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Should You Maintain Your Own CMS?

Getting a CMS for your company is an exciting, and some would say, liberating, thing. Gone, apparently, is the need for an "HTML Developer" to maintain your site.

But, is that really true? Are you really free of all support needs?

A CMS is an environment where you can create and edit the site content yourself. Yet, with that power comes responsibility that catches many new CMS Editors by surprise.

Here are some surprise questions new CMS Editors ask themselves:

Is Your Web Site Serving Your Customers?

A Website is a must-have thing for just about any business today. Yet, simply "having" a Website is not enough. A Website must be maintained to continue to serve its customers.

Many companies have dedicated staff to help keep their sites up to date. Any change to the site is thoughtfully reviewed and vetted before posting. Yet, many smaller business owners often “get a Web site”, but then quickly forget about it.  

Here are a few questions you might want to consider for setting up a new site or, especially, about your current site:

Work Smarter, NOT Harder!

For many people, running a business can be overwhelming. When you’re constantly running to keep up from customer to customer need without any time to keep track of even current customers and knowing what you’re doing for them, how can you even think about growing your business?

In many cases, these business owners are not using technology to enable them to be more productive.

Here’s a quick test: can you quickly run a report to answer all these basic customer questions or do these basic business functions?

Helping Maximize Developer Productivity

Simply put, having others create software for you could cost your company more money than necessary. Software costs can vary widely by developer experience, but also by development shop practices and closely related productivity.
 
It's amazing to see when visiting various development shops that these shops are often just using off-the-shelf (free) development tools with limited productivity enhancements. Yet these development shops are using these barebones tools for extremely complex software projects with aggressive, and often unrealistic, deadlines.
 

Why Repeatedly Type the Same Text (over and over)?

Most of us use our computers a lot. And probably just as many of us have to repeatedly type in the same, or nearly the same, text. Think for a moment about the typing you do. How much of that writing is similar where parts of it could be automated?

One of the tools that could save you a lot of time is "TextExpander" on your Mac or on your iOS device (Windows has similar utilities). We're foucsing on TextExpander here, but this blog posting isn't meant as an advertisement for any particular product.

Game Changers: The iPad and Remote Data Applications

The iPad, given the right software and an Internet connection (3G or WiFi), makes it possible for virtually any company who works with customers, to quickly lookup customer information, print invoices, email receipts, do marketing, scheduling, and many other crucial business functions.

The common problem business owners have, YOU, is that your company may want a specific application, but you can't wait the three to six months development time.

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Why "Waste" Time Documenting Web site Requirements?

People who are new to Web sites and to software often ask us why we take the time to document their software or Web site’s requirements (needs). We’re surprised that despite all the evidence on the benefits of figuring out what the customer wants, up front, aka "customer requirements", that some software designers and Web site creators STILL don't take the time to document them.

The answer why we document your requirements up front is threefold:

First, YOU are in control. You determine the content. You control the outcome.

Be careful creating "Security Questions"

Ok, so you've created "strong passwords" like shown on the Microsoft site and you're now using different passwords for each site you visit. Great!

Done? Well, not yet...

Many sites request or require that you create "Security Questions" as an extra "safeguard" -- you know, in case you forget your passwords. Uh huh.

Unfortunately, many of the default security questions themselves are often not, well, secure!

The Need to Backup Your Computer

Many computer users still do not backup their computers. In a local listserve, it’s routine to see the panic message: “My computer has crashed. Does anyone know someone who can help me get my data?”
Here’s the case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Seriously, backing up your computer is something every computer user should do.
Here are some basic questions you might want to ask yourself about whether you should do backups:

The Benefits of Using Strong Passwords

Unfortunately, computer users still terrible pick weak (non-) passwords.

In a report compiled by SplashData, and as reported on CNN, New York Daily News, Yahoo, and many other Internet sites, the top 25 worst passwords, based on a repeating survey, If you use a password like "Password" or some other obvious word or set of keyboard strokes, you likely have no protection at all.

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