you guys. The Bam Creative show should be the first thing to be changed, and we should change it to something else, like, I don't know we should change to-
Richard: I bet you do. "Bum Creative"?
Jessica: No. Just no bums, nothing-
Jessica: Nothing to do with explosion. The big bang? No, I don't like that show. Probably not that.
Josh: I love this show.
Richard: Yeah I liked it. Or I used to like it.
Jessica: You don't ... Oh, I don't know. I don't. I find it offensive, as a nerd and a geek. Which are two different things by the way. Nerds and geeks are different things.
Richard: Do you feel that they don't get you?
Jessica: What nerds and geeks, or the show?
Richard: No, the show doesn't get you?
Jessica: I just think it's wrong. Like, why is there just one ... well, I knew that there is that other chick, who a ... what was her name? I can't remember. The one that's-
Richard: She's actually really fu ... really clever in real life-
Jessica: We're just leaving that F-bomb in by the way. 'Cause-
Richard: I said "fu"
Richard: It could have been any [crosstalk 00:05:45]
Jessica: This is not a family-friendly show. This is clearly from day one, we've been dropping bombs.
Richard: But it's in our namesake. [crosstalk 00:05:57]
Jessica: Especially Josh is the most offensive person here.
Josh: Oh, [inaudible 00:06:01] myself.
Jessica: Look at him, offending everybody.
Josh: What's to be done?
Jessica: When I ... 'cause I was telling you guys how I was doing the interview thing on the weekend, and I was talking about ... people actually asked me about this particular podcast, 'cause I talk about it constantly on all the other channels.
Josh: Oh, [inaudible 00:06:16]?
Jessica: So they were asking me about this one, and I was like ... well, you know initially we started out 'cause wanted to be like "digital marketing and websites" and stuff like that, which sounds like a great idea, but when you're driving home from work, the last thing you probably wanna do is be listening to a podcast that's very educational and talks about how to do your job.
Jessica: Yawn? Sorry, I said, the biggest thing is actually this more organic content where we kinda hang out and maybe every now and then we talk about social media, digital marketing, what's going on, on the internet, and really sell ourselves as people.
Richard: Sure. You want me to do that? I can do that.
Jessica: Be completely soulless. By the way-[crosstalk 00:06:59]
Richard: I can be a people.
Jessica: By the way, Richard isn't wearing glasses today, I just wanted everyone to focus on Rich'.
Richard: I left them in the car.
Jessica: Yeah. That's exciting. I wanted a cool story like-
Richard: Why are you so close to your computer?
Josh: [inaudible 00:07:15]
Jessica: It looked pretty funny. I was like-
Richard: [crosstalk 00:07:20] get a second round of Botox-
Jessica: I was walking up, I was gonna ask like "Hey, are you ready for [inaudible 00:07:25]" and I slowly ... and I was like "oh, he's very ... you are like-
Richard: It's also 'cause I don't wanna talk to people, Jess.
Jessica: Do you get the nerve. The nerve. Oh...sorry.
Josh: I mean, the [inaudible 00:07:38] on but I felt-
Jessica: We're leaving it on.
Josh: The chill coming from that side, to this side.
Jessica: It's gonna 38 today. It's on you guys. Northern hemisphere people just deal with it.
Jessica: Yeah. So, anyway. We're gonna actually get started now. Which is ... thanks for coming everyone. So we're gonna be talking about how to choose the right CMS, which is content management system, for your organization, your business, your 9 to 5, your 5 to 9, and that's really ... a content management system is ... who would like to take it away for me?
Richard: I'll [inaudible 00:08:15], cause it was kind of my idea. I put it on the board. And I hate when people steal my ideas. Josh knows all about it.
Jessica: I didn't steal your ideas at all.
Jessica: He's gonna mansplain it to me. Go on-
Richard: Episode 26 of the Bam Creative Show. We're gonna talk about which content management system is right for your business.
Jessica: I'm older than you by the way, so-
Richard: You probably think you are because you thought you were younger, and then you were older ... and you're probably actually [inaudible 00:08:44] and then you're older than me.
Jessica: He's older than me.
Richard: Is that right?
Jessica: I was kidding, yeah. Go on.
Richard: How old am I?
Jessica: You're 34. Right?
Richard: Oh, God.
Jessica: I'm 36.
Richard: Another two months.
Jessica: Are you two years older than me?
Richard: Aw man, slipper slope.
Josh: [inaudible 00:08:55] birthday?
Richard: No, it's coming up, yeah.
Jessica: When is it?
Jessica: [inaudible 00:09:00]
Josh: Get the strudel ready.
Josh: It is a strudel? Is it a strudel event?
Jessica: It's the 25th I think.
Josh: Is it, Jess? It's a strudel event Jess. [crosstalk 00:09:08] The one that runs strudels. [crosstalk 00:09:19]
Richard: Josh is younger than me. Content management systems. So what is that, in a nutshell? You're probably familiar with WordPress, something like that. We get a lot of clients run through the door who are scared of their CMS, they don't wanna use it cause it breaks their website. Yes, it breaks their website.
Jessica: Well, they break their website but-
Richard: Tut. Come on.
Josh: Hey, hey, hey.
