Right-sizing Your Web Team: Centralized Web Content Management

The Black Pepper team is often asked for our input on the best structure for content management teams. We answer one of three ways, depending on our clients’ budgetary and personnel constraints.

  1. Centralized web content management—keep reading for more.
  2. Decentralized web content management—see next issue of this blog.
  3. A hybrid option—also in our next issue.

Centralized Web Content Management

Centralized web management places the power to update your website in the hands of a few people. These people are usually centrally located within your organization (hence the name) and sit in your marketing/communications group.

Why this is good

This approach gives ultimate control to a few qualified resources who can stay on message using a consistent voice and tone. If you have an existing marketing communications team, one or more of these people likely is a web expert already. If not, they can become web communications specialists with training. If the team is overloaded, you can add a web specialist under this logical reporting structure.

Where it gets tricky

  • Managing the requests from departments or teams within your organization who want “their pages” updated requires a clear process, transparent prioritizing, and expectation setting about completion times. For instance, typos can be fixed quickly but are lower priority than broken donations forms.
  • Central management can also raise questions about what happens when entire sections need to be redesigned or rewritten. Do your departments pay for these changes out of their budgets, or does the money come from your central marketing and communications budget, or elsewhere like a technology budget?
  • The third challenge is to determine how much of the site is under central management. Is it really the whole site, from the home page to the hours at the library, or some set of top-level pages where messaging is most important?

Without knowing the particulars of your budget, we can’t answer these questions for you. But we can assure you that are not alone in your struggle to answer them. We recommend you have open, honest conversations with your stakeholders and clearly communicate your decisions.

If this approach doesn’t sound doable for your organization, try our next post on Decentralized Web Content Management.

This post is part of Black Pepper’s series answering commonly asked questions about technology and web user experience for non-profits and like-minded organizations.