6 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Content Management System
Your Content Management System (CMS) is the foundation block of the modern website and a vital tool in your business.
Of course, the design of the site on the front end is important – it needs to look good, reflect your brand, and be easily navigated by visitors. But, just as that luxury sports car needs a powerful engine under the bonnet to operate, so your website needs to be complemented by an effective CMS.
Your CMS is what drives your site; providing you with the tools you need to manage the content that will appear. This could be:
- Written content on a web or landing page
- Blog posts and news items
Modern websites need to be dynamic and regularly updated, both from a visitor perspective (who may be looking for new information on your services, for example) and for your SEO – fresh new content being a factor in the optimisation of your site on the search engines.
So, considering the importance of your CMS to the success of your website, which system should you choose? After all, there are a lot of options out there for consideration.
We’ve therefore compiled 5 key questions that you might want to consider when opting for the right CMS upon which your website should be built.
How Easy is it to add or edit content?
It’s the question that really cuts to the heart of your requirements. The key reason for introducing a CMS is to give you the power to upload and edit the site with relative ease.
Look for a CMS that has an editor that allows the user to easily write new content directly into it; with logical tools that make it simple to add:
- Headers (H1, H2 etc)
- Numerical lists and bullets
- Videos and other media
It’s also worth noting that many people get comfortable using popular software such as Microsoft Word when writing out content. So maybe look for a CMS that can copy and paste directly into the editor, without fear of weird symbols and changes occurring.
In addition, and with the link between your web content and social media sharing, consider the ability to embed tweets into posts and pages, and easily share across the major platforms should another consideration.
Do I need to be a tech savvy coding genius to use my CMS?
The answer to this particular question must be a resounding NO, when you are making your decision on which CMS to go for.
Your CMS should be accessible and easy to use for everyone; without the need to go on a crash course in coding.
We understand, of course, that some people will get nervous about delving around the back-end of their website out of fear that they might muck up the way the front-end of the site looks. That’s why we work with our clients to ensure the design of the site is hard-coded so that the content you add or edit won’t break the site.
Add in audit trails of changes made, and the ability to undo or revert back to an older version of the content, provides extra reassurance that your site isn’t going to go upside down and inside out.
What level of training and support will we get?
There are many open source, off-the-shelf systems available for use; many of which are certainly very good indeed.
However, whatever system you use, and however simple they may be once you are up and running, will your supplier take the time to work with you and your team to ensure that staff can use it properly, and get the best value from the system?
And, should something go awry – as can happen from time to time – with the system, is there a support team on hand to help?
Can it help my SEO?
We all want websites that zoom to the top of page 1 on Google, don’t we? And, while there are many fluctuating factors that determine where your web site, or web page, will rank, there are some basic standards of good practice when it comes to adding new content to your site.
Look for a CMS that can assist you when it comes to structuring your content. Helpful prompts, to tell you what headers you need, or to remember to correctly label / tag your image can ensure you are consistently uploading content that meets standard levels of good SEO practice.
Can I edit on mobile or tablet?
Most people are savvy enough to understand that the front-end of your website (the bit your visitors will see) needs to be responsive and accessible on all devices.
However, what about the CMS?
In a world where remote work is ever more prevalent, and we are looking to quickly upload new items into our site whether in the office, in our home, hotel room, or commuter train – the ability to add and edit content via your mobile can be a crucial part of your work.
Does my CMS let me know if I go wrong?
If you are editing certain sections of your site, then there will likely be certain parameters that need to be adhered to. For instance, a text box on your home page may be able to accommodate up to 200 words.
You want to ensure that your CMS will intuitively know that these areas have limits, so you are able to safely stay within them.
Similarly, it’s important that different images on different areas of your site are uploaded at the correct ratio.
Does your CMS tell you this?
A modern content management system is a powerful tool within your business, and used correctly, can transform your website into a dynamic platform from which to inform and engage with your clients.
It’s therefore crucial that you understand the functions that you should expect. At UpriseVSI, we combine the essential aspects of creative design and UX to deliver stunning looking websites, with the power of thinkCMS, our modern, responsive and versatile CMS, packed with the tools needed to take full control of your site; and add new value to your business.
You can find out more about the full functionality of thinkCMS here.