Richard: CMS breaks their website. Whoever set it up, they did a poor job. Alright? So there is a bit of trepidation. And one of the things that we're always trying to say to clients is "look, you should be publishing more. It's good for your website, you get more traffic." That sort of thing. I mean, that's true. That's all well and good. So where do you start? I think, I would say you can probably group CMSs into categories of how much work goes into the website to give you a customized product. I think that's pretty much what it boils down to, is how much configuration is required by a developer to give you what you need. Would you guys agree with that?
Jessica: In terms of us choosing it, or in terms of the client? Yeah-
Richard: Well, if you're looking at different CMSs, is that the fundamental difference? Would you say?
Jessica: Yeah, pretty much. I would agree with you.
Richard: So if you wanna come in at lower budget, my thought is you're gonna end up at the Squarespace level, or the Wix level. Alright, they've polished this amazing product that really does let clients just ... not be clients, they can be their own clients, they just go in there, they direct stuff around, once they figure out how it works, they can push out a few pages but they're not a whole lot of fundamental control over what the website looks like aside from the templates they give you. Is that a fair assumption?
Richard: So I would say, if you got, maybe, four categories that's the base level one. And we do get a lot of clients who either look ... budget is literally $3000, that's all we can do, which is not a lot of time when you're thinking agency time. Or we do have clients who come in and they have created their own website, and they realize they need help, but at its fundamental stage, I think Squarespace is the bottom rung, and it can push out a brochure website for you either with or without agency help. And it's a free trial, so you can get in there, you can get started and have a look and see how it works.
Josh: Same applies for Wix as well.
Richard: I don't really like Wix, because I'm not sure about the way it treats the mobile version. It basically forces you to re-design everything on an absolute position way a second time, once you've already done it, whereas with Squarespace you're just at the mercy of the theme and kind of takes control. So, I don't know which one you would say is better or worse, but, hey, you can probably try out both of them for free and have a look.
Richard: A cut above that would be, actually getting a developer involved, maybe, for something like WordPress. Which is very scalable, but also quite dependent on the templates that you choose, and some of them you do have to pay for, and there are thousands, and thousands, and thousands of options out there and you don't really know what you're gonna get until you've spent the money. But, for example, in the context of the agency, we use it quite a lot for websites ranging from $5000 up to $25000, depending on requirements, and depending on how a customer needs to be, but there are Squarespace-like editing environments that we can set customers up with and they find it quite easy to go ahead and create websites with a drag-and-drop interface. So...
Jessica: We've actually had, if we can roll back a little bit, cause we would actually get clients contacting us and they just want a WordPress site. There is further discussion in terms of what content management system that they want, they've just heard of WordPress and they want it, so ... why?
Richard: Well, there's also a ... Look, look, no, no, no-
Jessica: I don't think it's a bad thing, it's just there might be other services that would be more suitable.
Richard: Look, if they've worked a few roles with a few different websites or one place that has had multiple websites, which of course happens as well, the odds of them having come across and used WordPress before? Very, very high. If they've used any CMS. Because it powers such a large proportion of all the websites out there. So it's not unreasonable to say "this is what I'm familiar with and I don't want to have to change, so do you guys offer that?" "sure, let's do that". That's fine. It's very, very flexible when you can add a store as well for not a considerable amount of further development, so you can cover, I would say, most of your needs. Unless, for some reason, your business needs a website that really sets itself apart.
And I guess that's when we get to more custom options. We've got a few that we use here as well. One of them is Craft CMS. That's $299 dollar US license as a one off, that can be re-used if it needs to. And that is, basically, where we look at your business. And we determine what your business needs, and we build a website around that. It can be very powerful in its ability to link different sorts of content together, to make your websites very dynamic, but it does take ... it takes more work to configure that and to build a website. But the benefit there is that you can come up something that looks quite different as well, because if you're building a website basically form the ground up, you can take different paths that other people might be traveling.
Jessica: It's kind of interesting 'cause we ... so we actually lost of client because we offered Craft CMS as the primary CMS for their solution, and they wanted us to use a proprietary CMS, which we actually used to use, which is Bam CMS, and we're no longer supporting that, pretty much because we want to be able to dedicate all of our time to actually developing websites and not really developing the CMS, we're not a CMS company. Is that a thing, a CMS company?
Josh: Or a [SAS 00:15:55] company.
Richard: Yeah, why not a SAS, whatever.
Josh: Well, if you make Squarespace, if you make Craft CMS, then you're a CMS company.
Jessica: Yeah, so with them, I'm not trying to be like "everyone should be Craft CMS" or "everyone should be WordPress", ... that is a common question for a bigger company, bigger brands to wanna choose a proprietary CMS over say, WordPress or Craft.
If someone came to us and asked us that, again, I don't regret my choice, I stand by my choice of saying Craft CMS is the way, and that was actually mainly because of your recommendation, so it's really your fault, but um-[crosstalk 00:16:34] So I would have preferred Craft CMS, mainly because it was 100% supported by them, they have developers that are always constantly refining it, cause obviously the security is much better than, say, WordPress for example. But if someone came along, if we had a Groundhog day, if we had to re-do, what would be your argument to go for, say, Craft CMS, in comparison to a proprietary system?
