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5 Tips for Choosing a CMS for Your Website

5 Tips for Choosing a CMS for Your Website

If you are interested in creating a website, you probably want a content management system (CMS). While you can code a website from scratch if you know how, a CMS lets most people easily add content, format their websites, and add and arrange content how they see fit. However, selecting the right CMS can be challenging and many get overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong if you want to use WordPress, but it may not be the best choice for your particular website. Every organization needs something different, whether that difference comes down to personal tastes or what resources are available. Here are some tips and factors to consider for your website so you can get the CMS that is just right for you.

1. Figure out why you want a website

Different CMSs are built for different websites. For example, an e-commerce website should consider Magneto.

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In addition to figuring out why you want to build a website, you need to define what constitutes a successful website. For most websites, simply attracting visitors is enough. But if you are running an online business or charity, you want to measure how much money you are receiving from the business. While this may seem to be a basic step, knowing what you want from your website is the first step to determining what CMS will work.

2. Understand open source vs. proprietary CMS

There are many different CMSs out there, but they can be generally divided into free, open-source CMSs like WordPress or Joomla or paid, proprietary CMS like Ghost or LightCMS.

You may think that the paid CMS will be better than a free one, but that is not the case. In fact, open-source CMSs are generally more flexible, have more design choices, and are more affordable. The catch is that an open-source CMS is a general template that is suitable for a vast array of websites, while a proprietary CMS can be customized for your specific design or business. Also, a proprietary CMS is normally safer.

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Cypress North has a good guide if you are still unsure whether to pay or not. But in general, go for an open-source website if your organization is completely new and you are unsure about what you want the website to look like. Open source CMSs like WordPress are best if you want to set up a blog. Use a proprietary CMS if you are in a more niche field, know exactly what the website’s design should be, and have the cash available.

3. How easy is it to use and restrict?

If you have some computer expertise and are the only person managing your website, then you can use a more complicated CMS. But if you have multiple users and editors, then you need a CMS that is more user-friendly. In this regard, WordPress is a good starting point for your website, as you can figure out what your peers are capable of doing or not doing and adjusting your website and its coding appropriately.

But while you want a CMS that your peers can use easily, you also need to be able to control who can post what as the website grows larger.

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For example, a news website may have bloggers who can post an article, but only after an editor checks over and approves it. Make sure that the CMS allows for multiple roles and different kinds of permissions, enabling you to limit where users can post.

4. Check the search function

When someone visits your website looking for relevant content, they will often hit your website’s search engine to find something they are interested in. It’s most likely that 30 percent of site visitors will use a website’s search bar on their first visit.((Agility: Why it’s Important to Have a Search Bar On Your Site—And How to Leverage It))

This obviously means that you want to make sure your CMS has a search bar option, but that is not enough. Make sure that the search has good speed, checks all of your website to find relevant content, and understand how it shows its rankings. If you are using an open-source CMS, look at search plug-in options that can give users more advanced search criteria or speed up searching.

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5. Understand the relationship between CMS and SEO

Every website wants to attract people, and a strong SEO strategy is critical towards getting viewers. Consequently, any CMS must have options that can help your website on the search rankings.

Some things to consider are the URLs, as you want your web pages to read well. Also check to make sure that the CMS will let you customize page title, keywords, and the meta description. Higher Visibility also has some good pieces of advice for other ways which your website’s CMS can improve your SEO such as breadcrumb navigation and a 301 redirect.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Abogado via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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