Choosing a Content Management System (CMS)
Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your website can seem a little daunting. Making the wrong choice can negatively impact your business, which is why it’s essential to choose the CMS that suits your precise business needs.
Defining your Needs
Everyone who reads EWM’s articles knows that, in our opinion, nothing begins without prior analysis and formalization of needs. A visit from all those involved in the management of the site is required, including the graphics team, content writers, advertisers and developers.
At the end of this phase, we should have:
· An analysis document describing our needs
· A checklist of the characteristics we are interested in (short, medium and long-term)
· Budget available for purchase
· Needs and budget for system administration training and content authors
Let’s take a look at a few other things to consider.
Have many operators will manage the content?
Will one person manage the content or will several individuals be responsible? Will they work in the same office or will they be working from home/separate locations? Will the content be inserted directly by the site administrator?
The answers to these questions will help us understand whether we need a CMS that provides access control and sophisticated security management. The level reached by management can make the price difference between different CMSs.
What is the IT level of content managers?
Choosing a highly sophisticated Content Management System is definitely advantageous, but can make it difficult to start the project and subsequently maintain the content, particularly if the CMS is difficult to manage. It is therefore necessary to choose a system that matches the IT capacities of the staff who will be responsible for uploading the content.
A flexible CMS that allows the insertion of banners, links, advertisements and texts at different levels of depth, can overwhelm those who have to insert simple articles or technical or commercial sheets.
Do we need pure textual content or do we need fancy graphics, effects and HTML inline? It is precisely on the publisher, in fact, that there are many differences between the different CMS.
Many CMSs allow the external HTML editor loophole, but we need to take care of our authors. They are not always familiar with the production systems of web pages or HTML. In some cases, a simpler and more integrated editor, but with special generation buttons, might therefore be more suitable, even if it is limited.
What operating system is the site hosted on?
Consider, of course, the IT structure that will host the system. In particular, MySQL works under Linux, and the SQL server needs an operating system. Windows, Linux and Unix are good for Oracle.
The same considerations apply to the CMS engine. Depending on the operating system of the webserver, we will have to choose ASP, PHP or other languages.
Content for a site or a network?
Do we have one or more sites? Will the CMS have to manage the content of one of them or the whole network?
In the case of a network, in fact, you must choose a CMS that allows you to manage the content visibility criteria. You need to be able to indicate what content is for a site and what content is common across the network. It must be possible to indicate the sections where the contents are located and, possibly, to intervene on the structure of the sections themselves.
Do I need to be able to manage banners and links?
Do we need the CMS for text content or should we also be able to handle banners, links to other sites and advertisements? For banners, should it be possible to indicate on which pages they should end or is a rotation system with few possibilities of intervention sufficient? Advanced systems allow all of this, but the costs go up and we need to establish whether this is an option or if it is really vital.
Define the needs and prepare a checklist, get to work and search the internet for the most popular CMSs, or download demos – but get ready for some hard work! Alternatively, contact EWM, our web design agency in Geneva, for solutions tailored to your specific business needs.