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Choosing your Content Management System (CMS) is vital and one of the most important decisions you’ll make when setting up your website
We’ve grouped a number of important points to consider to help you choose the right CMS.
A CMS is an application or set of related programmes that are used to create and manage your content that is published via your website.
Some of the most well known Content Management Systems include:
Each content management system will have different features and benefits, which is why it’s important to make sure you choose one that matches your company’s and your website’s needs.
The requirements of your CMS will be determined by various stakeholders, such as IT, marketing and sales, and of course, all of their wants and needs will be different. For example, your IT team will be interested in integration and security, whereas your sales team may be more interested in user-friendliness.
Weighing up the pros and cons for each department and coming up with the CMS that’s the best fit will be time well spent in the long run.
One of the most key, and usually first decisions you’ll make when choosing a CMS, will be how you’d prefer to have the system hosted. Often choosing between SaaS, Hosted or On-Premise solutions.
The software is installed locally, usually on one of your servers to be managed within your company. The provider is responsible for keeping it working and updated, whilst you are responsible for everything else. Good examples of an On-Premise solution are WordPress or Drupal.
The CMS software is hosted externally and tends to be used by those who prefer simplicity. As well as having the hosting included in the pricing, a hosted CMS allows for designing and developing websites quickly and easily, as well as offering a range of pre-designed templates. Good examples of a SaaS solution are Shopify or Squarespace.
The CMS software exists in a hosted or ‘cloud’ environment. A SaaS CMS is flexible and scalable, allowing the software to keep up with the pace of a changing or growing business. Good examples of a SaaS solution are Concrete5 or TourCMS.
Systems such as these are known to put the content at the heart of your website so that the rest of the website can be adapted around it, helping to enhance your content marketing strategy, whilst offering many options for personalisation to ensure that your user experience can provide the best journey possible for your visitors.
We’re experts in Sitecore and Umbraco so if we think you would benefit from a more sophisticated site, we can advise on the best system based on your requirements. In the meantime read our post Sitecore vs Umbraco to find which fits your business better.
As mentioned before, the features you’ll need in your desired CMS will be dependent on the teams that will use it. Always look at the features that come included as part of the package, as well as looking at what can be added to the system in the future, to ensure you have everything you need in your new website.
Each CMS solution will come with a different cost and pricing structure. And the more complex your requirement, the higher the cost will be. Some systems may be based on installation and maintenance where you’ll only pay once, whilst others offer CMS systems as part of an ongoing service, which makes the initial price lower compared to others, however, you’re then committed to paying a regular fee.
A CMS provider should be happy to provide you with references of companies enjoying their system. Talking to a handful of happy clients will tell you what the provider is like to work with, how the system performs day to day and if it’ll be the right fit for you and your new website.
Lastly, and most importantly…
Depending on the CMS that you choose, selecting the right website development partner to help you build, utilise and integrate it into your internal systems and process is key to ensure that the solution works effectively for you and provides the user experience that you desire for your visitors.