Everything is going digital today to give easy access and deliver an amazing user experience to your audience across all channels. When it comes to choosing a platform to publish and manage content on a website, you should be extra focused while picking the right content management system (CMS) to meet your specific business needs and goals. It is very critical for your business to find a robust system that lets you adapt to changing technologies to stay competitive while delivering your digital content.
Whether you already own a website and not satisfied with your existing content management system (CMS) or transforming your work into a digital-first business, you need to first understand content management platforms and their role in impacting your business. It doesn’t matter how great content you are creating, if you can’t publish and manage it right, it will not deliver the results that you are expecting.
To keep up with your goals, you should look for an easy, reliable, flexible, secure, and user-friendly CMS platform for your digital content. Gone those days when most websites were built using HTML files for every page and in case you wanted to make some changes, each page had to be edited individually. Now, there is a vast array of CMS platforms available in the market providing an interface to manage your content using a back-end database while reducing the risk of losing anything.
Before getting into different CMS platforms and how to choose the right one for your needs, we also want to make some points why you should use a CMS irrespective of whether you are a content creator, webmaster, or web developer:
- CMS lets you make changes/edits quickly and easily
- Easy-to-use content composition platform for content managers with the ability to preview work and save drafts
- CMS offers automation and flexibility to manage your contents
- Easy to learn and you don’t need knowledge of HTML to publish and edit your website
- Safe and secure interaction with your back-end database for total control over your website management
Content Management System – Open Source vs. Proprietary CMS
One of the most important decisions that you’ll have to take is what content management system (CMS) should use. You can pick between an open-source or proprietary CMS platform.
Open Source CMS platform:
An open-source CMS platform is also termed as on-premise CMS that is free to download and use on your own servers or your hosting provider’s servers. You gain total control over how you manage your website and your CMS provider will only responsible for updating and improving the software regularly.
Open-source CMS platforms are the most popular and widely used by webmasters for publishing and managing content. They offer content management solutions for all kinds of businesses of different sizes and technical expertise.
- Offer more control
- Easy modification and customization
- Faster deployment
- Higher long-term costs because of leasing server space
- Host-dependant vulnerabilities
WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the most widely used open-source CMS platforms for creating a variety of business and personal websites.
A Proprietary or Software as a Service Solution (SaaS) CMS platform is increasingly becoming popular in the past few years. SaaS CMS platforms are developed modified and controlled by a company, group, or individual as legal property. Unlike the open-source CMS, proprietary CMS platforms are usually not released to the public and can be used only by those who have purchased a special license key.
SaaS or proprietary CMS is completely controlled by the CMS provider that customizes it to meet the specific needs of the business; there is nothing to install, maintain, or update. The webmaster only needs to focus on creating, publishing, and managing content while the CMS provider will take care of all the technical issues.
- No installation and maintenance
- Regular updates
- Higher security
- Better scalability
- Strong backup and recovery process
- No control over customization
- Third-party dependency for maintenance, security, and support
- Locked in as a customer
Some of the popular proprietary CMS platforms are Kentico, SiteCore, Adobe Experience Manager, Crownpeak, and Squarespace.
Choosing a content management system (CMS) for your business/website
To choose the right CMS platform for your team, you need to follow a structured process while identifying your needs and capabilities to manage your website content. Make sure to consider the following points as you research for the best content management system:
Connect with the stakeholders
The very first thing that you should consider while looking for the right CMS solution is to align with your team’s need and their CMS capabilities. Before you start looking for different CMS platforms and features associated with them, you need to connect with stakeholders involved in the CMS decision-making process in your organization and prioritize their requirements. According to a survey by Forrester, most companies fail with their web content management system solutions due to their internal policies.
Usually, IT, marketing, content, and sales departments in any organization decide on CMS use and needs that fit in the current IT infrastructure (to deal with installation, technical issues, and maintenance), marketing tools (to use the content for marketing purpose), and CRM integration (to improve sales efficiency). All the concerned teams should need to sit together and decide on what they want the CMS solution to do for their departments. This is an essential process while choosing the CMS solution to decide what will work best for your business.
Avoid heavy developer reliance
This is the recipe for the quick growth of your business where your team will mainly focus on core operations like creating, publishing, sharing, and marketing content to improve productivity. With lesser development and deployment time will give you an edge over your competitors so that you can easily and quickly publish your content to stay ahead in the business. While your IT Team will be less involved with managing the technology, your content, marketing, and sales team will make most out of this time by focusing on implementing their strategies to gain more web traffic.