Josh: She's asking you, what could you have done better?
Richard: Look, I don't ... Okay, I've used lots of CMS's, I've used a few CMS's that were built from the ground up, and that can be a recipe for a bad-
Richard: A bad product, right? So what you're saying is, we're paying, you know, not unreasonable ... well, it's a fair sum of money to the developers of Craft, in order to receive these updates.
Jessica: $299 USD.
Richard: Yeah, so that takes the onus off, like you said, our developers, where they can create bespoke Craft modules for tricky situations of a website, for example. We've got maps that can be filtered, and pins can be dropped ... you know, things that are a bit harder to do out of the box, and they can spend their time doing that as opposed, to, like you say, keeping legacy versions of a website, try to keep them above water, while also thinking about the next version and when you get websites going back five years or something, that are all on different versions, just maintaining them can be difficult as well, so having a one-click install takes a lot of sweat out of it. To your point, I can understand why a company wouldn't want to create their own CMS, if there are lots of off-the-shelf versions that are doing a good job of it.
Jessica: I mean, you basically need your own department. If you are so big that, for example, this website was gonna be huge, and [inaudible 00:18:36] so they make their own department. To be able to manage just the same as alone, and any of the technical support for that CMS, because I think there is such a huge difference between a development team and they're actually developing the website, and then the development of an actual CMS. It's completely different and I think that's where there is a lot of time wastage as well.
Richard: Yep. The other area where time wastage can creep in there, is basically if you've got your own flavor of CMS, then you're basically gonna say, these are the modules you get, would you like this one, this one, this one. As soon as you start to change that, you're putting in custom developments that makes [inaudible 00:19:22] anyway, so it does get very expensive after that point as well. Whereas if you're using a slightly more flexible solution, then you've got a bit more leeway. That's my thoughts on that.
Leads us up to ... I guess the next step would be a complete custom-build, using something like [inaudible 00:19:39] and developers. Write the app functionality for a website that has to be extremely dynamic. And then they can throw in something like October CMS, where it's content management [inaudible 00:19:50] to the power of the website itself. And then they just decide exactly what needs to be available to the end-user. But if you're at that stage, you probably know that you have pretty significant needs. That's my thoughts on it. What do you guys think? Is that useful for the listeners, or do you think they have some questions?
Josh: I think it's good. I think it's good of a review.
Richard: Yeah. But at the end of the day, we want you to pick a CMS you're comfortable. So we're always thinking "is this gonna be intuitive for the user?". It's always at the top of my mind. We're designing a website, but, how is this content gonna be managed by the user? IS it gonna be as easy as it can be, because there's no limit to the number of cool things you can have on a website to benefit your users, but at the end of the day, if you aren't gonna log in and update it, then they're not gonna see it.
Jessica: You know, that's actually a really common thing, cause a lot of clients, they want a particular CMS, so it's easy for them to be able to update content. But then, it's really common for them not to log in at all, or update any of the content. And I wonder if it's because there's that kind of communication as well of ... you know, we go through whole training sessions. We always show our clients how to use the content management system, and I think it really comes back to people not really feeling comfortable to ask for help when they-
Jessica: When they need it. So, ask for help people. We're here to help you. Call Josh. He will answer all your CMS questions. But if you-
Josh: Yeah, sure.
Jessica: But if a client says "I want WordPress because I'm comfortable with that" and then, they end up emailing us saying "can you just update this anyway", it's like, well, in hindsight we probably could've provided a different solution, or something that could have suited their business needs better, if that was really what they were just gonna do, and keep sending us content updates, so-
Richard: It comes down to, probably the effect that you might have two hours of training here, and it looks so easy, and then you go back and you do it and it's not so ... you can't remember how to do something. But I think that's where [inaudible 00:21:59] a lot of communication between the agency and the client, it's so important as well. Gotta make sure ... And we do, we do send prompting emails, we might ... "guys, it's been a year since you've updated your latest news, come on, if you need help, we're here for you."
Jessica: Yeah, don't be scared of us, 'cause, yeah-
Richard: Sorry, we do want people to use the products that we ... that's why we create them. We're creating a tool that's for our customers to engage with their own customers. I think something that just crossed my mind that is an inherent difference of something like a Squarespace, for example, or one of the more easy to use drag-and-drop themes that we use quite often for WordPress. They're very easy to create one-off pages of content but it can actually be impossible to duplicate, for example one page form one place in Squarespace to grab another block of content while retaining the layout of the page to another area, or things like that. It can get a little bit difficult to do complicated things, and one of the strongest points of Craft is its ability to, not only create different channels of constant that have very specific needs to how they relate to your business, but also when you're working within the content itself, it gives you really powerful publishing options that we can actually provide to the user so that they can create content that looks quite different from page to page, without changing the options that are available to them. Did that make sense?
Jessica: Yes, it made sense. I have a fun little game that I like to play.
Richard: Yeah, what's that?
Jessica: It's not the game that goes [inaudible 00:23:51] and scream, but it's a different game. It's a fun game, a friendly family game. What about if talk about ... if you're gonna do a one-page website, if you wanna do a e-commerce website, if you're in this industry or whatever it is-
Richard: Yes, it's a good idea.
