Today’s best websites are robust and responsive environments that empower end-users to fulfill their needs easier and more quickly than ever before. Nonprofit publications can harness the power of content management systems (CMSs) to get their content online and in the hands of interested readers worldwide. By using an open source framework like Drupal for nonprofit publications there are no licensing fees to pay, which makes developing new features and functionality easier for NPOs. What's more, open source CMSs can empower your nonprofit publication’s website and your organization to do more with less.
If you have a hard coded website, you probably struggle with making timely updates and must rely on others to do so. Publications in particular need a CMS because new content regularly gets published and old content routinely gets edited or moved, which means a reliable connection between the website’s server and its database(s) must be functioning. By allowing a CMS to handle this integration publications are able to dependably upload and edit new content on the fly without disrupting key website functions and designs. A CMS also enables non-technical persons to perform website functions through its GUI which means nonprofit publications can select from a larger pool of candidates when adding to their staff.
Nonprofit publications also need to create and foster a sense of community within their website. Online publishers often cultivate this sense of community by requiring anonymous visitors to create an account in order to access their content. Requiring user registration affords the publisher more information about their readership and allows them the opportunity to contact an individual directly via email or other provided contact information. A hard coded website can get the job done, but it's inflexible. CMSs like Drupal or WordPress allow you to leverage the community who supports that platform's expertise to adapt to the changing needs of your audience and, more often than not, other tecnologies.
Most importantly, CMSs are excellent at automating many publication processes and will significantly reduce the man-hours spent importing content or editing users. Drupal, for instance, has the ability to automatically import XML documents and display them within a predetermined design and style. Print publishers can export their work from Adobe’s InDesign into XML format and allow the CMS to automatically place their content online. What used to take several days of manual content entry can now be completed during the lunch hour autonomously.
For sites with a lot of content or third-party integrations, we recommend Drupal - hands down. We have helped transition several nonprofit publications to Drupal since partnering together and all of their teams remain excited about the possibilities the CMS provides them. The United States Naval Institute empowered their website with Drupal by automating many time and labor intensive manual processes and reported saving over $50,000 a year after making the switch to Drupal.
How else can a CMS help your nonprofit publication’s website flourish? Contact us today.
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