4 things to consider when choosing a CMS for your company website

Andrea Bell's picture
CMS Overview

It is essential to build a website based on a content management system (CMS). Content is king on the internet and having unique content on your site can become so much easier with the use of a CMS. You can not only track updates, but also edit, review and publish content in real time. To make sure that all elements of your website work in harmony, you have to choose a CMS. But which CMS should you choose?

With over a hundred or so options from the various Content Management Systems in use today, you should be able to pick one which fits the need of your website. Deciphering all the sales pitches and filtering out the differentiating factors can be a daunting task. In order to save both your mind and your wallet from exhaustion, here are some tips you can follow before you start considering any content management system for your business website:

1. Ease of use

Most people only think about editing, attaching photos, publishing and managing posts when they think of a content management system. They assume wrongly that all content management systems do this and they underestimate the entire functionality of a CMS.

Not all platforms allow users to keep the posts in a hierarchy of a tree. Individual posts are mostly categorized on the basis of date and time. This limitation on functionality allows the interface to be simple and easy to understand. In other cases, most business owners or writers may find this situation a bit challenging.

Therefore, consider ease-of-use in a content management system you want to choose, in order to get the best results out of it. Ask yourself what the basic requirements of your website isare What content goes up and how can you manage this content.

Many content management systems allow you to categorize and manage your posts as the core function, but lack in usability. It is up to you to sort out these options based on the way you want to use your website.

You can always do a test run with a content management system to check if you like it. Only then you will be able to tell what suits you the most.

2. Pricing

Just like every other software on the internet, many content management systems are also free, but only with their basic version. If you want full control, you have to pay for it. The best and most beautiful templates will cost you money, otherwise you will have to make choices which you don’t really prefer, or you may have to manage with a wordpress.com site.

You will also have to buy a domain and match it on your website. This includes the price of hiring someone to design your website and managing all the graphics for you, if you already don’t have an in-house team or professional experience in the area.

If you aren’t careful, this process can cost you much more money than you anticipated. Make sure you are working within your price range and don’t end up with a half-finished website that blows your budget away.

3. Customization

How bad would it be to fall into a situation where you’re are unable to edit or manage your own site’s customization? Some content management systems out there hired unprofessional developers and their code is absolute rubbish. So in case you’re working on a CMS where you aren’t able to customize your system, then abort mission immediately.

In short, you need a content management system which allows flexibility in the way you save and publish content. For example, can you search and retrieve stories in reverse chronological order? Do you have a calendar to display events on? Can you extract the recent comments on posts and display them on the home page? A flexible CMS will help you achieve all this.

By highlighting user comments you mention the importance of user interaction, which is very good for a business website.

4. Permissions

You will want to control who edits what on your content management system, once there are multiple admins onboard. For example, one group of people must be assigned to post ads and they can’t add any other content on the website. This type of situation requires a content management system which doesn’t mess tasks and helps in setting up permissions.

The implementation of this process varies, but you can use permissions to specify whether every user can edit and make changes on the site or if certain users are allowed to perform each task.

As your website grows and the number of contributors increase, you may want to hire someone who has to keep a watch on everyone’s progress to maintain order within the system. You can also do it in a way that when a junior staff member posts something, it has to be confirmed by a senior editor in order to be seen online.

In both these cases, you need a content management system which allows permissions to people to perform certain roles on the site. This is your requirement as a business and you should consider CMS based on this criteria.

Enterprise-level content management systems know the importance of this issue and they provide complete solutions to their clients regarding this. Each page goes through a screening process under multiple editors to get live.

Last word

There isn’t a process or software that works for everyone. Drupal, WordPress and Joomla are the more favored systems out there, but it is your call in the end to select the best out of these.

Make sure that the CMS perfectly aligns with your business needs and helps you post better content with better tools. These tips may help you choose a CMS based on things every business website owner has worked upon in order to have a smooth publication experience online.

About the Contributor

Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.

Find her on Twitter: @IM_AndreaBell

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