Jessica: What kind of CMS would be good for you, and why. You [inaudible 00:24:08]. So if we're doing a one-page brochure website, what would be a good content management system to use?
Richard: Do you wanna go first Josh?
Richard: Alright. [crosstalk 00:24:23]
Josh: Alright, cool, yeah. No, I will go after first.
Richard: So, maybe a theme like [longpress 00:24:36] or something like that. A WordPress theme ... there would be so many single-page website things that you'd be able to pick one that looks like a good starting point, and you could install it if you've got the know-how and you can get started.
Jessica: I would do Squarespace. I would ignore Google. I know Google ... you can do a website now, free one page website on Google, and I don't know but I think one day they're gonna favor those pages over original content. [inaudible 00:25:06] for snippets and things like that.
Richard: I really dislike Google at this point.
Jessica: [inaudible 00:25:10] Yeah, so I wanna ignore that, but Squarespace is okay if you're trying to keep things cheap, and you just wanna get a website up and running. There is obviously a monthly charge for Squarespace, so if you can find someone, like a really good friend of yours who would do WordPress for you, you can get pretty cheap hosting as well, and like Rich said there's heaps of things where you can just create a one-pager. That's my overview for a one-pager. What about you, now that we've given you all the answers?
Josh: I know, right?
Jessica: What do you think?
Richard: Two minutes to think.
Josh: I'd look at ... definitely you'd go WordPress, is the route, but also if you're not tech savvy and you don't know how to go on to Bluehost.com and get a free 395 per month hosting account, and then push the one step install [inaudible 00:26:03] to get it installed for you, and then choose a theme, and put the [inaudible 00:26:07] on, then ... yeah, you could go your route with Squarespace and I'm not sure of Wix's one-page layouts but ... you can also use the likes of Leadpages or Instapage, just for developing the desktop and the mobile version of the site, and the reason I'd probably choose that would be purely based off what the goals are for the company. So, if they're just looking at a one-pager, that they'll eventually roll into a multi-page site, then Instapage I wouldn't recommend, or Leadpages I wouldn't recommend-
Josh: But if it's campaign-specific ... so you're looking to run a campaign on Facebook, or, say, Snapchat. If you're doing something like that and you just need to get something up and going, then I'd do those 'cause you'd be able to put in the tracking codes that are required, so you Google [inaudible 00:26:54] and your Facebook tracking codes ... pixel-tracking information a lot easier than one would be able to do on WordPress, because on WordPress you'd have to install a Facebook plug-in, and then if you were gonna do due diligence, you'd have to look through which Facebook plug-in to install, and which of these tabs do I need to look at to change the settings, etc. So I think the quickest route would be, going down for campaign, one of the landing-page-specific platforms.
Jessica: You are not allowed to go last anymore. He does this every time.
Richard: That's good.
Jessica: He always totally outshines us.
Richard: Pulls the rug.
Josh: No.[crosstalk 00:27:30] It does go back to big calls. And we were talking about CRMs and how, as an agency we implore clients to use a CRM, but I think from their perspective, we as an agency are possibly, slightly, least aware of what the primary needs are of the client, because we [inaudible 00:27:55] with the client, and they'd say "look, we'd love to get training". They engage with us initially because they've heard that the buzzword is to get a CMS, and then to have the CMS so that they can edit content in the future.
Our focus changes to "oh great, they've said that they need to edit content in the future". But in reality, they don't really want to edit content in the future, they have no interest whatsoever with changing their "About Us" page, uploading a new gallery image, putting another team member on the website. Their primary drive there is to make sure — and we've talked about it beforehand — that they look really good in front of whoever they have to go to and get the check signs for, all the proposal signs for. So ultimately, for them, if they can get a website that has CMS and they can explain it to their boss, and they say "look, this proposal has a CMS, this one doesn't." Or "CMS is supposed to be easier and this one isn't." Ultimately, it's gonna come down to how active that individual is, and how much of a core component of their market activity the website is. Because, ultimately, most websites ... we could say every website should be updated, but at the end of the day most of them will be launched, people won't change them for six to twelve, maybe eighteen months at a time, right?
Jessica: No, stop.
Josh: Well, it's the reality, right? And their reality is born out of the reality that they, as an administration manager who initially contacted us, or even a marketing coordinator, they're too tired for it, and if have to prioritize everything from the flaming, burning problem in front of them, which is "hey, we're losing money on AdWords campaigns or in newspaper advertising", that is gonna be so more a priority than the bottom list, "I need to add an article" on a site. So I truly don't think ... I just think the reality is a lot of people don't prioritize. So if we didn't have as much content marketing activities as we do for our brand, you wouldn't be spending as much time on the CMS.
Jessica: That would be nice. [crosstalk 00:29:48] I'm just kidding.
Josh: You would probably ... no, you are the only person that uses the website-
Josh: In our company. And we're a web design company. A website development company. So I can appreciate when you get a mining company, or anyone like this. Initially they engage with us because they want all the bells and whistles, they wanna look good, they don't wanna look like they did a really crap job, but at the end of the day, if that's not their main thing — like you were brought in primarily to manage content on our site — then they're not gonna use the CMS.
