Choosing the right Content Management System, or CMS, for your business is a very important process because your website success depends on it. Your business could have the best products in the world, but if the CMS makes it impossible to provide a good delivery experience for your customers your platform will not do well. A lot goes into the decision-making process and there’s not really a “perfect” option, but the goal is to find a platform that addresses as many of your needs as possible. Your staff should consider the following when making a decision:
- All Stakeholders should have a say: Everyone who uses the CMS including IT, marketing, sales, your web development agency and content creators should have a voice in the decision. Stakeholders should come up with a list of “needs” and “wants” to bring to the table.
- Decide if Software as a Service, cloud-hosted, or on-premise hosting is best: Make the call on how your business is going to host the site early because this requirement substantially trims the vendor list.
- Compatibility: The CMS needs to support all of your necessary third-party tools or be compatible with a replacement.
- Ease-of-Use: The CMS should be practical, and easy to use. Developers need to be able to write code for it, staff needs to be comfortable managing content, and it needs to display content well for site visitors.
- Capabilities: The CMS should provide the tools your business needs, which includes allowing developers and IT staff access to the elements they need. Some CMS systems provide a lot of functionality out of the box while others do not. Some systems allow for minimal customization whereas others allow for incredible customization. These needs can vary depending on your business.
- User-Interface: Stakeholder personal opinions on the CMS user-interface matters. If your staff doesn’t love the interface, they should at least not hate it.
- Single or multi-site friendly: If your business runs one site its needs are different than if it runs many sites. CMS features can cater to single-site implementations or broad implementations over several sites. Wide-implementation friendly systems may take more work to configure but can make it easy to implement changes over dozens of sites at once. However, these multi-site systems can make running a singular site more work.
- Vendor support quality: Your business should be confident the vendor can help you when you have a problem.
- Price: Determine if the CMS is worth your money and is in your budget. Don’t overbuy if your needs are practical.
Once your staff has looked at the options, compile a list of the front-runners and have a focus group of stakeholders discuss which option makes the most sense. It’s important to discuss with all affected parties before holding a vote or making a final selection.