Since the inception of the internet and the .COM boom websites have changed dramatically.
Early websites were predominantly built using HTML files, one for every page of the website, this method meant that any changes to a page had to be completed by hand, which meant as websites became more complex this approach became extremely challenging to manage. Any changes required across the whole website such as footers, headers, brand, etc had to be done one by one in each file across the website, which is extremely time-consuming not cost-effective and increases the chances of coding errors.
A change was need with the current methodology of how websites are structured typically websites consist of a front and back-end system, with back end holding the content.
Enter the CMS, Content Management System. A CMS offers a safe, secure and user-friendly interface in which users can manage the content of a website and significantly reduce the risk of deleting critical code.
Why Use a CMS?
User-friendly. CMSs offer an easy-to-use interface into adding and updating content, this interface is built so that you don’t need to be a developer and have knowledge of languages such as HTML or C# to update the website. Editing tools are provided within the CMS so the process of creating new pages and updating content is straightforward and intuitive. Dependant on the CMS you select you can increase the degree to which you can edit a page layout utilising a WYSIWYG composition tools, letting you see live the edits you are making.
Speed. With CMS being designed to be easy-to-use updates can be completed by most and can be immediately updated without the need to wait for a specialist team member and complicated coding changes.
Cost. As previously mentioned CMSs are easy to use and update with new content, this means that you won’t need to contact your agency every time you want to post a new blog, upload a new image, or change your page content.
Familiarity. Should your business utilise multiple sites, a CMS will offer a uniform interface across each site and therefore require no further training making it easier to manage lots of websites.
Automation. Dependant on the platform you select your CMS can automate aspects of content delivery. You can schedule posts for a later date, giving you the ability to stack up content in advance and feed into your social media accounts, e-commerce store and more.
Flexibility. Typically CMSs have a strong user community that further build their reach and functionality through plugins or extensions. Some CMSs also have built-in marketing, email marketing and forum tools, which can further extend the capabilities your business has.
Choosing a CMS
By now you fully understand how you can benefit from a CMS, but, what should you and your business understand in order to select the right CMS for you. Here are things we recommend you understand:
Features. What is the purpose of your solution what functionality do you require today and what will you need it to do in the next 18 months, understanding this will ensure that you are evaluating CMS platforms, you can match features and functionality that come with the product to your needs and avoid the expense of paying for a solution where you only use 5% of its functionality. Some of the features to consider, multi-language, multi-site, analytics, tiered permissions, social media integration. If you are unsure what features you will need it is best to work with a specialist development agency to understand your requirements.
Integration. The digital world has opened the reach of businesses to a large audience and in turn, more competition, websites, therefore, have evolved and are more than great imagery and well-crafted copy.
Digital experiences now come with an expectation, they should be streamlined, with automated workflows and provide the user with a huge amount of value. The need for a CMS to work effectively with additional tech is essential to the business whether it be for marketing automation, e-commerce or everything else, it has never been more important for a seamless workflow.
A key things to asses a solution on is API connectivity. Application Programming Interface (API), allows data to be communicated between your CMS and another application.
Security. Hackers are going to hack and that will not change, certainly not anytime soon. When selecting a platform to consider the security implications, can you afford to have your site go down or worse still suffer from a data breach? Unfortunately, no site is full-proof and ultimately everything can be hacked, equally, some platforms are more secure than others and the harder it is to hack, the less likely it is for you to experience such an issue.
Scalability. Change is inevitable for any growing business, and changes impact your websites. Make sure you choose a CMS solution that can quickly grow and scale as needed.
The best CMS for your business is a solution that doesn’t just fit what you need today but one that supports your future plans. Dependant on your businesses capability and understanding it may mean that to help you in your decision-making process it is best to reach out to an agency to help understand your requirements.
For help in how to select your development partner of choice check out this blog.