Josh: When we talk about what you should do, what you shouldn't do, I think it also comes back to just recognizing "hey, as a brand, maybe you're really interested in getting a content management system. But because you think it's a good "to-have". But ultimately, if your intent, or your capacity as an individual within the company won't allow you to post new content on the site, then do you really need a CMS? Is it fine for you-
Jessica: Episode number 26.
Josh: Possibly, right? Do you need a CMS? But, is it fine for you to just do away with any training, to manage the content, and just know that "hey, cool, I'm gonna have a great looking brochure site that will be mobile as well as desktop compliant. It will be optimized...", all the rest of this stuff, and then just contact the agency on a [inaudible 00:31:08] level. Because we have the two hour training, or the one hour training, but then yeah, maybe just to have an opportunity to lean into it.
So you get a website done, you don't have CMS access, which means maybe the quote is a couple thousand dollars cheaper, or three or four thousand dollars cheaper, whatever it is. But then, at a later date you can review that, and be able to say "hey, cool, we've set up, we've been really happy with our website, but we've noticed we're not able to make these changes or we're gonna have this big drive in terms of an email campaign, so we'd like to be able to manage this page..."
At that point is when you can migrate from a website that didn't have a CMS at all because you weren't really gonna use it anyway for the first twelve to eighteen months of doing business, and now we're at the point where we need to employ a CMS, but it doesn't need to be a custom interface. It doesn't need to be a "hey, look Josh, if I walked into a room, this is where I would have the desk located" or "this is where the chair would be" or "the kitchen would be", it's purely just "cool, I go into a room, it does the bare needs".
So I have a CMS, it does the bare needs. Maybe it's WordPress, or maybe it's Squarespace, like we see it, but then at the point when people are getting really mature with the way they use the CMS, like you are, or you have been for a great deal of time, that's when you get to the point of realizing "hey, cool, it's okay to look at my website, or my CMS as just ... it's good enough for now. It gets me what I need over the next six to twelve months, maybe twelve to twenty for months, but it'll do. And then where we're at, at the moment, with you and Rich looking through our existing site, is being able to say, "great as our website is right now we see all these other opportunities, and we're now in a position where, if we could have the website changed slightly, have the CMS changed slightly, we'd be able to do so much more in terms of monthly activity, we could be wiser with our time."
So I do definitely see it as this progression like you see it in terms of the business growing. It's not a get-in, get a CMS, add a flashy word, or a flashy catch-phrase. Everyone's gotta have one but ... it's how I'd approach doing it. If I was looking at the web business and yeah-
Richard: That's interesting. Look, I would say from developing some sites, there would be usually a point where, if you're gonna add a CMS, I guess it takes time but you buy that back later, if you're gonna build it out more, because it starts making things repeatable and that sort of thing. It starts working for you as well. So you could very easily have scenarios where you decide, even if the client doesn't wanna touch the content of the site, we still decide to include the CMS, and it's just waiting for-
Richard: But I like your point about ... asking a question about "do you even need a website", right? If you can just have a landing page. We've crossed that one before, but in some cases maybe it does just need to be a Facebook page or something else. I thought I'd mention, I haven't tried it out. Think I've said this before, but every time I log into MailChimp they try to tell me to create a landing page because they've got that [inaudible 00:34:04] in now, and they do a really good job of everything they do, so I would be surprised if they didn't also do a good landing page, if you've already got their subscription. So it might be a place to go and try as well.
Josh: We've got a lot of client-
Josh: That's using MailChimp for Facebook campaigns cause it's just a lot easier for them too, for them to add landing pages, so it makes sense.
Richard: And that's another example. Then there's Squarespace. They are corporations whose sole responsibility is to make online software that seems to me so much easier than it should be, to get an outcome, and that's good because it's an outcome-based product, as opposed to a technical-based "oh, you need this because we always do it [inaudible 00:34:44]". So I appreciate that.
Richard: It's a good insight.
Richard: Cool. Did you wanna throw out another example?
Jessica: Alright. Let's say I'm a home builder, 'cause I don't know anything about that. But if I'm a home owner [crosstalk 00:35:05]
Richard: You're not about that life.
Jessica: I'm not about that life, clearly. 'Cause I've had experience building home builder websites, and we've definitely at Bam Creative have done that. What would you ... let's just ... forsaking the past and looking to the future, what would you recommend? And keeping in mind that, as also an inexperienced person who's never worked on a home builder before ... we have to keep in mind that there's home designs, there's-
Richard: House and land.
Jessica: Display homes, there's house and land, there's promotions. There is also display homes that are for sale. What would you recommend? Help me, I don't know.
Richard: Can I start?
Jessica: I want Josh to start. Or do you wanna start since you actually asked, if you wanted to start?
Richard: No, I didn't mean those words. Josh, take it away.
Jessica: I don't mean what I say, by the way.
Josh: I don't know what the question is?
Jessica: The question is, if you were a home builder, what content management system would you build with?
Josh: I want Jess to start.
Richard: Yeah, let's go Jess.
