Content management systems have become the backbone on which a business’s online presence leans. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic and is even more valid now.
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that’s used to help create and manage the content of a website without having to know specialized knowledge on website construction and maintenance. In layman’s terms, it’s a tool that can help you build a website from scratch without you having to write code. A basic CMS will handle all the back-end development of your site, so you can focus on mostly the aesthetic look of your site.
According to some of the best website builder out there, choosing the right CMS vendor can be a difficult task, with an increasingly large array of CMS products out on the market. Hence, this article has compiled a few rules that’ll help you choose the right CMS product for your needs with relative ease.
As with any important decision, patience is key. Don’t let internal and external factors cause you to rush in your choice of CMS. Sit down and assess what it is you want the CMS to accomplish.
Knowing what you want to accomplish with your CMS will help you narrow down your choices. In some instances, it might be prudent to research the differences between CMS and building the site from scratch so you have a full awareness of what you’re purchasing.
Know Your Budget
Beyond the initial price of the setup, you need to consider the hidden costs involved in the process. These costs include:
- Periodical system upgrades
- Customer support
You need to assess your return on investment (ROI) and determine whether the price you’re being quoted is in line with that. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
Technology is an ever-growing beast. One of the hallmarks of a good CMS is its ability to grow with current technology. Two questions you need to ask in regards to the adaptability of the product are:
- Is it able to integrate with new technologies as they appear?
- Is it scalable?
Scalability refers to the product’s ability to upgrade periodically. You need to watch out for CMS platforms that may become obsolete in a short period. It’d be a waste of money to invest in a CMS platform that’ll be shut down in a year.
Avoid Developer Assistance
The purpose of a CMS is for it to be semi-autonomous in its execution. It becomes redundant if too much time is spent on managing the technology when it could have been spent on strategizing and other tasks.
Support, Support, Support
A good CMS mustn’t only perform well, but it must also have a strong support system in the event of mishaps and technical issues. It’d be best if the CMS is capable of operating while developers are fixing errors in the system. It’s frustrating as a consumer to try and access a site and see that it’s down for repairs or some other reason. The longer the system is down, the more money you lose.
A Friendly User Interface
The CMS needs a user interface that is easy to navigate. One that doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge to operate and is easy to teach new staff to use. A good interface appeals to your customers as well as makes navigating your content a joy rather than a chore.
Create A Shortlist
Once you’ve decided on what your needs are for the CMS and you have a clear understanding of the features you want, you now need to create a shortlist of CMS providers that fit the criteria.
The providers or vendors who fit the criteria for the shortlist are those who offer the features you’re looking for that are within the confines of the budget you’ve stipulated. Sometimes, the geographical location is important for those who want to have the support and system upgrades done on the business premises.
Test The CMS
Before you roll out the full website, implement a section of it and have your staff and selected end-users come in to test it. This is to ensure that the CMS is working in accordance with your needs. The testing will involve creating content on the pages to tweaking content and assessing the workflow process.
The rules listed are a simple guide to choosing a compatible CMS system for your business. For the best results, seeking out the help of a professional is recommended. They’ll steer you in the right direction and save you large amounts of time researching obsolete systems.