The content management system (CMS) of today is vastly different from those of just a few years ago. The CMS has become more than just a tool to handle information and deliver brochureware marketing sites. Today, a CMS can provide a digital platform for building exceptionally complex digital solutions. In fact, many now market themselves as web experience management tools.
This increasing complexity, coupled with a general lack of knowledge, can make selecting a CMS a daunting task for most businesses. This makes it very tempting to either continue using the CMS you’re familiar with or blindly follow a recommendation for a new CMS. Far too often, this turns out to be a bad decision and your business can be stuck with a CMS that actually hinders your ability to achieve your goals.
Below are a few factors to consider when selecting a CMS. Careful consideration of these should help you clearly define your unique requirements and ensure that you choose a CMS that is going to help your business.
Achieve Your Goals
When selecting a CMS, it’s imperative that you keep your business’s overarching marketing goals in mind. Knowing the direction that your business expects to move in the next three to five years will help you determine how you should expect to use your website.
Intuitive & Ease of Use
As with any new technology, adopting a new CMS will require a bit of a learning curve. This is why it’s important to consider how intuitive the new CMS will be and how steep that learning curve will be. If your team is already stretched thin, you are not likely to have much time to spare learning the new system. In this case, you would need a system that will allow you to hit the ground running.
Closely related to the consideration above, the CMS editor should be an important factor when upgrading your system. The editor is the interface through which content is added and updated. As CMS options have evolved, users have been given more freedom to apply basic formatting, such as font and color selection.
Typically, the CMS will provide both HTML and “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editors. This allows users to create content by writing HTML code or by using an intuitive visual editor. At the very least, your CMS should provide these features. Additional formatting abilities should depend on how you plan to use the system.
Roles & Permissions
If your business has multiple content providers, you are going to need more control over who can edit what. For example, if you have an employee that only manages the company blog, you would not want to allow him to edit the homepage copy or provide him with the ability to delete pages.
In order to accomplish this, you would need a CMS that supports permissions. Within a CMS, permissions refer to rules used to define the actions a given user can perform within the system. This feature is a great way to protect your website and avoid future headache.
If your content production workflow involves editors reviewing and approving content before it’s published, you will need a CMS that supports multiple roles as well.
Extensibility & Integration With Key Business Systems
As you continue to grow, your business requirements will change and evolve. This is why you need to make sure you select a CMS that allows you to incorporate new services and functionalities without having to overhaul the whole system. Any CMS that you select should have the ability to integrate with a CRM, email campaign management tools, marketing automation solutions and analytics programs.
As you begin the process of selecting a new CMS, keep these factors in mind. A CMS that meets your unique needs can be a powerful tool that helps you maximize the use of your website.