Whether you are a first-time shopper or you are simply seeking to upgrade your existing content management system (CMS), the process of selecting an appropriate platform for your business can be extremely overwhelming. With the availability of numerous platforms to choose from, how can business owners know the right CMS suitable for their specific business goals and needs?
This article is set to explain how this can be easily achieved. At the same time, it’s going to address some of those challenges web owners often face long after selecting and paying for their preferred CMS platform. From conducting researches and launching demos to comparing pricing and features and more, you are definitely going to learn more about making the right choices, particularly when it comes to choosing a suitable CMS platform to work with.
For the purpose of this article, some interesting details about a number of some prevalent CMS platforms, such as Umbraco, DNN, Typo3, Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress has been analysed. References to other platforms like Wix, Rooftop, Contentful, Concrete5 have also been provided here. So, when choosing a suitable content management system for your business and budget, here is what you need to consider.
Know what you want it to do
You are not forced to go with a CMS because everyone seems to be using it and so, you are safe. Consider WordPress for example, it is by far the most popular CMS in the web world with over 24 million installations. As opposed to small business, blogs or personal sites like that of auto repair shops, neighbourhood groceries, and salons, the actual percentage of these platforms that basically deal with the installation of business websites are not known. In actual terms, these websites are not in any way symptomatic of the capabilities of a CMS platform.
Unlike WordPress, other CMS platforms feature a limited number of installations. For the sake of comparison, Drupal now has over 1,200,000 installations, Concrete5 holds 140,000 installations, Umbraco claims to have over 380,000 installations, and Typo3 has got about 500,000 installations. Now, when it comes to quality, features, and complexity, a Fortune 500 company website can outrank that of local hairdresser built on a prominent CMS.
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So, as a business owner, your choice should not be solely based on the number of people using the CMS. It is imperative to consider some use cases that are already published and for the kind of clients they are made so. However, try as much as possible to introduce some quality criteria to your assessment. In your business sector try to do some research on the general number of organisations that are employing this CMS and try to check out the reason for their preferred choice.
Assess functionality and usability
When choosing a CMS platform, it is essential to ensure that it provides you with the needed editing functionality. When researching your options, make sure you get input from everyone who will want to make use of the platform. Is the CMS mostly going to be used by marketers, or developers? How many numbers of users will be able to access the platform? Do they have any significant level of technical expertise or not? Choosing a CMS that will fail to meet the specific needs of your business or one that will be difficult to operate by the majority of your users is nothing but a futile effort. Depending on how you need your CMS to go, there is very possibility that your CMS will allow you to do virtually everything.
Here are certain things to consider when choosing the right CMS for your business
– Assuming you CMS has a WYSIWYG editor, are you protected from ‘breaking’ the layout?
– As is the case with app development, do you have to resize images before uploading them to your website or your CMS automatically resizes them for you?
– With regards to links and SEO that may already exist on your old URL, what happens when you change the URL of a page?
– Do you have to manually update the navigation system of your website or does it get automatically updated?
These and lots more are some of the essential things you need to put into consideration. In most cases, you may just have to do the customization work yourself, as everything might just depend on the developer.
Hire the right developer
Interestingly, there are many app development companies out there that are capable of using their own proprietary CMS to provide web design and development services. However, you need to be very careful at this point as you may be yoked to the proprietary software of a specific agency. In the future, your chances of finding app developers who are willing to help you work on it are very slim, even if you are so lucky enough to get the source code of the company’s CMS.
Conversely, you should seriously consider the signal-to-noise developer ratio particularly if you are looking to go with popular open source CMS. Finding developers for CMS platforms is easy but you have to be extremely conscious of counterfeit developers. Try as much as possible to be on the lookout for fakes or people with little or no knowledge about this subject when looking to web and app developers for popular CMS platforms. As a rule of thumb, there is a greater pool of inexperienced developers around a more popular CMS platform than an uncommon one. Most open source CMS platforms are vulnerable to this problem.
Determine your budget for the web or app development
When making a decision on an appropriate content management platform you will certainly need to factor in your budget except your business is supported with an unlimited supply of funds. As a matter of fact, it might be needful to consider have a more complex solution particularly if CMS stands as a focal point of your business. If you are paying more for a complex feature, you must ensure that it everyone using the platform benefits from it.
In conclusion, it’s not an easy task to decide on the right CMS platform to use for your site. And just because an agency is working with a platform you like does not mean it should be entirely left in their hands. An essential part of the whole construct is that engine that powers your website behind the scenes. So, don’t be blown away by the visuals and designs you see on the surface rather do proper research before settling for an appropriate CMS for your business. Take time to plan well on how you want your site to evolve.