Jessica: This is like Truth or Dare. I would recommend ... if you wanted to do it on the cheap, then I'd do it with WordPress, with advanced custom fields, because there are a lot of information that you need to categorize, and there's often times where you're duplicating [inaudible 00:36:32] as well. And then if you're going into house and land packages or display homes, they're a little bit different because they have locations which can change the structure of information, 'cause you're gonna be having an inclusion of maps, or maybe brochures, or whatever it is. But when we were looking at doing a pitch for that really huge project that you lost for us Rich-
Richard: I believe it's on hold.
Josh: Yeah, technically.
Jessica: No, the other project we lost. Just losing projects left and right. But we're winning too so ... anyway-
Josh: It's good, cause then we've got more time to focus.
Jessica: That's exactly right, what do I do all day? You went through Craft with me, and I was like "I'm in love with this thing, where has it been all my life?" It just made it seem so much easier to actually build a website using Craft because there's just so much editing to be done on a WordPress website for a home builder. You're kinda always changing the core functions to make it work.
Richard: Yeah. [inaudible 00:37:37]
Jessica: So I would like ... with my experience, slash non-experience building home builders with WordPress, I would definitely say Craft. I loved ... I wish I could go back in time.
Richard: Yep. Yep. No, I think-
Jessica: I loved it, it was awesome.
Richard: You mentioned the Bam's customs fields, and that is extending what is essentially a blogging platform into being something more than that, and Craft comes from somewhere different. It's following on from ExpressionEngine. One way. It was my go to CMS for many a year, but Craft basically improves upon it in every single way but that comes from a channel-based publishing platform, where you basically go "right, what are the services my business offers and what are the other insulary things that my business wants to display on its website.
And all of these things can be quite unique in the case of a home builder, they could be house and land packages, they could be display homes, and the power, as I mentioned before, is that you can publish one thing, and then you can publish something else that refers from the first one as well. It refers to it. And so, the website does all the hard work. You just go "well, we're starting with this design, and here's the list of locations I've already published. So, actually, I just need to go checkbox, checkbox, publish and I'm done." Give it a title and we're done. The page can just do the rest based on the other content you've already published. That's where you can save yourself a lot of time.
Josh: So explain a scenario for that.
Richard: I'll explain the scenario. Let's go to [inaudible 00:39:17] because-
Jessica: I love this.
Richard: That was the website where we were getting quotes from people, and then it just turned out to be better for me to do it myself, and I was researching different ways it could be built, but honestly, ExpressionEngine was not gonna be fit because if you think of the way they were made up, they had three different locations at that point. They had Osborne Park, [Kenington 00:39:43], and [Mendora 00:39:43]. They had over a dozen brands, each of them would have their own showrooms as well. You might have one brand that was straddling two different locations, that sort of thing. So it starts getting messy. And you can either do it completely manually, or you can build it in a tree structure where you go "let's just start from the very top and work our way down".
So you'll have your three different locations, you can assign a brand to any of them, each brand will have a bunch of different models assigned to it as well. Service departments, parts departments, that sort of thing. And then, elsewhere on the site you might have staff members, you might have employment positions, that sort of thing. They're all different channels. And they've all got their own fields that are completely custom tuned. And when you hit the submit button, the website has built itself. Here are the different brands, okay? In a grid. Each of them has ... there's different models. Or here are the different locations, here are the contact numbers for the service and parts departments because it's all relatable and it all makes sense, because you break up the publishing environment in such a way that people are going to see what they need to see. They know what they need to see, because it's their job. They work in service, they work in parts. So you've got one phone number there that you need to change. You change it, it changes all across the site. That sort of thing.
That's the best way I can illustrate it. And the same applies to a home builder, to be honest. It's a hierarchical structure, where you've got different customer requirements so you only wanna see what makes sense when you're trying to do a single task. And then you just wanna forget about everything else.
Josh: Yeah. That's pretty cool. In terms of ... [inaudible 00:41:26] question again. One of point to add to that is ... you mentioned how we can keep a website dynamic, so we're only changing one field for multiple areas throughout the entire site, or a number of sites, if you're doing a ... yeah, for several different locations as you mentioned. I think the other opportunity to be mindful of as well is, if we're looking at marketing in the future, or even content generation in the future ... there was a case where everyone ... and I think Yoast SEO is the standard in terms of making changes to a WordPress site, so that you can be able to optimize your page content, etc. But in looking at a custom interface like yours, you obviously have to build up those custom fields, but the added opportunity there is that theoretically, if you are developing it from scratch, then, it should be less cumbersome process-wise than some plug-ins. I'm not saying they compare to Yoast necessarily. It will be faster to be able to compute, or conduct whatever functionality you need to-
Josh: But that may be another opportunity. And maybe that's the bad example. The better example would be, say, code-creating plug-ins that you use in WordPress, which might add to some of the process time when you're doing several queries, I'm not sure. The other one as well in terms of content generation, which would be interesting — I'd expect that it's possible through Craft CMS — is not having to use a couple different plug-ins, as well as custom development on a WordPress site, to be able to generate pages, en masse. If you would have pages where, say if we had a plumber, for instance, then one of the tactics that was ... was used inefficiently in previous years is [inaudible 00:43:19] would be to generate a plumber page [crosstalk 00:43:24]
Jessica: No, sorry [crosstalk 00:43:29].
