Choosing the Right CMS for your Needs
What is the right CMS for your website?
In order to answer this question, you need to answer another question first: What do I want to achieve with this project?
First of all, it’s essential to think about this question before actually getting down to work, so that you can give a clear direction to the work.
Is your goal to start a blog to boost your personal branding, or do you need to open a store to start selling your products online? Or maybe you are not happy with the CMS you have in your business?
As you will understand, each situation is different and unique. There are CMS’ for all tastes and needs. Make sure to choose the right one for you only after deciding what goals you want to achieve with your project, as this will greatly influence the selection criteria.
If you don't feel confident, if you don't know where to start, ask your webmaster or a specialised agency for help.
Experts in content management and distribution, such as EWM, Geneva’s leading web design agency, will be able to give you the best advice, both on the user experience of the site and on its functionalities.
What is a CMS and what is it for?
CMS stands for "Content Management System" and refers to software (or an application) that makes it easy to create, manage, and publish content on a website.
You don't need specific programming or computer engineering skills to use similar systems. CMS’ are easy-to-use tools designed to make it easier for those who want to start a blog, e-commerce site, or business website from scratch.
One of the advantages offered by web content management systems is the possibility of intervening on the site in real time. Just go to the control panel to edit content – and publish it – within minutes.
This allows you to fix errors or display issues on the fly, but beware: with the same ease with which you fix annoyances, you risk spawning new ones!
What are the characteristics of a good CMS?
As mentioned before, choosing the right CMS depends in part on your needs, but also on the goals you plan to achieve with your project.
A showcase site, for example, must be graphically attractive; instead, an e-commerce site should focus on ease of navigation and agility of the buying process.
In general, it can be said that a good content management system should:
1. Be easy to use
Similar software is designed to make life easier for people with basic computer skills. A CMS that is not very intuitive and complex to use would be of little use. In fact, it would only complicate your life.
The solution? An easy-to-understand, easy-to-use web content management system that lets you create and edit content with just a few clicks.
There is no point in choosing a CMS that allows you to insert banner ads, set up complex comment management systems or the like if you don't need them.
2. Be sensitive to search engine optimisation (SEO) issues
Do you know what is the most difficult mission that any business faces sooner or later?
To be found on the web.
The emergence of the SERP is becoming more and more complicated, partly because of the growing saturation of the market and partly because of the restrictions imposed by Google's algorithm.
In such a context, the choice of a CMS that allows us to easily intervene on the referencing of our content becomes fundamental.
Entering meta-tags, descriptions, and keywords of interest should be quick and easy, along with creating a sitemap that helps Google index our site.
3. Allow management of multiple users
Many companies prefer to delegate content management to third parties/external collaborators.
If this is your case, be sure to choose a CMS that allows the creation of multiple users with different access privileges.
WordPress, for example, allows you to create multiple profiles with different roles: contributor, editor, author, administrator, etc.
This will protect your content (and the entire site) from potential errors that could compromise its functioning.
4. Huge gallery of graphics to choose from
Choose a CMS that allows you to change the site's graphics in all of its parts - and that has a huge gallery of themes to choose from.
Make sure you can change the background and text colours, customise the pages as much as possible, and embed videos from YouTube or content from your social networks.
Having the ability to work on all aspects of the design is an advantage that should not be underestimated.
This will allow you to make the site more and more like you and different from everyone else.
5. Multi-site support
Your organisation may need to manage multiple websites at once, each dedicated to a specific line of products (or services). The same goes for landing pages.
A CMS that supports multisite functionality allows you to create a network of different web pages within a single installation.
The main advantage is that you can control everything from a single dashboard, without having to switch between tools.
In addition, all the plugins and customisations you install on the main site will be replicated to the rest of the network - with just one click.
WordPress, for example, is one of the CMS’ with this feature. You just need to activate it during the first installation to start creating your own network of websites.
6. Security level
This is another pretty important aspect to take into account when choosing a CMS.
Oftentimes, content management system security issues result from installing third-party plugins, which are not always created correctly.
Unfortunately, it is also possible to encounter issues resulting from not updating the CMS itself, making it vulnerable.
At EWM, we recommend that you check the security level of the tool before you start working on it, in order to protect yourself from any issues.
What are the most common CMS’?
There are hundreds of open source content management systems on the market. Here are four highly popular CMS’, used across the globe:
WordPress is certainly the most widespread and the most used in the world (we are talking about 18 million sites).
This is a CMS that adapts well to almost all business needs, and is often used by businesses to build corporate websites as well.
It is easy to install, free and intuitive, and has a high level of customisation (over 18,000 plugins and themes to choose from). The main flaw? Security, a little insufficient.
The alternative to WordPress, but more complex to use.
It is ideal for building ecommerce sites and multilingual sites, which are two native features of the platform. The inconvenience? The complex management of user profiles and the lack of graphic customisation.
This is a forms-based CMS, which features high levels of security and a wide choice of content - with corresponding customisation.
The problem is, it takes more specific skills to use this content management system, which makes it affordable for a few (unlike WordPress).
This is a middle ground between Magento and WooCommerce, the main platforms designed to manage e-commerce.
If your project does not have a high degree of complexity, Prestashop might be the right choice. It's simple to use - although sometimes it's a bit cumbersome - and is pretty secure.
Contact EWM to discuss your CMS needs.
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