Content managers vs developers

What do you folks think?
It seems that it is a new trend to hire more “content manager” than developers in some companies.
But am getting the strong impressions that devs can do content and cm normally don’t do a lot of developing.
Wonder if this is just a short trend or something that can pretty much only be done if you have an environment that allows for some very simple self publishing.

I believe that bigger companies don’t need any SEO nor design as their brand name is recognized already. Therefore they can afford to use CMS site which is basically pre-designed and needs more content than anything else, i.e Ebay. Once a company can afford to use radio/tv and newspaper ads the domain name is clear. It’ll be the company’s name. For companies not having that kind of budget a domain name where the items are mentioned are way more useful and html/php is way more effective in SEO IMO if accompanied by a domain name fitting in.

Developers are more expensive than Content Managers, in the sense you’re talking about.

I’ve always been in a position where CMs come after the Developer and if anything really needs to be done or modified, a Developer is called back in. Content Management can be a full time job by itself.

I don’t think that there’s a CMS vs. Developers scenario. In many situations, a CMS will be perfect and in some situations you’ll need a full, customized solution.

You don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to. Why would you if something suits your needs perfectly fine?

Using a CMS will hurt your SEO only if the template you use is not SEO friendly. Sure, a fully customized application may be good… for your needs today but… will it adapt to future needs that you didn’t know that you had? It is expensive and it takes time and effort. So it may not be worth it.

In other cases, a CMS as such may not be enough and the customization needed to meat your needs and goals would be so big that creating your own, personal CMS or application will be the right answer

Molona I was acutally bringin up cm in the context of individual that do not develop or code…but “manage content” whatever that entails. frankly it seems a bit nebulous. lot’s of copying and pasting i think. & of course like w/devs some are better than other.
And Mawbur I was actually wondering about that. The possible pay diff.

Uhm, remember that “content is king”. :smiley: Most websites would benefit greatly from someone curating the content properly. It takes skill, care and vigilance to do it properly. Well planned and presented content is good for business—including SEO.

am getting the strong impressions that devs can do content

Leaving developers in charge of content is a bad, bad idea. Content should not be an afterthought by people which poor language skills (which seems to be mandatory for developers).

Sorry. I was answering more to @arnego2; since he went for the development + SEO route.

A content manager has nothing to do with development and both should not be mixed.

Maybe there’s a developer that could be a content manager (or the other way around) but the job description has nothing to do.

You say that companies seems to be hiring more content managers than developers. I would say this is logical for most companies. Once the big job is done, you will only need a handful of developers to fix and improve the site bit by bit.

But since a site with no content is nothing, you do really need to fill it with interesting stuff, and good quality. Doing it properly is not easy, takes time, common sense and good writing skills and a lot of understanding of your users and their needs

I’ve never met CMS developer nor do I know anything about it. The way I see is that CMS is someone who can build furniture bought from IKEA and developers go straight to Home Depot and buy all the parts. Now, IKEA isn’t bad as I shop there because it’s cheap and does the job well. However, if you can afford to have custom furniture that matches your style and size then it maybe worth the cost. Still. developers need not worry as there are plenty of jobs available.

Off Topic:

There seems to be a frequent mis-interpretation of anacronyms here. CMs (Content Managers) is not the same as CMS (Content Managenent System)

Content Manager sounds like a title given to someone responsible for both graphics and text content. This would have little to do with Design or Development.

I’ve never heard that term before but now that I think of it just about every company I have worked for has had people with those types of roles. The developers would be focused on long term tasks and bug fixing for the core content management platform. Than there were people, mostly designers who knew enough HTML and CSS to add “pages” through whatever CMS we were using. The “content managers” were mostly responsible for day to day upkeep of a site through a UI, not really any long term projects or bug-fixing. In some cases developers had to be pulled into certain “content manager” tasks when requirements exceeded skill or capabilities of the platform being used.

Either way in all my experience this scenario has been represented by a “core” team of developers supporting a single platform deployed in many different contexts. The best example I can provide is the NBA team sites. Any day-to-day changes of the x teams site was handled by asset(s) on the NBA team payroll –probably what you would refer to as a content manager. However, functional changes to the core CMS was handled by the team I was on and we were not part of any NBA team but Turner Broadcasting – licensing the “cms” to all the NBA teams as part of contractual obligations.

