To explain this, I'm going to start by describing a small business. I'm using a small business for two reasons: I like small businesses (I own one), and everything I'm going to write is even more true for larger businesses.

Let's start with a restaurant:

Del Vechio's

Del Vechio's is an Italian restaurant in a popular resort community. Jonathan, the owner, has worked hard at building a local following but wants to increase his tourist business. He knows that people who vacation in his community use the internet to plan their vacation so he wants to have a web presence. He hires a web designer.

The designer does a good job. Jonathan has a web site showing the entertainers he books on weekends, a photo of his restaurant, and links to favorable restaurant reviews in the local paper. Jonathan is happy with his website. The site is a little hard to find on the internet but his web designer tells him that this will get better with time as search engines find his site and link to it.

Two years pass. The web designer was right; his site is linked to more often, but Jonathan is unhappy with the site. Last year, Jonathan repainted the outside of his restaurant to make it look more current, but the photo on web site shows the old stodgy color. In addition the entertainment he used to book on weekends no longer work there, having left town. The phone number for reservations has the wrong area code, since 18 months ago the phone company changed area codes for the city.

Finally, Jonathan's web designer has taken a full time job and no longer wants to work on web sites. Jonathan attempted to work with another designer who took an inordinate amount of time to get up to speed on the site. Jonathan wound up paying him slightly more to change the site than the original website cost and when he did change it the changes included many mistakes. It was so time-consuming and expensive that Jonathan is now reluctant to change the site at all.

How Common is This?

You can get on the web and see many web sites like this. Small businesses with out of date websites which once looked good but now look dated.

The CMS Solution

The site redesign used many of the same graphic elements of the orginal site. What's more the advertising copy of the original site was reused. The site still consists of 4 pages: a page showing the menu, an entertainment page, a news page about the restaurant, and the main page showing the restaurant and its phone number.

The major difference is that all of these elements and be changed by Jonathan. With content management, the changeable parts of his website are well defined and accessible using an editor similar to Microsoft word. Jonathan regularly goes in and changes the entertainment page as be books new musicians. And now he can link to the musician's own pages which enhances his search engine ranking. He had a little trouble uploading a new photo of the restaurant with the new musicians, but his son who had experience uploading photos to his Myspace account was able to help him out.

He is beginning to see an trend towards patrons finding out about his restaurant by viewing his web site. He gets people who are googling on the names of the musicians he is hiring, as well as people who are looking for restaurants in his area. He manages to put in news of the other promotional activities he does, such as hosting an art exhibit in the restaurant which seems to have a synergistic effect.
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