Selling Orchard to Clients ...

Topics: General
Aug 16, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I have a client right now that has a little over 2,000 .aspx (largely static) pages. I've been trying to talk them into some form of content management system for years. Some think my advocating this will lose me money, but I don't necessarily want it so the client can make changes (they're probably not savvy enough even for that anyway) - I want something like that to make maintaining the site something less than the absolute nightmare that it currently is.

Part of me wants to just build it and put it up and them never be the wiser, but another part of me knows I need to be up front with what is going on. In addition, the site is hosted by someone who would have to know what is being installed on their server.

Anyway, what I'm looking for in starting this discussion is some good selling points to bring to this client. I have some in mind, but just wanted to see what suggestions others may have.


Aug 17, 2011 at 8:33 PM

The points that are really going to hit home with your client largely depend on who your client is, what are their business goals, what type of content is hosted on their web site and how do they want to leverage that content, what are their pain points today (both business and technical), etc.

For me, the most global advantages I see of building on an existing content management system are as follows:

  1. In most content management systems that I recommend, content and presentation are separated.  This separation allows you to free your content and present it for consumption in any number of ways (regular web page, mobile formatted, RSS, JSON or XML services, etc.).  Technologies to display and transmit content will always be changing, but content is content.  If you keep it separate, you're not only increasing your flexibility today, but also easing your path forward to new technologies in the future.
  2. CMS systems empower (relatively) non-technical users.  For good or bad, most folks want control of their content.  Those that don't will still pay you to update it (and your margins will increase since it will be a bit easier!).
  3. Add richer interactivity and features with a lower barrier of entry by leveraging the CMS ecosystem of expansion modules and themes.

Those are off the top of my head.  If you Google "benefits of a content management system" I'm sure you'll find many other opinions.  Depending on your customer's needs and business, I'm sure you can come up with a compelling argument to manage that much content.

Good luck!