Choosing the right CMS platform is an important step of updating your website. With a range of options available, picking the best CMS for your specific requirements and budget can be overwhelming.
Our team of web developers broke down the process into easy-to-digest chunks:
how to choose a cms platform
Do you need an open source tool managed by a community of expert developers? A commercial solution with an exhaustive list of out of the box functionalities? Maybe even a CMS platform developed in house? The answer depends on the goals and objectives of your organisation.
One common consideration when choosing the best CMS for your business is flexibility. You want a CMS platform that can adapt to your changing needs and the growth of the company, whatever your industry. To make sure the CMS you choose is the right one for your business, you need to:
Step 1: determine the needs of your stakeholders
Start by considering the needs of the people who use the CMS platform every day. Your content editors, digital marketing managers and IT team will have valuable insight on what CMS is best for your company.
step 2: compile a requirements checklist
Based on your key stakeholders’ needs, put together a list of CMS requirements. Consider the following features:
Is the CMS easy to use? You need a platform that’s straightforward and intuitive, so employees can pick it up quickly. They also won't need help from developers or designers to create and update web pages.
You want a CMS platform that can grow along with your business. This way you can improve and expand your web presence over the years, in line with the digital landscape.
Make sure the CMS platform you choose comes with all the essential SEO features. Customisable browser titles and meta descriptions, as well as structured URLs are a must if you don’t want your organic search rankings to take a tumble.
Another obvious consideration when picking a CMS is the budget you have available. An open-source platform is a cost-effective solution that provides a wealth of customisation opportunities. A commercial CMS, while more expensive, comes with a range of out of the box features and ongoing support.
Choose a CMS which can be easily integrated with third-party apps and existing systems (e.g. CRMs, ecommerce, procurement). Web analytics integration will help track conversions, page visits and other key metrics.
Look for a CMS that’s build with a security in mind. This way you have a peace of mind when it comes to hosting, GDPR compliance and cyber risk. Make sure the CMS doesn't have a history of hacking or site crashes before making a decision!
Whichever CMS you choose, make sure you have access to technical expertise. Commercial CMS platforms include system support, while open-source ones rely on the huge community of developers. You can also pay for professional support.
Have a look at other websites built on the CMS platform. This way you can make sure everything looks good from a visitor’s perspective, both on desktop and mobile.
What makes a good CMS is unique to the individual needs of your organisation - there’s no one right answer for everyone. The best value for money CMS solution is the one that does everything your business needs it to.