Similiar circumstance is a job prior to that when I worked for Morris Communications. Morris communications owned several newspapers. People located at the newspapers themselves dealt with day to day upkeep of the site, like changing banners, adding content,etc through the content management system in place. My core team was located at corporate and we only dealt with functional changes, development efforts, new projects that typically could be deployed to all sites. Though again when something exceeded a “content managers” role it was typically assigned as a ticket to us and we were responsible for resolving it.

Also it is worth noting that in both of these scenarios the content management system was a highly customized platform evolving from a functional level every week. So there was plenty of work to go around not to mention middle ware and third party integrations to make things as easy as possible for the “content managers”. There were a lot of moving parts that had evolved over several years of work not just a simple install of your favorite open source cms.

That is funny because I think similar about designers – software architecture shouldn’t be a limited, afterthought based on the plugins available for Wordpress. However, it seems more often than not in the “freelance” and “web design” world it is.

However, I do agree with you. My job as a developer/engineer is NOT to write content and only in the most dire/simple circumstance create graphics. At my current position those tasks are spit between a single content manager and copywriters I believe. Probably the first job I’ve had were everyone who currently touches the code, HTML, CSS, javaScript, PHP, etc actually fully knows what they are doing. Were as with some other jobs there have been some “content manager” who knew enough to be very dangerous and didn’t understand certain consequences of actions when going outside our recommended workflow. However, that is another story.

I’ve never created the content. The content either comes from someone else directly or is automated from some feed and/or local repository like a database. Never have I written content unless it is for UI status messages, help text (documentation), or UI textual for an admin interface.

Well in my experience this is probably true because the “content managers” are typically spread across multiple separate organizations that license a shared platform for achieving day to day communications with visitors. However, I’m certain that my paycheck has always been significantly larger unless we are talking people in management level roles. Where their main role encompasses a much larger spectrum than just maintaining a website such as; complete marketing presence, etc. The exception to that rule might be copywriters depending on the organization.

No matter the environment unless you are dealing with a small small business requirements quickly exceed the default capabilities of any base system. In my opinion failure to do so actually reflects poorly on a company because it displays a lack of creativity and innovation. No system is built to do everything it must the first time. For many organizations if “innovations” can be managed in the form of just front-end code than they are failing to innovate and evolve thus are slowly dying when it comes to their technological presence.

That leads me to the point that content managers pose absolutely no threat to engineers. If anything they make our life easier and I will welcome them with open arms :slight_smile:

Well so long as they know their place and stay out of the actual code unless they truly understand certain concepts like version control. The first thing a designer or “content manager” whatever they are called will mess up when given access to the “templates” is the source control system. Always… never fails. Which is why we try our best to keep them out of it and provide everything they *need to touch through a UI. It is for your own good and MY sanity!

The other one that really gets me with organizations that have a development staff is having “content managers” or “designers” complete a DEVELOPMENT EFFORT without brining engineering into the loop. The reason being chances are that when that one or two people leave it will be yet another thing engineering takes on and will have to entangle. We don’t so much mind the work but dealing with the upright poor “programming” decisions “designers” and “content managers” make when they know know there is a programming staff is just enough to make we take a leap off a cliff. Never have come across “engineering” by these people and not thought to myself – what the hell were they thinking! Which is all fine and dandy without engineering resources but with engineering resources due to poor overall planning by key stakeholders – c’mon now. As a engineer I won’t be sucked into writing content or content and as “designers”/“content managers” you won’t be sucked into making technological decisions and executing them in a god awful manor. The world be a better place if that is how things worked…

gm all.
yes to all the above. Of course so far my experience is that the local cm “curate” or apply the content that is provided by the stakeholder. More than actually create it.
Must admit i wonder how much they are paid. but so far too busy or not wondering enough to ask :slight_smile:

I don`t think we should hire excessive developers because content writer can play more important role. A writer provides information and reviews about current business situation while developers are useful for website structure. If you add online business software then you can reduce a big load from your head and it is more useful for you to generate leads.