It is always a better idea to choose a CMA solution with which you and your team are already familiar with. Staying with something that you already know may boost your productivity.
Scalability – Evaluate your current and future business needs
You need to grow your business with upcoming changes and technology upgrades to stay in the competition. This is something that you can’t avoid. It is always better to evaluate your current and future business needs depending on the market dynamics and how it is going to impact your business. You also need to consider the points that what features you want to implement in the future with your business growth and additional service requirements. It is very important that your website should evolve with your business needs without impacting the ongoing processes. These reasons are enough to convince you to pick a CMS solution that can quickly grow and scale as needed.
The best CMS platforms let the webmasters customize their website as much as they want without any complications. They come with all the in-built editors and tools to make it easy for developers and site owners to edit and make changes whenever they need to meet their requirements. Always look for a CMS tool that lets you customize the look and feel of your website, enhance or hide the functionality, and add additional features to meet your business standards. Many CMS providers also offer detailed documentation to make it easy for the webmasters.
Content and marketing functionality
When everything is about content management, then how we can ignore a feature-rich CMS solution for content creation and marketing. No matter what kind of business website you are developing, your CMS tool should be feature-rich and flexible for blogging, optimization, and digital marketing needs. You cannot ignore the following:
- Blogging: It is very important to keep your audience up-to-date with your company’s news and offering and what’s better than blogging to do this. Make sure that your CMS tools offer enough customizations and flexibility to manage your company blog in a visually attractive to engage with your audience.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization is a key factor for the growth of your business. It is used to bring targeted web traffic to your website to improve your sales efficiency and generate more revenue. Make sure that your CMS tool supports basic SEO features and strategies to help your website rank higher in search engine result pages so that you can connect with more potential consumers.
- Social media and email marketing: There is no use of your content if you can’t reach out to your audience with your marketing campaigns from within the CMS. Many CMS platforms can directly deliver your content on multiple social media websites and it’s a luxury to have. Many CMS tools also come with integrated email marketing tools to reach out to your existing consumers to keep them updated about new offerings. Social media and email marketing campaigns ensure that you generate more sales than any other traditional method.
Support integration with third-party apps and plugins
It is an important feature to keep in your bucket so that you can enhance your website from a simple blog to a feature-rich eCommerce, forum, or business application if needed. Many CMS platforms also support third-party tools and plugins to let you get deep user insights to learn the behavior and interaction of the audience on your website.
Security should be one of your most important concerns when you are looking for a content management system (CMS) for your website; you cannot compromise here. Your CMS platform should be totally capable of keeping your content and data secure against multiple scenarios and threats with its built-in security features.
These are the most common considerations that you should take into account while selecting the right CMS platform for your business. Here, we are listing the most popular CMS platforms so that you can get an idea of what could be your best choice:
WordPress: Most popular CMS platform that is handling millions of websites worldwide, best for blogs and corporate websites.
Drupal: With a little coding experience, you can make most out of it for making any kind of website; ideal for community platforms and organizations’ websites. For the interesting fact, Drupal powers The White House website.
Joomla: It is more challenging than WordPress and Drupal, it is ideal for e-commerce, community platforms, social publishing, and social networking websites.
Kentico Cloud: Ideal to manage an omnichannel presence.
Crownpeak: ideal for companies working in the healthcare and finance sector.
Shopify: It is known for the world’s best-known eCommerce platform for any kind of selling operations.
Concrete5: Ideal for online communities, magazines, newspapers, and non-profit organizations.
Django: Ideal for management and publishing solutions.
Magento: Like Shopify, it is also an ideal site-builder for eCommerce websites.
b2evolution: If you are looking for some kind of collections to organize groups of content, then b2evolution should be your choice. It also comes with inbuilt email marketing tools and forums.
Alfresco: Ideal to manage and store enterprise documents.
Squarespace: Ideal for blogging and small business websites with no technical expertise.
SharePoint: Ideal for enterprise document libraries.
Moodle: It is a specialized CMS tool to build and store online learning materials.
SilverStripe: ideal for creating content and code side by side.
These are just a few names; there are hundreds of content management systems (CMSs) to choose from based on your requirements and capabilities. It is always good to take your time before making any final decision as your CMS platform will be an asset for your business so invest wisely. Once you find the right CMS platform for your website, you can easily meet the content goals for your business that will pay off immensely in the end.