Weblogs for Professional Web Sites
For web sites to look current and vital, they need a steady diet of fresh content. You—the designer/builder—certainly don’t want to spend all day adding articles to the news page or updating the client’s “You can see me at” travel page, do you? On the other hand, do you really want someone else to do it? A majority of our clients, be they freelance or in-house, are not well-versed in HTML or even WYSIWYG software. And even if they were, you’re responsible for the site. Are you sure you want other people stomping through your meticulously coded site with a clod-footed WYSIWYG?
What you do need is some basic content management—a way to separate the new content from your wonderful design. You need to let subject experts add content when they want, not when you have time. But content management software can be expensive, cumbersome, and a hassle for most sites. Is there a better way? Yes. You can take the power of weblogs and add them to your professional site.
Weblogs, or blogs, are a popular way of posting content to the web via a simple interface. Think of them as web-based diaries you can update from almost anywhere. Imagine adding content to your web site without writing any HTML, firing up Dreamweaver, or FTPing a single thing. Just go to a web site, log in, type your content, and publish. Within seconds, it’s inserted into a template and on your site. (See Biz Stone’s story on weblogs for more information.)
So many weblogs look like personal diaries, not meeting our high design standards for professional sites. But there are ways that you can use the simple, HTML-less interface of weblogging to add fresh content to your conservative, business-oriented web site.