The process of selecting a content management system (CMS) is often a delicate subject at the heart of a website redesign project. The decision-making process very often involves the collaboration of the organization’s IT and Marketing teams, who have different points of view on the issue. How can you make an informed choice, taking into account the objectives of each department?
The IT department is very often looking for a proven solution that offers support in terms of both its use and the technology platform itself. Compatibility and interconnectivity with existing or complementary solutions and infrastructures must also be taken into account.
Marketing teams are looking for a user-friendly, easy-to-use tool that gives them complete autonomy to achieve their marketing objectives. Features such as content personalization capabilities are often a decisive factor.
These are the criteria on which we base our recommendations. Too often, due to a lack of knowledge, companies will simply choose a tool based on its popularity, which is very often overrated, without regard to the company’s specific needs.
Tried and true solutions
Obviously, you’re going to want a tried and true solution which performs well in the areas most important to you. If, for example, your website is designed for use in different countries and includes multiple languages, a solution with native multi-language capacity will be better suited to your needs than an option which requires additional plugins to provide these functions.
Companies often forget about the support element of CMS, but if you’re having website trouble, easy access to the product manufacturer is invaluable. If an agency offers support, make sure that they’re happy to respect the existing architecture, otherwise you may end up with a Frankenstein website which is impossible to modify.
Ease of use
In our opinion, a good management tool should be intuitive and simple to use, so that you can update your content without having to hunt through endless menus or call in the specialists. Ease of use is essential to improving the efficiency of administrative teams, particularly when combined with great development practices in order to centralize content.
Inter-connectivity and openness
Whatever your needs, it’s always good to look for an open solution with the capacity to evolve and interconnect with other external solutions, such as a CRM. Proprietary solutions, where clients are locked in, should be avoided. They may be cheap to purchase, but there could be unpleasant surprises further down the line in terms of evolution costs.
Evidently, certain functions are more important than others when choosing a CMS – particularly as a bespoke system isn’t always in the budget. Decisions should be made on the basis of the functions offered by the existing CMS. If your requirements are simple, it’s best to avoid larger platforms which can be cumbersome, increase management complexity and have a negative impact on performance.
In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all option for CMS: each solution has its own advantages and drawbacks, and your choice should be based on your own, real requirements. It’s often tempting to adopt the solution with the greatest long-term potential, but cost is also a factor. On the flip side, attempts to cut costs by adopting a free CMS solution can often backfire: you may have to code everything from scratch, which, in the long term, will be more expensive.