31 January 2018 | Jack Fisher
Content is one of the most powerful tools in any business’ toolkit. If you want to connect with your customers and keep them engaged, it’s crucial that you regularly update your website with new information and blogs. If this is part of your business model (and it should be) then you’ll need a content management system. A content management system (CMS) is the system that holds your website and allows you to update its content using an admin portal, without the need for any developers. There are too many content management systems on the market to choose from and deciding which is best for your business can be a daunting task. Here are 5 things to look out for that we believe are key to the success of any great content management system.
One of the most important factors of any CMS is that it doesn’t restrict your ability to create the website in the way you want to. For example, many content management systems require websites to be created based on predetermined templates, that define where your content will be positioned and the overall design of the website’s layout. This might be suitable for some businesses who use their website as a placeholder more than anything else, but for the majority of businesses, these restrictions will become a frustration. It’s important to choose a CMS that gives your design and development team complete freedom to control how the website will look and feel. This ensures that the finished product will convey your brand message as intended.
Intuitive back office
The back office (or admin portal) is where the website’s content is inserted and edited. Think of it as the dashboard for your website’s content. It’s where the publishers will manage what they want to post to the website and acts as their main point of control over the site. Because content management systems are designed to be operated by users with little or no coding experience it’s very important that the back office is intuitive and easy to use. Content management systems are meant to make updating a website simple, and if you have to waste hours of your day learning how to operate it then it defeats the purpose.
Every website on the internet is under threat from malicious attacks. There are countless ways that your website can be attacked so security should not be taken lightly. When it comes to content management systems, something that can increase this threat is the use of multiple plugins that have been created by nonverified sources. Wordpress, the world’s most popular CMS, is often criticised for its use of plugins such as these. The reason that they pose a threat is that each plugin your CMS uses could contain an unknown virus or malware that will destroy your website. For this reason, we recommend that you consider using a CMS that doesn’t rely on too many plugins to function. We also recommend that you choose a CMS that regularly tests its security capabilities with both internal and external testing.
An often-overlooked feature when choosing a CMS is the ability to set varying levels of permissions for each of the users. Although your company may have multiple employees who access the back office and manage the website, you won't necessarily want all of them publishing content to the website. Permission controls allow you to choose who has access to what within the back office so that only those who you have given the responsibility to can control the entire site.
One of the most important features in any CMS is the ability for it to scale as you scale. When you first start your business and create a website the capabilities you require from it will be minimal. You probably won’t be anticipating high traffic and you might not need a lot of bells and whistles. However, as your company grows you want your website to grow with it. This means the CMS that you choose must be ready to scale with you. Look out for content management systems that restrict your capabilities and only provide the bare minimum levels of functionality, you’ll want to avoid these.
Choosing the right CMS for your business can be confusing and time-consuming. We recommend that you do your research, and don’t just take the word of someone else without finding out for yourself the benefits of each CMS. Thankfully, there is no shortage of information out there on different content management systems which can help make your decision a little bit more manageable.