Do you have the right Web Content Management System (Web CMS)?

The CMS – Or Content Management Systems is the heart of your website. Your CMS allows you to post content to your website and make it look the way you want it to look. It allows your visitors to interact with your website when it comes to things like leaving comments or filling out forms.

You might not think that the CMS you have in your business would make an awful lot of difference, but you would be wrong. Making the wrong choice can have expensive solutions.

There are broadly three types of CMS you can use but each type has lots of different options too.

Open-Source CMS

Open-source software tends to be free or at least has no initial cost. You don't have to pay licence or updating fees or sign contracts. But be aware you may need to pay for technical help to set up your CMS and will likely need to customise it to make it into exactly what you need it to be.

You will probably find using something like a template the easiest way to manage your open source CMS. This means using what others have built like pages, menus, widgets and so on. These are available off the shelf making it far easier for you to create the website you want. Some templates are free, but the best often come with a cost.

Some examples of open source CMS platforms are well known such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. WordPress is in fact so popular that some people estimate as much as 40% of websites are built in CMS alone.

Proprietary CMS

Commercial CMS software is produced, managed and developed by a single company that is looking to make money from their platform. There is usually a very good reason to use a commercial CMS necessitating paying for it versus using the free open source version.

That's usually because of specific functionality that is required, such as the ability to handle high volumes of traffic or secure transactions or having a CMS that is able to do things for the end user such as allow them to sign into a membership section of your site.

You will find many of the features and functions that you need then come prebuilt into the CMS. This makes for better integration in terms of the site’s infrastructure. So rather than plugging in additional software from multiple vendors you have a suite of software produced by the same people designed and tested to work seamlessly together.

Well known types of proprietary CMS solutions include Microsoft SharePoint, IBM enterprise content management, Sitecore and Shopify for ecommerce.

Software as a service (SaaS) CMS

The last type of CMS is packaged as a software as a service offering. This means you will get your web content management software, web hosting, and technical support from a single supplier. This is true of the HubSpot CMS for instance.

These are virtual solutions hosted in the cloud and usually based on a monthly subscription. The pricing includes the storage of your content and data, website hosting and ongoing support and upgrades.

Cloud CMS can be a good option for a small business as costs are usually low with small setup fees to cover basic implementation, and the supplier deals with upgrades maintenance, technical issues and even security.

You can access your CMS software from any computer laptop or even a mobile phone with a SaaS CMS platform. Making it potentially much more flexible than a server-based option.

What do we need CMS platforms to do?

CMS platforms help us do everything we need in order to run a successful website. From the simple posting of blogs to running your own ecommerce store or even your customer service strategy.

The most important thing to do when choosing the right CMS for your business is to understand what functionality you are going to need before deciding which CMS you are going to use. There is nothing worse than building a website only to find that you have topped out on its functionality when it comes to developing it.

If you start with the wrong CMS your websites development might be seriously limited. As you learn more about things like SEO or look to sell products or services directly from your website and you find your site can’t cope, you will be faced with an expensive bill to replatform and start again using new technology.

On the other hand, it's quite possible to buy too much technology and have the CMS capable of doing lots of things that you will never need to do as a business. That can be as equally an expensive mistake as needing to replatform as you pay for features and functions you won’t ever use.

Like almost everything in life, the answer to the question ‘what CMS do I need to use?’ seems to be: it depends. But the most important thing to do is to ensure you don't make an expensive mistake that will come back and bite you in the future.

Working with a competent web development agency should allow you the opportunity to get this right. Working with the right people will mean you start with a web strategy that includes who your target market is, what would they, and you, want the website to do, and what technology will be required in order to achieve this.

Be warned buying the cheapest, or the most impressive CMS may not be right for you at all. The world is full of businesses that have made that mistake, and it’s a simple one to avoid. All it takes is a little bit of forward thinking and planning and you will be good to go.

If you'd like to talk to us about your website strategy, please get in touch. We work with all budgets and platforms to make sure you are achieving your objectives whatever the technology you choose.

HubSpot CMS A Webstars Guide



Tony Dowling

FCIM | HubSpot Platinum Partner | Revenue Consultant | HubSpot Certified Trainer | South Wales HUG Leader | | 07812 582213

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