5 Tips when Selecting A Content Management Systems

If you have previously used a Content Management System (CMS), you may have had a taste of some of the features they offer. A Content Management System is used to organize and facilitate collaborative content creation. This command and control center for your website facilitates updates, application interactivity, ecommerce and tools to assist with sales and business development teams.

We’ve come up with a list of content management system evaluation tips that will help you stay ahead of the game and take advantage of the ever-evolving CMS arena.

1. Avoid Hidden Monthly Costs

Most proprietary Content Management Systems charge monthly or yearly fees as part of the licensing agreement to use the software for your website. These monthly fees are often in addition to the cost and development of a website. The subscription costs can range from a couple hundred dollars a year to tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Open source software, supported by community and private development offers in most cases access to frameworks that prohibit monthly licensing fee’s. The advantages are reduced overall cost, decreased dependency on relying one vendor and long-term development support. Recent examples include The White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/ and The Onion http://www.theonion.com/ based on a Drupal framework and Wake Forest University http://www.wfu.edu/ and Atlantic Southeast Airlines http://www.flyasa.com/ on WordPress.

2. Ensure Third Party Software Support

When deciding on a CMS it’s crucial to know what out of box support third party applications provide that tool. With so many software packages available to help companies run their business, today’s CMS tools offer cutting edge implementation options with what is known as API’s (an API facilitates interaction between different software programs). An example is if your business development team relies on SalesForce www.salesforce.com, then you need to know if the SalesForce API is supported by your CMS. If not, be prepared to allocate additional time, budget and resources ensuring your two systems can talk. Before selecting a CMS browse through the list of supported companies and make sure yours are on the list.

3. Demand Google Friendly Search Engine Visibility

Once your website is live, search engine optimization plays an important part of your companies marketing strategy. Some CMS solutions have basic search engine tools that don’t provide more elaborate options when integrating additional meta, keyword and page descriptions. Make sure to look for automatic search engine friendly page descriptions for news updates or blog posts. If video is part of your marketing or support efforts, then search engine friendly video integration is vital (especially for more advanced features like video site maps). A large part of your online success will stem from how your organizations content will be deployed online. Ensure your future is hosted on a proper search engine friendly content management system framework that will enhance your online visibility.

4. Smartphone and iPad Friendly

Are your customers using smartphones like the iPhone or iPads to view your website? Chances are that a percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile users and growing monthly. While many companies offer separate mobile sites and tools, these solutions are usually costly and require development time similar to developing and supporting a small website. With the right CMS you can ensure your users experience is consistent for a mobile user as it is with someone using a web browser from work or home. Make sure to ask if your web experience will be identical browsing on an iPhone or Android smartphones without having to incur additional costs.

5. Stay on Budget with Rapid Development

More than ever corporations and government clients are focused on Return On Investment (ROI) and focusing on managing the design and build process. Within the CMS development community it’s a fact certain programming languages are notorious for being under supported and difficult to program for even the most skilled developers. When evaluating a content management system take into account support time and hours required for more sophisticated updates. This is especially true if your website solution is based on proprietary software tools that don’t permit changes to its code. Whether your company requires a high-quality design or an enterprise level multi-site solution, open-source solutions deliver rapid on budget deployments.

Selecting the right Content Management System will help your organization deliver results and deliver uncompromising, high-quality Website Design. Ultimately the right new CMS will help deliver higher conversion rates, and improved customer satisfaction.

What are your thoughts when selecting a new Content Management System?