Content Management Systems (CMS) for Restaurant Websites

Restaurants can jump-start their marketing strategies by designing more responsive websites. Joomla and WordPress have become the content management systems of choice for restaurants because of their low costs and choice of thousands of easy-to-use templates. Restaurant Web design doesn’t just involve a good-looking site. Effective design strategy takes advantage of mobile marketing, uses plug-ins for better client engagement, changes content frequently and tracks and analyzes on-site behavior.

A content management system provides the tools to manage a website, but restaurateurs don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for proprietary software. WordPress and Joomla software can help you build a blog or responsive website, manage content, analyze site-visitor behavior and optimize generic searches. With the ability to design themes, restaurant owners can have a custom website with a CMS backend for easy maintenance and updating.

Responsive Restaurant Web Design

In the early days of the Internet, designing an attractive website was a linear process that was simple and static. Responsive design, however, has become increasingly important to remain competitive and keep current with technology. Using a CMS like Joomla or WordPress makes it easier to make design changes, update content, interact with customers and keep a website fresh. Advantages of responsive website design for restaurants include:

  • Layouts that respond to the needs of users and the devices being used
  • Fluid designs that adapt to screen-size and resolution characteristics
  • Easy navigation to the next step in the sales funnel
  • Capture of behavioral information to increase conversion rates
  • Internal navigation from each landing page where users frequently arrive while bypassing the home page

Advantages of Using WordPress or Joomla

Restaurateurs and website managers frequently choose WordPress or Joomla content management systems because they’re easy to use, flexible, relatively inexpensive and powerful. Administrators can choose from free plug-ins, mini apps, modules and templates at little or no cost. These components allow users to create and maintain blogs, design custom themes and market products and services. Other advantages of a user-friendly CMS include:

  • Manage a website without technical knowledge of coding or Web development.
  • Edit or update pages quickly, and upload photos, videos and multimedia material.
  • Develop or change a site with different styles, themes, colors and customer features.
  • Increase search engine visibility.
  • Enjoy a high level of security from user-tested and regularly updated security protocols.
  • Most business have someone on staff who is familiar with WordPress or Joomla and security issues.
  • Beginners can learn how to use these systems without a lot of preparation and training.
  • Get open-source software free or at minimal cost.
  • Choose from the latest security patches, best user practices and antivirus software from the open-source community of security experts.

Using Templates and Widgets to Simplify Online Marketing

Keeping a website simple but responsive allows authorized staff to make changes and post content easily. A custom design can save time and money while ensuring that the website has the right coding and appears consistent in style, color, typography and layout on multiple computing devices. Managers can simplify publishing blog entries, reviews, testimonials and coupons. Administrators can plan content several months ahead while using a custom template for time-sensitive news and videos that need immediate posting.

Widgets offer benefits for managing a website or providing customers with custom services:

  • A menu-manager widget can display a daily special from the menu or publicize a one-time special menu or event.
  • Use a booking widget to take orders on a website, blog or social media page.
  • Offer coupons to customers to drive loyalty and repeat business.
  • Generate, print, email and track gift certificates.
  • Publish a calendar or events or send marketing messages to targeted audiences.
  • Manage customer-appreciation efforts by generating and sending birthday incentives and special offers.

Restaurants increasingly need a strong online presence to enjoy hundreds of marketing benefits. Restaurant website design increasingly focuses on functionality, but website designers who ignore the trends to CMS can be expensive, slow and out-of-touch with local marketing issues. Smart café, bar and restaurant owners are turning to WordPress or Joomla for their content management needs. Restaurateurs can get other valuable assistance for custom CMS designs, content ideas and analytics to further facilitate managing the website.