Josh: I can see how, in Craft CMS potentially, if you didn't have to use a series of plug-ins, and you could just make sure that it was computed straight form the gear, then that would be really smart. Obviously you're replacing all the [inaudible 00:43:41], all the tags, and all the rest of that, so it would be quite powerful.
Richard: I think you're getting to the crux of it. Because the thing you've gotta overcome when it comes to looking at how to maintain that website is you're probably thinking of pages, and you're confused because you know, "I'm on this page, how do I edit this?". And this is one of the shortcomings of the ExpressionEngine, that Craft improves upon. You can [inaudible 00:44:06] here that will take you to the appropriate place. Maybe that works. But in the case [inaudible 00:44:10] I have entire sections of the website. Basically the entire website itself. There were very few that were just static content pages. And they would be "About Us" or warranty pages, that sort of thing.
Everything else, contact pages, that sort of thing, it's like "how many locations do we have? Which one of these is applicable?" And we would build entire trees that automatically generated pages based on the one format, one email or whatever it is that is different between them. And to your point about SEO, that sort of thing, I think there's fifteen hundred pages or something like that? Cause it's important stuff as well to maintain. They have their own pages, everything gets re-built overnight, and then statically cached, to your point. But again, Craft improves upon that with its own cache [inaudible 00:44:57]. But you can have full back descriptions that are "come see [inaudible 00:45:03]. What's the model? What's the brand? It's Jaguar." Ash, or whatever dealership location. You can build all that out dynamically, so you have from the get-go 100% unique meta-descriptions out of the gate. And then you can then ... if someone is lazy they can edit their own. It folds back on that.
Josh: [inaudible 00:45:29] is really powerful if it's done right. The problem is that people are so lazy with the content, which is why I think you were a little bit squeamish beforehand about hearing the multiple pages or about the old school "okay let's put 101 suburbs, or 101 car models". To your point on a single page, hoping that would get better ranked organically. It doesn't work. And there's a lot of effort involved in using [inaudible 00:45:51] defectively on a page when you're generating it dynamically, but the payoff is so great when you do do it correctly.
And sometimes it's a bit of a hybrid of both. Order-generated as well as manually getting some content in there, but I think that's where having a URL where it's just channels, and then there's gonna be an element of civil areas on a single page that would be initially generated by Craft but there are gonna be a couple sections in there that will have hand-written, actual copyrighted for whatever reason. I think spun content is great. It still works to this day. I have multiple sites, multiple niche sites that rank highly, number one, number two, spots on Google just because of that.
Richard: Don't get me wrong though. You need content for all of the models, and again the actual stocks themselves that were imported that was from the dealers sort of content management systems as well. So, that got imported automatically. But the, I guess the glue holding it all together is what was so powerful about it, that no one had to worry about that at all, just takes care of itself. And like I said if you need to change one thing, that's all we have to worry about. You don't have to worry about the hundreds of pages that might be listed. And then fine you can [inaudible 00:47:05] or out of date, or find the numbers, or any of that sort of thing. It's just building the framework, and then just making the content that you do publish as engaging as possible.
Josh: So it's pretty several layers deep, this issue. I talked about, well if you getting started with one page websites, you're doing something advanced like [inaudible 00:47:25] does in terms of their CMS but-
Richard: And, to put it in perspective the organic traffic basically doubled the moment it launched. It paid off by taking what was a static brochure site that had a lot of news links, but wasn't really very well maintained to something that could be really dynamic and generate a lot of pages that each still had useful content. It paid off big time.
Josh: Yeah. That's cool. Wanna wrap it up Jess?
Jessica: Yeah. I was just gonna say, before we wrap it up, do you have any final thought in terms of choosing a CMS, right CMS for you?
Richard: Listen to the episode again.
Jessica: Wow. Okay. Well, mine was gonna be ... I suppose it would be different if you were a marketing manager or running your own business, but mine would be to actually do your research and actually read up on different content management systems to actually decide what's better for you. Don't just rely on price cause it doesn't always turn out the best. We've had some people who've contacted us and they've been like "can you help us finish our Squarespace website and it turns out that they actually needed something way more-
Josh: Sorry. That was a CMS.
Jessica: Answer it. Just kidding.
Josh: That was [inaudible 00:48:46].
Richard: To your point Jess, we generally can't take something that someone's started and run with it.
Jessica: It's impossible.
Richard: We have to start again, so.
Jessica: I'll see websites where I've had to write content, and it's a fairly recent one that I've done that, and I'm just like, this person needs to redo their entire website cause there's actually fundamental core issues with the content management system. It's not-
Josh: I know what you're talking about.
Jessica: Then we can actually start working on the content. Cause, at this stage the content's almost like a bandaid for the deeper problems with the site. So it's kinda like I'm fighting a losing battle, so wish me well. But who would like to go next in terms of choosing our content management system. What's the best way-
Josh: Oh, this is the close?
Jessica: This is the closing. And then I'll cut you off and roll it up.
