Tips for Picking a CMS not a POS

Articles offering advice about choosing “the perfect” content management system (CMS) are a dime a dozen. A quick Google search queues up blog post after blog post with in-depth comparison charts, recommendations for CMS “A” and warnings against using CMS “B.” This isn’t that.

Yes, choosing the right CMS for your website is a foundational decision that will determine how successful your website can be. Yes, many CMSs have different (and valid) strengths and weaknesses. However, buying into all the misconceptions you read won’t help you in your decision-making process. For example, you might read that a CMS that seems to fit all your needs isn’t secure enough when the real issue boils down to your need to add more layers of security and beef up your hosting environment. In reality, choosing the right CMS is all about you and your organization, and a trusted web development partner should help you get to the right one.

The decision should begin with identifying your business goals which will in turn help identify your website goals. No one knows your business better than you. By taking a few minutes to consider your goals, you’ll be able to make informed decisions when it comes to digital marketing strategy, including which CMS to use for your website.

Once you clearly see the big picture, which includes the functional needs of your business, you can begin to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different platforms. Bring your questions, concerns and goals to a developing partner. This allows you to take a front seat in the process, rather than getting stuck with the developer’s preferred CMS.

Time and again, we encounter businesses that felt rushed into a proprietary or preferred CMS offered by a developer. This situation forces you to be married to one developer partner, rather than having a website that can move to another developer. What if the original developer goes out of business, or you become unhappy with their service? You don’t want to be stuck.

Additionally, you should have a CMS that allows for easy content creation and editing. Finding a CMS that gives you the ability to painlessly work on your site to create new pages, post blogs, update information and photos, or add products will make your work that much easier.

Your developer should hear your case, consider your goals and work with you in making a decision. With the advent of low-cost options like Squarespace or Wix, many organizations are opting out of platforms that allow for more flexibility and functionality to get something at a lower price. While out-of-the-box solutions can be right for some, many find themselves severely limited and are restricted from letting their website grow with their business. Your developing partner should be ready to talk through all the options to find an ideal solution.

Choosing the ideal CMS for your business’s website isn’t an easy process. It takes a little bit of work to find the one, but it is worth the effort. Think about your goals. Be a little selfish. Ask hard questions.


 

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Jared Miller

Interactive Media Director