You definitely have heard the strange abbreviation “CMS” and you probably wondered what that means. What is CMS? CMS (Content Management System) is a computer program or information system that allows you to manage all processes connected with website content (i.e. content creation, control, editing etc.). Main features of any CMS include the following:
- · SEO-friendly URLs;
- · Admin panel that supports multiple languages;
- · Integrated audit logs;
- · File managers;
- · Quick and easy installation.
Step 1: Define Your Business Needs
Actually, there is no set of standard features to look for in a content management system as it all depends on certain requirements for your organization. However, good search features and an easy-to-use editor interface are a must. When you think about what CMS to choose, take into account the size of your organization and its location (especially if you have a remote team dispersed in different locations). Most likely in this case you will need a CMS with multi-language support. It’s also necessary to think about what level of control the CMS administrator and its users will have (a CMS with group permissions is a great solution here). You should also think about what types of data forms are used in your company.
Step 2: Evaluate Functionality
All companies are different, and as we have already mentioned your business requirements define what features your CMS must have. However, the more effective tools it has, the more opportunities to optimize content management you will have. How to choose CMS that meets all your needs? What are the core functionalities to consider?
- · Easy Administration;
- · Powerful Publishing Tools;
- · Built-in SEO Tools;
- · Reliable Security System;
- · Social Media Integration;
- · Analytics Tools;
- · Comprehensive Search.
Easy Administration. An admin panel is the core of any CMS, and must be easy enough to manage all kinds of tasks. The CMS admin panel should allow monitoring activity of all CMS users; expanding functionality through in-built tools such as plugins; managing task notifications.
When thinking about which CMS to choose make sure the product you consider can handle all processes. Sometimes companies lack many essential administration tools and are forced to switch to another CMS. Well, everyone knows that changing software and moving all content to a new storage is not that easy!
Powerful Publishing Tools. A good CMS makes it easy to publish any type of content whether it’s a short news block or long articles with lots of images/videos. You should be able to not only publish new content but to also manage existing content. For example, you can edit current content, hide promotional materials once the campaign is over and so much more. The more publishing tools you have, the more powerful your content can be!
Built-in SEO Tools. Google changes its algorithms very often, so you never know what ranking your website will have tomorrow. That is why a content management system should have a wide range of SEO-tools to help your website keep its positions in search engines. You should be able to add meta tags and work with Google Webmaster Tools through your CMS.
Reliable Security System. The larger your organization is, the more chances you have to experience data breaches. Digital attacks are becoming more and more frequent each day, so you should be sure your data is secured. Find out what security options a CMS offers and whether your customers will be protected (some CMS’s provide only one-side security).
Social Media Integration. Social media is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your target audience. That is why you should consider choosing a CMS that offers social media integration. A CMS should make adding social media sharing buttons easy and simple. Maybe you will consider sending posts to your Facebook or Twitter business accounts automatically.
Analytics Tools. Any website needs to be carefully analyzed. Collecting and analyzing data about traffic, bounce rates, visitors and other important metrics helps you see what needs to be improved in your website. Google Analytics is the most popular and widely used tool for tracking all website data. Your CMS must allow you analyze what type of content is the most popular among users so that you can think about your future strategy.
Comprehensive Search. Today users search for tons of information, and what they want is to have an opportunity to find what they look for as quickly as possible. Your website must offer easy search options. Most users will come to your website looking for something specific, and they should be able to find it quickly.
Step 3: Choose an Easy-to-Use System
When thinking about how to choose a CMS platform consider the fact that the system will be used by different people. Even if you have a person that is responsible for certain tasks, sooner or later someone else will need to get the job done. A good CMS has intuitive design and shouldn’t require you to spend too much time trying to figure it out. Keep it simple.
Step 4: Plan Your Future
Let’s be honest – you want to choose a CMS that will serve you for a long period of time. No one wants invest in a system that will fail in a couple of months. What you should remember is that your business strategy will change and along with that your requirements and needs will change as well. That is why we would recommend choosing an open-source CMS. An open-source CMS is usually free and it’s constantly updated with new features and functionalities. Thus, you get new tools to customize the system according to what you need right now.
Step 5: Consider Support
You may have a team of experienced experts, but still there will still be unpredictable difficulties that they will not be able to deal with. When choosing a CMS, make sure all your concerns are addressed and all errors are fixed in time. Sure there are a lot of forums and help guides, but sometimes they are not enough. In this case you can consider hiring third-party support specialists (if the CMS provider does not offer support services) who will take care of all technical issues.
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