Thursday, 18 January 2018

How to Decide on Your CMS Platform

When you are setting up a website, there are many different decisions that you will need to make. Perhaps one of the first will be which web host to use – do you go for the cheapest one or the one with great reviews; the most popular one, or the one with the most features? Before starting up a website, it is always a good idea to fully plan out your digital marketing strategy. Outline your objectives for your website, things like how many visitors you want to attract each month.

Another area that you will need to plan out carefully is how to maintain your website. Will you be paying someone to update your website for you or will you be doing it yourself, or do you have a team of people to take care of that? The answer to this will help you to determine the CMS that you are best working with. If you are a relative novice to website content management then you either want something very easy to use or you want someone else to take responsibility for keeping it updated.

If you are doing it yourself/inhouse then you should consider the following when you are deciding on a website:

Support from your web host/online resources

Your web host may offer support with specific types of CMS, so bear this in mind when you are choosing a host, if you haven’t done so already. Also, if you opt for a well-used CMS like WordPress you will have access to absolutely loads of guidance, videos, forums etc. to help you along the way.

The skills of the content manager/admin

You can’t really get away without having someone to update your content. Many people make the mistake of paying for a website to get set up by a developer without thinking about updates that will be needed in the future. Even if you are not intending to upload regular content onto your website, details will need to be updated at some point. Besides, it isn’t good practice to have a website that isn’t regularly updated. If you want to do well in terms of organic searches, you will be creating regular, fresh content to go onto your website and attract new business leads.

So you are going to need someone to do that work, whether it is yourself or someone that you pay to do it. You need to consider the skills of that person or team; do they know how to work with online images? Do they have software that will help them to produce/amend images? Also, do you need to have a sign off process, where you have someone that will approve content before it goes live? Some CMS offer an easy solution to this kind of set up, whilst others do not.

If the person doesn’t have a great deal of experience in website content management, then you want to pick the easiest to use CMS with the most amount of support available. Also, if you have a team/resources that are familiar with a particular type of CMS, then you might want to consider using that one again for ease.

Most used and rated highly

There are so many different content management systems available but the one that is most used, WordPress accounts for a massive 60% of the market share.

The top 10 in terms of CMS market share are:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Magento
  • Blogger
  • Shopify
  • Squarespace
  • Bitrix
  • TYPO3
  • PrestaShop

An article from TechRadar highlights the following CMS as their top rated:

  • WordPress
  • Magnolia
  • Weebly
  • Wix
  • Bynder

So apart from WordPress, their recommendations are quite different. This is probably because the market share is based on websites that may have been set up several years ago, when options like Joomla and Drupal were very popular. Weebly and Wix are more recent offerings that have easy to use website building tools for the more basic website set up.

Your future plans

That planning stage we mentioned earlier is really critical because understanding where your business might be in five years time will help you to choose a CMS that will grow with your requirements. So you may only need the basic functionalities and features this year but maybe you will start some major digital campaigns in the near future and will require advanced features to enable that. Most CMS are regularly updated to add new features and stay up to date with the latest available technology, so select one that looks like it stays in touch with emerging technology.

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