This guest post is by Alicia Leonard, Vanguard’s Online Community Specialist, who we recently drafted to migrate a few client websites. Since this was the first time she had ever used the Sitefinity Content Management System (CMS), we asked her to write about her impressions as a new user and former association manager.
In today’s day and age, you’re nobody without a website. People can’t find you, don’t know what you do, or why you do it. Without it, you just don’t rank against competitors with an established, robust internet presence. Associations and non-profits used to be immune to this phenomenon, but this has begun to apply to them as well.
What to do? Associations are strapped for cash, time and people. Websites are expensive. They take people and man-hours, and both are already spread thin. In my short time using Sitefinity, I see how its simplicity and user-friendliness makes it a perfect solution for associations. This product is so easy to use, it enables an organization to have a first class, dynamic and professional website without specialized, technical staff.
Sure, I know this sounds like a well-practiced sales pitch. But let me assure you, I have seen other website content management solutions out there. It’s not pretty. In my previous life working in one of those short-staffed, small budget associations, one of my many tasks was to maintain the association website. Through various stages of the site’s life, I used a few CMS products. None of them were good. Those tools are the main reason behind my rapid acquisition of HTML – the user interface was that bad.
My role at Vanguard was at first related to different aspects of the web redesign process and I was using other products and tools to assist our clients with their projects. But with some looming deadlines, I got thrown into working with the Sitefinity CMS – without much training since everyone else was so busy. (Don’t worry. We provide great training for our clients.)
And let me tell you, this CMS is definitely a thing of beauty.
The shortage of Sitefinity training proved to be a non-issue. It is so intuitive, it truly is as easy as breathing.
Want to link to a document right here? No problem, type the text, click a button, pick your file and bam – you’re done! Want to have one of those menu items actually go to another website? Simple. Just label it a redirecting page. Next time you click on that item, you’ll be at your new destination.
Getting content into the site is a breeze and styling it even easier! Yes, I know HTML now, but I almost never need it, that’s how easy to use the interface is. The styling buttons are so easy to interpret and create very attractive results.
When I first came to Vanguard, I said I was getting to keep all the parts of my association job that I loved like client interaction and working with websites, without any of the stuff that I don’t miss.
I had no idea that I could fall in love with web design all over again. Thanks Sitefinity.