Josh: Yeah, cool. I'll go. So if you're engaging with a company or with a freelancer, or you're gonna do it yourself, to build a website, and you are so focused on the website has to do this, or the CMS has to do this. I'd ask why you're like that. Why you're asking those questions. A couple of reasons. One of the primary reasons for asking those questions. Normally when a marketing, or a [inaudible 00:50:06] or even a business owner engages with me, they're looking for a quote that they can be able to compare with other quotes. They wanna find out what the best deal is for them.
But if you're hoping that your website quote that you have in front of you is gonna deliver all of your needs over the next 1 to 5 years, then as long as your needs never change, so as long as your business calls never change, the activity in the market never changes, how clients interact with you, or how you decide that you need to interact with them to stay relevant near the changes, then cool, go have at it try and get the best deal price-wise that you can.
But if you recognize that nothing is gonna stay the same, so your needs, how you choose to interact with websites, how you expect others to interact with them, then you're ultimately gonna have to put the perspective of this is what I need right now to serve my needs exceptionally well within a reasonable budget ... quote-unquote reasonable budget is base don a multitude of factors, including how much equity you have with the person that signs the checks on the company. But if you feel like you're just trying to get everything you can in this one moment in time, when you're reviewing your website, I guarantee it's gonna fail. I guarantee you're gonna come up short. You won't meet the needs that you had originally because no agency can deliver on both what you say you need as well as what you actually need because not even you know. I'd actually suggest taking a step back and saying cool, if you could put it in the perspective of I'm gonna get this website with this respective CMS to do the bare minimum of these five things, or these ten things. And then really deliver on those.
Even if you have, say other [inaudible 00:51:46] saying "Oh, but what about this thing? I saw this on another website." What about this, and what about that? Because it all comes back to price at the end of the day. Then I just say focus on getting the bare minimum done, and do it exceptionally well, so that you can, overtime, get to a position where you say hey guys, we're gonna go through and get a website ... if it was a Craft site maybe, it's gonna be maybe 10k, or 10 to 15k. It will deliver on these ten core things we needed. It won't deliver on the seven other things I really wanted to achieve but it will simplify the time that I can spend on the CMS. It will make sure that I'm not wasting time learning about WordPress plug-ins, or learning about the limitation of Squarespace when it comes to having on-page titles, custom [inaudible 00:52:31] onto a page.
So we're gonna focus on one thing really simply. It's not gonna be what you want, it's not gonna ... we had a discussion about getting a website for the next five years, it won't be like that. It will likely be that we'll go two to three years, and we're reviewing our business strategy every year so things are gonna change and then we'll need to either re-vamp that existing site, or because of the size of the company, or we were heading in an odd direction, we may very well need to look at another CMS. But ultimately we're just looking at something that can help us right now. So that's what I-
Richard: That's fair. You might actually know what you want. If you've got more money, you've got specific needs, you might be further up the scale. We don't know that. But I think the important thing is to be aware of the power and the importance of unique content on the web, and engaging user experience and then, whether or not we need to speak to an agency or not to determine where you fit and how you can find one that uses ... that you can use to reach those goals, either dive in yourself or comes back to someone who can guide you through the process.
Jessica: We're done, okay? [crosstalk 00:53:49] Actually this guy.
Josh: I was curious too. I'd love to know from the audience who would be interested in getting a better understanding of how innovative Craft CMS is in terms of its channel layer, because if there's enough people that come back to us then, I think Richard would be more than happy and yawning about it. Just a whiteboard video you know, something like that.
Richard: You don't have to put a time on it, but yeah, sure. [crosstalk 00:54:09]
Josh: Yeah, but you know just a basic concept summary of hey, this is classically how CMS works, and this is how Craft CMS can really be there for your process, so ... get at us, leave a comment on the video, whichever platform you're watching or consuming the content, and then if there's enough people who say "Richard's needed", then I'm sure-
Richard: Sounds good to me.
Jessica: Your introduction, your first week of working here, Craft CMS was part of his "Hi, I'm Richard"-
Richard: It was my Bam [inaudible 00:54:42].
Jessica: Yeah. Welcome to Bam. And he started talking about Craft CMS, and I was like "I don't know what's going on."
Richard: I was confused. I thought my name was Craft CMS for ... that's alright. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's awesome. I'd love to talk about it for five hours, six hours, sun up.
Richard: Oh my gosh.
Jessica: I don't know.
Richard: Where are you going with that?
Jessica: I wasn't gonna follow through. I swear. We have a no singing policy on this podcast. No one's allowed to sing.
Richard: Aw, we could have a no singing policy upstairs Jess.
Jessica: No one must sing.
Richard: I've tried so hard. Falsetto.
Josh: It sweetens the soul.
Jessica: Okay, thank you so much for listening, watching, reading, looking, learning.
Richard: Craft CMS!
Richard: It's great.
Jessica: If you want to contact us, you can, by email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call us during office hours. But maybe we won't answer cause we're busy. You can-
Richard: Just get at us, we'll figure it out.
Jessica: Yeah, we'll figure it out. [crosstalk 00:55:58] No, I'm not done. [crosstalk 00:56:02] I'm doing my thing, thanks. Thanks.
Richard: Thanks guys.
Jessica: Thank you, bye.
Richard: Thanks guys.