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The pros and cons of hosted solutions

From: CMS Fundamentals

Video: The pros and cons of hosted solutions

A little earlier we talked about some of the different types of content management systems you can choose from. Starting with this movie, I want to talk about some of the different solutions available to you when implementing a CMS, and I want to start with an option that we haven't talked about much, hosted solutions. A hosted solution is an all-in-one, site-creation and hosting service that usually has a CMS as one of the components of its services. Most hosted solutions have a tremendous amount of features, including advanced web analytics, site-building tools, marketing campaign tools, and more.

The pros and cons of hosted solutions

A little earlier we talked about some of the different types of content management systems you can choose from. Starting with this movie, I want to talk about some of the different solutions available to you when implementing a CMS, and I want to start with an option that we haven't talked about much, hosted solutions. A hosted solution is an all-in-one, site-creation and hosting service that usually has a CMS as one of the components of its services. Most hosted solutions have a tremendous amount of features, including advanced web analytics, site-building tools, marketing campaign tools, and more.

They're designed to give individual designers, small teams, or small to medium-size organizations tools that would normally be out of their reach. Like most options, there are pros and cons to using a hosted solution. First, most offer a ton of features and tools, far beyond what most content management systems offer individually. Many offer blogs, e-commerce solutions, marketing campaigns, and web analytics, in addition to normal CMS tools. Usually they're extremely easy to set up and manage as you don't need to worry about installations or setting up your own servers.

Almost all hosted services include site-building tools as part of their CMS. Although these tools differ from service to service, they're usually designed to give non-technical people the ability to design and structure their sites without having to deal with code. One of the more attractive offerings for designers is the reseller option that many of these services offer. Now these allowed designers to set up storefronts using the hosted service build sites and then earn commissions based on the number of sites that they host through the service.

Some of the reseller services go so far as to allow the designer or design firm to create their own branded portal so their clients have no idea they're using the hosted service. And of course, there are some cons to using these services as well. First, as you would expect from such a feature-rich solution, these services can be a little bit pricey, with monthly subscription costs usually different based on the level of service that you need. Most hosted solutions do have cheaper or even free plans, but these can include ad services, lack of custom domains, or restrictions on the tools that you can use.

Another thing to consider is that once you've begun to use one of these services, you're tied to their hosting plan. Any changes in plans or services must be accepted, or you're going to be forced to try to migrate to another hosting service. Now that can you leave another problem with hosted solutions. Because of the closed nature, it can be very difficult to migrate content from a hosted solution to a new host. Also, while there is a wide range of hosted services available, there's no guarantee that you're going to find one that shares the same focus that you have.

So that's a brief introduction into what a hosted solution is. In our next movie, we're going to take a look at a few examples of hosted solutions, so that you can get a better idea of the types of hosted solutions available.

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This video is part of

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CMS Fundamentals

44 video lessons · 24011 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What CMS means for this course
      1m 44s
  2. 22m 52s
    1. What is a CMS?
      2m 47s
    2. The evolution of CMSs
      4m 4s
    3. CMS types
      6m 7s
    4. Basic CMS capabilities
      5m 4s
    5. When is a CMS right for you?
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Comparing CMSs
      4m 28s
    2. Core features to research
      4m 41s
    3. Commonly overlooked issues
      4m 12s
    4. Properly assessing needs
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing when to seek assistance
      4m 15s
    6. Choosing a CMS for designers
      4m 45s
    7. Choosing a CMS for organizations
      4m 12s
    8. The pros and cons of hosted solutions
      2m 58s
    9. Hosted solution examples
      5m 51s
    10. The pros and cons of open source solutions
      4m 36s
    11. Open source CMS examples
      7m 6s
    12. Proprietary CMSs
      7m 48s
    13. A closer look at Drupal
      5m 7s
    14. A closer look at Joomla!
      4m 0s
    15. A closer look at WordPress
      5m 33s
    16. Resources for comparing CMSs
      9m 2s
  4. 43m 58s
    1. What is an open source CMS?
      3m 4s
    2. What is a LAMP stack?
      2m 53s
    3. What are WebDAV and FTP?
      2m 39s
    4. What is MySQL?
      2m 24s
    5. WYSIWYG editors
      3m 56s
    6. Understanding users, groups, and permissions
      4m 12s
    7. What is metadata?
      5m 19s
    8. Understanding taxonomy
      3m 35s
    9. What is version control?
      4m 23s
    10. What are themes and templates?
      3m 30s
    11. What is SEO?
      4m 42s
    12. What are web analytics?
      3m 21s
  5. 36m 31s
    1. Content management as a process
      4m 38s
    2. Properly defining roles
      5m 3s
    3. Planning a content strategy
      4m 1s
    4. The importance of taxonomy
      5m 7s
    5. Controlling content lifecycle
      6m 22s
    6. Challenges for CMS migrations
      3m 45s
    7. Steps for migrating content
      4m 16s
    8. Avoiding distractions
      3m 19s
  6. 2m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 24s

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