Content Management System (CMS) is the fundamental framework for your content marketing strategy.
If you are under the impression that great content alone can drive content marketing campaigns, then you must revisit the idea.
Regardless of how great your content is, the CMS needs to display it in the right ways. And failure to do so will erode almost half of your content’s impact.
With CMS’s adoption, websites have transformed dramatically while utilizing your creativity and ideas to create web pages.
Why is a CMS for Your Website Necessary?
The necessity of a CMS arises due to the need for a simple website development process.
CMS provides you with a platform to do away with the technicalities and develop your website elegantly with built-in tools.
Before CMS came into the market, website development was a bit complicated as you needed to know programming and internet technicalities. Moreover, it called for significant time and money.
Both developers and non-developers can leverage the benefits of CMSs. While CMS allows non-developers to create and manage digital content on their websites, it allows developers faster, cost-effective, and timely website development.
It is interesting to note how the name Content Management System came into existence.
Websites require maintenance after the development phase. And that calls for hiring web developers to correct scalability or security-related issues.
With a CMS, you can put all such worries to rest as it allows you to manage your website in addition to creation and customization.
What are Different CMS Types?
There are multiple types of CMS softwares in the market today. Understanding the available types is important for you as that creates the foundation for you to decide which CMS to use for your website.
CMS differs from one other in terms of features, functionalities, and pricing models. It will help if you make a CMS comparison before you finally select one.
Broadly speaking, there are mainly three types of CMS platforms in the market:
Open-source CMS platforms are free and downloadable from the internet. You do not require any licenses or subscriptions to use open-source CMSs.
But, you might need to pay for availing of the advanced services, like technical training, feature upgradations, new or more topical templates, plugins, support, and other customization tools.
WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento (eCommerce), andPrestaShop (eCommerce) are the typical examples of open-source CMSs.
Proprietary CMSs are commercial products of companies, and hence they are not free. You cannot expect any freebies while using proprietary CMSs.
Everything comes with a price–from installation to availing of the license. These CMSs also come with great paid customization features.
It is, however, debatable whether they are the costliest CMSs in the market today.
So, why should you go for paid proprietary CMS when open-source versions are freely available? And the answer is if you are looking to gain complete control over the source code, use proprietary CMS as there are licenses to protect your applications from any external interferences.
Typical examples of such CMSs are Kentico, IBM Enterprise Content Management, Pulse CMS, Sitecore, and Shopify.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
These CMS types provide services as software packages and come with a large feature set.
Although they are not free, they are more affordable than proprietary CMSs.
Factors such as data transfer limits & bandwidth, data storage & content management, and support & maintenance usually determine SaaS CMS pricing.
SaaS CMSs usually come in two variants– fully-cloud and partially-cloud.
In the fully-cloud versions, most features operate with proprietary protocols. So, you cannot customize the features, except for a few.
With partially cloud variants, you get the flexibility to change functionalities through source code and customization tools.
Usually, such CMSs are lower in pricing, flexible, scalable, and customizable.
Typical examples of such CMSs are CMS Hub, Cloud CMS, Crafter CMS, Adobe Business Catalyst, and O3Spaces.
What are the Ideal Features of a CMS?
While choosing a CMS for your website, look for certain features to ensure you land on the best platform. Typically, the best CMS platforms possess the following features:
Whether you are a developer or a non-developer, you will seek flexibility while creating a website.
Without the flexibility element, you might find yourself clueless about implementing your ideas or creativity to a real website.
It is where you will find open-source CMSs helpful. These platforms allow you to view the source codes and customize functionalities easily. Besides, you can also add new plugins to your website with such a CMS.
Another crucial advantage of an open-source CMS is its community. You might need some additional training during the implementation phase. The community will be helpful for you to resolve issues through its support.
It is a critical component to look out for in your prospective CMS. An interactive dashboard is helpful, especially for non-developers who do not understand programming and scripts. It helps in the creation and management of all website digital content from one place.
It also serves the same purpose for developers, who can use an interactive dashboard to correct any misplacement of website content.
Responsive Templates & Themes
One of the fundamental aspects to look for in a CMS is responsive themes and templates. CMS with user-friendly design, customizable templates and themes simplify developers’ jobs and enable non-developers without hardcore coding knowledge to create interactive webpages.
There appears no difference between the user experience of a website developed using a CMS template and the one developed from scratch for a normal user.
You can get many themes and templates on CMSs to develop a simple and fast website.
Content Publishing Options
Many CMSs bear the WYSIWYG editor feature to enable the publishing of rich content. With it, you can generate a real-time preview of content before publishing. There is no need for you to have any prior knowledge of scripts before using the feature, with which you can publish content in different formats.
Using different functionalities, you can add different actions to your content. You can define tasks, access levels, and publishing rights with such an editor.
Specified Site Structure
When it comes to enriching a website’s overall experience, the site structure plays a critical role. It imparts the right look and feel of a website on different platforms, highlights the website’s context, and combines the path of all existing pages on a website systematically.
Flexibility is another notable advantage of the site structure.
If you plan to hire a WordPress development company for business, ensure that the prospective company provides a CMS with a high-class site structure.
A CMS is about easing your website development process and providing you with the maximum benefits even to get business from your website.
Top CMS for websites bears SEO tools like permalinks, optimization of HTML markup, meta title & description, analytics, and XML sitemap to help your website with SEO benefits rank high in search engine results.
Social Media Integration
Social media has become critical for businesses. And it is precisely the reason behind most businesses now focussing on social media platforms.
An ideal CMS bears the capability for social media integration for users to leverage social media’s power.
Loopholes can negatively impact your website, so you should identify them as soon as possible. Analytics provide an excellent way to find out your website loopholes.
While some CMSs bear analytical tools as part of their built-in features, some allow integration of other analytics through third-party plugins—for example, WordPress allows integration of Google Analytics.
With the analytics feature, you can get valuable insights into your website performance. A good web development agency should consider CMSs with the analytics feature to incorporate in the websites they build.
Third-Party Tools & API Integration
A good CMS allows integration of secure and rich-featured third-party tools and APIs to provide more features and functionalities to your website.
For example, CMSs, like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento, provide the option of integration of third-party tools and APIs.
If you plan to hire WordPress developers, make sure that they know the techniques of such integration. If you are availing of Drupal development services, you will find it more flexible to include third-party features.
The need for the integration arises due to no CMS can bear everything you need for your website. Third-party tool integration helps fill up the void.
How to Choose the Best CMS for Your Website?
You now know the nitty-gritty of CMSs, and the features to look out for in your prospective CMS. It is time for you to go ahead in getting a CMS for your website.
Make sure you do not get one in haste but consider the following factors beforehand:
The first step in the process is to list your expectations and compare them with the availability in the market. If you fail to do so, you will end up spending more money on availing fewer services.
Create a list of your expectations and compare them with the CMSs you shortlist. Then figure out which expectation to prioritize and which one to overlook.
The reason is pretty straightforward. As each CMS has something different from the other, it is up to you to choose the CMS that suits your needs.
If you fail to find a CMS matching your entire expectation, you can avail of a CMS development company to create a CMS as per your expectations.
Scalability is another factor to consider before choosing a CMS for your website. It should provide developers with the flexibility to change the code to customize features according to the need.
Whether it is Omnichannel
With an omnichannel CMS, your website can provide a consistent user experience and efficiently deliver digital content.
Moreover, It optimizes several other components such as social sharing and SEO.
The Last Words
Despite choosing the right CMS can be a tricky affair, it is not impossible. All you need to know the CMS types and features apart from your business needs to choose the right one.