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CMS’s, Templates, and You

What exactly is a CMS? A CMS is a Content Management System utilized by many major websites to do exactly as the name implies–manage content.  Here at Spongy Donuts, we’re experts at harnessing the power of open source CMS’s to make your website clean, lean, and efficient.  What is this “open source” you speak of? Open source means that the software/code is open:  open to see the code, open to modify the code, and almost always free in price. At Spongy Donuts, we’re open source fanatics because we believe that code, like knowledge, should be made freely available.  This is not anti-capitalistic in nature–just a different mindset to do business. Instead of charging for the code/software, the open source model charges for services like modifying code to tailor it to an individual’s desire, or in our case, creating custom websites for people based on what they need. In fact, we’re experts at harnessing the power of popular open source CMS’s like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPressWell, if these CMS’s are free to use, why can’t I just do it myself? You can! If you are familiar, or want to be familiar, with PHP, CSS, MySQL databases, and javascript, you should try to use these fantastic products yourself and just use our hosting services.  However, if you don’t want to be mired down by the often tedious nature of installing and maintaining these CMS’s, we can do it for you and create a website  based on a CMS to fit your individual needs. When we install and customize your website, we take all the hard work of setting up and customizing your website. We even keep up on the security updates, so you don’t have to. Do any big companies/entities really use open source CMS’s? Yep. Sites like whitehouse.gov, The Onion, Popular Science, Warner Brothers Records, Ebay’s blog, Yahoo blogs, Ford’s blog, People magazine, the list goes on. Of course, your website probably won’t be as big as these, but that’s the beauty of CMS’s–scalability.  They can be as small or as large as you like. But I like Flash-based sites because they’re, well, flashy. While we usually steer customers away from Flash because of the arduous nature to update Flash sites and Google’s, and other search engine’s, dislike to crawl and index Flash sites, we can, and have, do Flash sites.

Do you use templates? Yes, we do. Many website designers state, as an advantage, they don’t use templates.  Great, but we’ve found that templates offer a wonderful starting point to build a site tailored for you. There are thousands of excellent graphic designers whose sole job it is to build and create templates. Why not start with some of these designs? Using a template doesn’t mean that you’ll see your exact same site around the Internet. At Spongy Donuts, we often start with a template based on your company’s colors and needs. Then, we customize it and shape it to make it unique for you. You might stumble across another website in your Internet adventures based on the same template we might use for you, but you probably won’t even recognize it as the same.  That’s the point.  Some large companies hire a team of graphic designers and programmers to create a hundred percent unique site for them. That’s nice, but they’re also paying thousands of dollars to do so.  And even then, they’re also sometimes getting a site based on an existing CMS and template. We only charge $350 one time, if you host with us, for a website.  That’s a steal if you shop around.  But don’t trust us on that, please shop around–just be sure to read the fine print on those other companies’ sites.


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