You may have great content for your website, but if the CMS you choose can’t manage or display it right it’s practically useless. Every business has the ambition to be as successful as possible, but it can be a common problem that the wrong CMS platform has caused their performance to plateau and this is why it’s important to choose the right platform from the get-go. It’s not as easy as flicking a switch later down the line to change it. So, what is it that you need to look for when researching a CMS? Here’s a low-down of what you need to know for choosing the right CMS for your business.
Who Makes The Decision With Your CMS?
Before determining which features can be included in your CMS, it’s good to know who’s the decision maker in choosing the CMS. As your business grows, there are going to be more stakeholders for each department and this should consider aspects such as brand design for your Marketing team and security issues concerned with your IT department. This is why the first steps in choosing your CMS is to figure out which departments would be involved (most likely your IT, Marketing and Sales departments) and ensure that their requirements are prioritised. Use the MoSCoW approach which can help resolve this.
Which Types Of CMS Platforms Are Available?
There are 3 types of CMS platforms that you can choose, a SaaS, hosted or on-premise solution. Each of these has drawbacks and benefits so it would be good to understand what they are to make your decision.
On-Premise CMS: On-premise means that you can purchase a license for the platform and then have it hosted on your own servers by installing the software. This means that you’re in control of everything to do with the CMS except for software updates and maintaining the actual software. Examples include WordPress and Drupal.
Pros: You have more control over the environment and you also benefit from customisation to match your needs and requirements.
Cons: Your IT team will need to maintain the platform which can be costly and take up time. It can also be time-consuming to install the CMS, taking weeks or even months.
Cloud-Hosted CMS: This is where your CMS will be hosted at a data centre that you lease the space of. You’d still require to buy a license and install the software, but the servers will be located at a third party location that you wouldn’t directly own. Hostway and WPEngine are examples of cloud-hosted solutions.
Pros: It can be installed relatively quickly compared to other CMS’ and the added bonus of low up-front costs can save money for the future. As it’s a cloud-based solution, it also means your scalability possibilities are endless.
Cons: The biggest fear with this type of CMS is that it’s dependent on a third-party host, so if the server goes down you won’t be able to fix it yourself. Leasing the server also means higher long-term costs.
SaaS CMS: SaaS stands for a Software as a Service Solution. This is a recent development and essentially works like other SaaS tools such as Google Docs or Gmail where the provider deals with all the technical issues so you can focus more on the content management. You’d need to buy a subscription for this which you can pay on a monthly basis and the software would be pre-built and automatically updated. Examples of these include Core DNA and CrownPeak.
Pros: These can be easy to use and have plenty of features for you to play with. Regular updates also mean that performance is well maintained. There’s also the benefit of higher security and no installation.
What Should I Look For In The CMS?
Breaking down the CMS, you’d want to ask yourself these main questions:
- What impact would the platform have on my current business?
- Am I able to afford the platform? Does it have additional costs that I may require to pay out in the future?
- Are there any other requirements needed for the CMS other than the initial installation phase?
- Does the CMS support the current technology that your business has acquired?
- Is the CMS relatively easy to use or would it require an expert to handle it?
- Does the CMS have all the features that I need to help support my business goals and what I’m trying to acheive?
- Is there any support provided with the CMS if it’s ever needed?
It can be a tough and lengthy process choosing a CMS platform, but the effort and time you put into it will benefit you in the long run. Be sure to explore all avenues and evaluate each and every aspect of the platform. Be sure to consult with your relevant departments or acquire support through a design agency Manchester based to help with your decision making. They may be able to provide valuable advice.