1) First ask yourself: ‘Do I really require a CMS?’
Before deciding which CMS suits you the best, it’s important to identify whether you really need a CMS or not. If your website has large number of pages, then, you certainly need a system which can manage content updations without much hassle. CMS provides many advantages over static HTML content. The content can be updated and published directly without any support from technical staff.
CMS has an interface similar to word processing program. With little HTML knowledge, you can easily add or edit content. While you modify the content, website’s look and feel remains consistent.
The access permission can be controlled and you can decide who gets the right to edit, publish or delete content.
2) Review all the available options
Now that you have decided that you need a CMS to manage your website content, the next step is to choose the best available system as per your requirements. Every system has its pros and cons. So, it is best to choose a CMS which is in line with your requirements and objectives.
On a broad level, CMS can be divided into two major categories;
- Open Source CMS: Open source is generally free. It has an extra advantage that it can be customized by adding different plugins to get different features. Regular updates are available online, thanks to its hyper active developer community. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Concrete5 are among the most popular open source CMS systems.
- Commercial CMS: Commercial or proprietary CMS tools usually offer a robust collection of features. They do not require as much customization as some open-source tools require, and can easily handle content management tasks. Many of commercial CMS have evolved to provide practically any functionality you might need. Expression Engine, Sitecore, Ektron are among the most popular commercial CMS systems.
3) Initial and long term support required:
Whether you choose an open-source or commercial product, it will require an investment of time, money, and staff resources to move your content to a CMS. Some initial work will be required to integrate the CMS into your IT environment, and adapt the tool to your work processes.
In long term, you might need maintenance assistance from the developer. So, look for an experienced development partner with market reputation.
4) Ease of use and functionality:
The most important part of content management system is how easy it is to use and what all features it has. Before directly jumping on the available options, you must first understand your content updation needs and requirements. Once you are clear about that and supporting functionality required, it will be easier to decide the best CMS tool that meet your business goals.
5) System Scalability:
Before making a decision about which CMS to choose, it is important to find out whether the CMS has the ability to scale up and handle growing amount of work & users in an effective way. CMS must be able to accommodate future growth in terms of traffic and operations.
Researching about this aspect will ensure that there is no need to later move to an alternate CMS to fulfill future demands.
6) Roles and permissions:
If the number of website managers is large, it is very important to make sure that you list down and set roles & privileges for each one of them. CMS that you choose must have this feature to ensure that each user has the right to perform only his set of duties. The access permission can be organized and you can decide who gets the right to edit, publish or delete content.
7) Avoid common mistakes:
Always make an informed decision while choosing a CMS. You must always focus on what you want to achieve rather than making the old processes fit into the new system. It is always advisable to understand problems and challenges that require a solution. Make sure you are aware about current and future requirements so that you pay only for the required functionality.
All the above points are important to find a CMS solution that helps you in achieving business goals in the long run.