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Chapter 6. Content Management on a Tight... > Don't Pay for What You Don't Need

Don't Pay for What You Don't Need

In addition to knowing what your content-management needs are, a question that is almost as important is, “What don't you need?” The potential to waste money on CMS is high when you have not given careful consideration to what you need and what you don't need. I have the same problem when I go shopping, especially in computer stores. I am easily tempted by the latest gadgets, finding that they provide solutions to problems I didn't know I had. For example, I did not know that I needed an Apple iPod until I saw one in a store. The informed consumer has a pretty good idea of what she really needs (and doesn't). The informed consumer on a budget stays focused on what she needs (for instance, a monitor when hers is broken) and doesn't blow the wad on things that are cool but not urgently required. So before going shopping, let's see what your needs might be.

Do You Need to Control Page Layout with Templates?

The most basic feature of a CMS is the capability to template a site. With templates, you can lock down certain areas of a web page, such as navigation and the logo area, leaving them uneditable except by certain personnel so that nontechnical content creators can't accidentally mess them up. Site managers and designers, obviously, can edit the locked-down areas so that they can update the site navigation or change the logo. Content specialists can edit only those page sections that are appropriate to their jobs. Simply put, templates allow you to administratively separate different chunks of your web pages (see Figures 6.1 and 6.2).


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