Have a CMS – Please Don’t Ruin Your Design!

Having a content management system is the great new thing for all new website owners.  There are many different CMS systems and any shopping cart site has a CMS system allowing the owners full reign over all their content.

What many website owners forget, however is that how their content is placed on the page is as much of the design as the graphics are.  Unfortunately I’ve seen website owners use unusual fonts that don’t match the design or bright colours or different fonts on different pages or use irregular spacing or photos that look stretched as they weren’t resized properly.  All of this affects the overall look and feel of the site and unfortunately sites that have beautiful graphics and designs are now marred by these changes loosing their wonderful design.

So if you have a CMS here are the things you want to be careful with:

Fonts: Keep your fonts consistent with the design or at most add one font that is complimentary.  Stick to web safe fonts that compliment the design.  i.e. if you have a modern design don’t use Times New Roman as your font.

Font Colours: Keep your font colours the same but choose one call for action colour that is used consistently from page to page.  Having too many colours on a page causes a confusing and busy look.

Photos: If you add photos to your site most CMS systems have a way to resize with “constraints”.  Constraints mean that it will retain the same proportions and shrink the size consistently without stretching the photo one way or the other.  If your CMS doesn’t offer this than buy a simple photo editor like Adobe Elements for $99.  Having poor photos on your site will hurt the over all look and make your site seem unprofessional.

Spacing: Some website owners feel having double spacing or larger spacing between lines or indenting their text makes the site easier to read and it may, but the overall look will make a site look strange as no other sites do this.  Stick to formats that still look professional and similar to what other sites look like.

Having a CMS puts the responsibility of maintaining the professional look of your site on your shoulders and whenever in doubt keep it simple.