Good CMS Theme Development Practices
If you’re building a website for someone or outsourcing your website build, it’s important to exercise good Content Management System (CMS) development practices, or choose a company that does. We’ve already addressed which CMS is the best in functionality in a previous blog: http://ilfsn.com/cms, but no CMS will be particularly helpful if it’s not developed with a user-friendly theme.
When creating a CMS theme, no matter what platform you use, development should be based on content rather than layout. The layout is a concrete foundation but the the content is changeable and needs to be easily editable by yourself or the person who is maintaining the website. To make it easy to manage, the developer should not design anything in the layout that’s intended to be changed. In other words, they should not hardcode any content that will need to be changed.
In order to figure out what should and should not go into the layout, the developer needs to figure out what the client or end user will need to be able to edit, as far as content goes. This will mainly be text and body content that the developer will need to plan and find the best way for it to be implemented. One good way is to use widgets, because they are dynamic, customizable and can be used in a variety of different ways. For example, sidebars can usually be developed using widgets so the client can change the functionality or the text and links in it with ease. If the sidebar was hardcoded, the client would have a tough time making edits and could potentially mess up the layout altogether.
Since not everyone is savvy with HTML code, it’s better for the developer to use plain text as opposed to formatted in the back end of the CMS. This way prevents the client from accidentally changing the formatting, which could result in breaking the page layout. To achieve this, it’s sometimes necessary to create multiple custom page templates that work better with how the page is intended to function than the default page layout.
By keeping this advice in mind, you can create and/or maintain a website that is aesthetically pleasing as well as easily functional and manageable.Tags: CMS, content management system, custom page templates, developer, functionality, html code, manageable, page layout, website build, website platform