Choosing the right CMS solution can be a daunting process filled with a litany of pit falls, and should never be taken lightly. Your chosen CMS has to be right for what you want to achieve, as it will play an important role in your customer’s experience and journey through your site. A lot of factors should be taken into consideration, including both current and future needs, whether or not you need a lot of flexibility and technical capability, require a fast and easy-to-use website capable of handling all of your data, or simply want a quick way to push out content. Whatever your business, there will be a platform to suit your needs.
To find the right solution for your content management needs, perhaps the biggest challenge will be narrowing down your essential requirements. This will, in most cases, involve input from multiple internal departments and other stakeholders. If you are already using a CMS and looking to make a change or upgrade, you should build your list of priority features by analysing your current pain points and future business needs. Before making your choice, here are some good questions you should ask yourself in your CMS selection process:
1. Platform – Open Source or Proprietary?
In most cases this is determined by budgetary constraints. However, you must also consider if your time is best spent configuring, installing, maintaining and administering a CMS, or if leaving it in the hands of experts is better for your business.
2. Purpose – Is selling goods or services your site’s primary use?
Many different CMS’s offer ecommerce capabilities for online stores via plugins or modules, while some are built primarily for ecommerce. During your research phase you must consider and be clear about how robust your ecommerce functionality needs to be. You also have to think about its ease-of-use, accessibility, maintenance requirements, how many products and services you have, and what payment options to offer.
3. Online Responsibility – Will you collect or store sensitive data?
If so, at the top of your list must be a CMS that is capable of securing that data, and complies with any government or industry regulations. Top of your list should also be, a CMS that proactively updates their software to protect against online attacks and breaches, as these threats are ever evolving and changing.
4. End Users – How will you ensure visitors engage with your website
Always take into account the end users’ needs when selecting your CMS. It’s important you find a CMS to provide exactly what your business needs, and precisely what your visitors and end-users expect.
5. Back End Usability – Is the CMS fitting with our in-house technical skills?
Although many offer basic similar features, all CMS platforms have different back-end user interfaces and therefore appeal differently to site administrators. This really matters to companies, especially to those that don’t have a technical admin team to work on the website. The best ways to determine the usability of any CMS is to request a demo and to have your team test out the interface.
The answers to these and more questions will help determine whether or not a CMS is right for you, and which one is best suited to your unique business needs.