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How to choose the right CMS. Part 1

Now we have looked at Joomla and WordPress, we felt it would be a good time to take the concept of content management that little bit further, by publishing a guide on how to choose the right content management system for your site.  By considering what is needed over what is not needed, could save you bundles of cash, streamline your website, and create a better user experience.  All these factors increase traffic to a website, which can only be good.

Possibly one of the best questions to ask yourself, is what do you want from a CMS?  Write down what you want, and stick to it.  Some functionality of  CMS’ are great, but do you need them, or do you just like them?  Think of it this way.  If you go shopping without a list, you’ll probably buy lots of food you do not need, and will not eat.  If you make a list first and stick to it, you only buy the food you will eat, and save money by not buying frivolous food.  The same principle applies to choosing a CMS.

There can be no doubts that the ability to organise, edit, delete, create and manage content is a requirement for any CMS.  You maybe surprised to know that this functionality maybe limited to organising a post by calendar, category, and date.  For many sites this all the functionality that is required, but many others may need to be able to take the functionality that bit further.  Ask yourself, will the category, calendar, and date be suitable for the future, or will you want to organise in more detail?

With so many CMS’ on the market, it is also necessary and imperative that the usability is assessed to see if it is a suitable for the website.  Usability does make and break a CMS.  It is important to choose the right one.

Editing is very important for any blog, and this should be considered carefully.  The traditional WYSIWYG editor which gave control of appearance and formatting to the content provider, should be avoided for two reasons.  First, the branding of the site can be disjointed, and undermined, and second, the CMS mixes content and design too much,  which hampers search engines.

More recent CMS’ have moved away from the WYSIWYG method of editing, but instead use one based on best practice.  Essentially, this means the content provider can specify links, images and the like, but they do not have control on appearance, which ensures branding is consistent. 

The editor is an important tool and it should be a key requirement when choosing a CMS for your site.  Ensure that your editing tool is not rooted in the WYSIWYG method, but instead based on best practice methodology.  If nothing else, the editing tool on your CMS should be able to be changed to a new generation one.

When choosing a CMS, another important factor is the way in which assets are managed.  In many blogs, pictures, and files are necessary to publish along side an article.  This does give character to any blog, and also is a nice, welcoming way to begin an article.  Therefore, it is important that your CMS can handle these types of files well, and are easy to use for the users, and is presented well to your site audience.

Many content providers may need to be able to crop images or resize them.  Ensure that this is taken into account when selecting a worthy CMS.

That finished part 1 of our guide to choosing the right CMS.  We have seen that preparation in what the requirements are needed for a CMS, are crucial to choosing the right one. 

In part 2 of our guide:  How to choose the right CMS, we will be looking at other factors that should be considered.

One Response to “How to choose the right CMS. Part 1”
  1. The Web Artist

    Wow! This article is convincing me to really utilize and switch to CMS. I usually do my web projects from scratch with a little help from my friends. It really didn’t cross my mind I can a lot through CMS.

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