July 6, 2020
Choosing the right CMS or Content Management System for your brand is important for your digital marketing success. Content management systems offer a suite of features that makes it easy for organisations to handle several aspects of their digital marketing strategies. What sits in the middle of this, however, is a strong and dependable CMS solution. But how do you decide on what solution to use when everyone’s claiming to be “the best” in the market?
Every available CMS solution in the market today has its own set of winning characteristics that separates them from the others. The key, however, is finding out what works for your business. And what works for your business model is something that addresses your organisation’s specific needs and goals.
While settling on a CMS solution doesn’t automatically guarantee all your organisation’s digital marketing success, it does help to find a trusted CMS that complements your business’s goals and addresses your long-term needs. Ian Truscott of CMS Wire says it best: “A great implementation of an average to poor CMS will perform better than a great CMS implemented poorly.” The success of your program will invariably depend on your ability to maximise the features of the CMS solution you decide to trust.
Of course, you can’t talk about CMS success without choosing the right CMS solution to begin with! Here we offer a guide to help you decide on the best CMS software for your organisation. This list covers two main sections, namely:
Without further ado, let’s start figuring out how to choose the best content management solution for your brand!
Understanding what a CMS is and what it does must be the first thing you do when you want to introduce that system to your strategy. Some companies start with this before building a website since most CMS solutions already have website builders. Others sit down with digital marketing and/or web development agencies and get introduced to this concept. While outside influences certainly help organisations make the right decision, it wouldn’t hurt to get a grasp on your own of what an ideal CMS solution should look like.
Generally, experts would say to look at the following characteristics:
CMS’s claim to fame is its ability to make building and maintaining a website and its content easy for those without technical background. So, observe whether the CMS you’re considering does this for you perfectly. Gauge your team’s ability to handle the system, especially its convenience for your non-technical staff. Check whether the CMS would require any training and how much it will cost. Remember, it should make your process easier, not load you with too much technicality that it becomes impossible to manage.
Next, gauge whether the CMS you’re choosing is ready to function well enough to meet your desired goals. While each CMS boasts rich features, it wouldn’t hurt to have a solid understanding of what standard features yours must go without. Our previous article provided a brief rundown to some standard features a CMS solution must have.
Flexible CMS’s help you build websites that doesn’t limit your creativity. You must be allowed to create custom pages without being encumbered or limited by default templates. See whether the CMS under scrutiny allows you to personalise your website’s content and overall design.
In a previous article, we mentioned that additional plugins, while essential to websites, can sometimes make your website vulnerable to attacks. So, finding a robust yet safe and secured CMS could benefit you in the long run. This is especially a good consideration if you’re planning to introduce additional website features in the future.
A good CMS must have a dedicated team of customer support to answer your queries. Not only that, it also helps to see how large the community surrounding the content management system is. Most times, these numbers are telling of how rich their suggestions are to certain issues you may encounter. Finally, a robust community keeps your website updated with the current demands in the market.
Lastly, don’t overlook the overall cost of implementing your content management system. Be clear from the get-go whether the features would justify the overall cost you must pay during initial check-out. Aside from this, it’s essential to be aware of any additional costs that may come from maintenance and so on. Finally, gauge whether the total cost would justify your expected ROI.
Answer these questions with your team before choosing the right CMS that enriches your website:
Basically, what this question really asks is this: what is the purpose of your site? Is it an ecommerce site? A landing page? A basic informative website? Start by thinking about two things: the business operations you wish the CMS would address and the website architecture. For business operations, understand what type of content you must publish. It could be shareable content such as videos, blog posts, resources, etc. For website architecture, determine what pages should the website have and what you wish to achieve—your goals—by having those. On top of influencing SEO, the site architecture also helps you plan your budget accordingly. It restricts and cuts your webpages down only to the important ones. This stops you from overbuying or getting distracted by “bells and whistles”, CMS features that seem appealing but don’t really help your organisation achieve its goals. Additionally, answering what you need the CMS solution for helps minimise the cost. What a goal essentially does is it sets you on the right track by eliminating the roads you shouldn’t take. Finally, here’s an applicable quote from Roland Benedetti of Content Marketing Institute: “…when you get behind the wheel of a car, you should know your destination before you hit the gas pedal. And just like a road trip—where you might need to travel straight ahead through the flat Nevada desert or on twisty roads in the Rocky Mountains—finding a CMS that suits your needs can take you along one path among many choices.”
As the market grows and their behaviour evolves, so must your website. The content management system you choose must be able to scale to anticipate changes within your market’s behaviour and demands. And yes, on the point above we did warn you against overbuying CMS features that doesn’t get you closer to your current needs. This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t choose a flexible content management system that allows future add-ons, developments, and growth should you wish to scale up in the future. Keep a list of some website plans you have, even the abstract ones. This allows you to anticipate costs and understand how upgrades work.
An indispensable feature of any CMS software is SEO. So, a good CMS must help you incorporate aspects of SEO into your website, so you have a chance to rank on search engines. A vast majority of CMS software lets users manage their website’s SEO. It will also help to anticipate SEO optimisation features that are included in the CMS solution. For example, it should allow you to edit titles, focus keyphrases, meta descriptions, snippets, images, etc. Some even help you gauge the readability of your content. A perfect example of this would be WordPress and its SEO plugin Yoast SEO.
Finally, when choosing the right CMS for your brand, you must also consider the skills of people you onboard for the site build and maintenance. Mainly, gauge the skills of your internal resource team and the web design and development agency that you tap for the project. You can always choose to manage the website all by yourself, especially if you have an in-house team of developers. Another more efficient way, however, is to tap third-party developers who can maintain and update the website for you. They can bring their expertise into the mix and put up the site structure, safeguard your website, help you scale up, and troubleshoot technical issues. Aside from them, you must also gauge your own team’s ability to handle even the most basic editing requirements of the CMS: adding in content, publishing, analysing readability, adding in SEO optimisation features, etc. Some content management system providers offer training to help organisations jumpstart their own CMS journey.
Content management systems allow marketers, organisations, and individuals maximise the potentials of their digital marketing strategies. It equips users with the necessary features needed to engage the audience effectively. Finally, they act as the main attractive platform for exposing and introducing brands to prospective customers.
It does help to tap experts in the field if you have any questions regarding CMS! Tap our team of web development experts and see what CMS solution would work for your business now!
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