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Five considerations to ensure your CMS works for you

It’s common practice for businesses to use CMS software to format their website – but with so many types available, how do you know which platform is best for you?



 

CMS software allows you to lay the groundwork for your website, turning ideas into coherent, organised pages that display your services effectively. It sounds so simple, but getting started with a platform like this is where many business owners fall flat – we’ve done our research to not only bring you the basic knowledge of what a CMS does, but the optimum considerations you should keep in mind when deciding which software is best for your business.

1 - What is a CMS?
Before even beginning to decide on the best CMS for you, you need to be acquainted with the basics. A Content Management System (CMS) takes you behind the scenes of your website, allowing you to manage your web content from an admin’s viewpoint. If they wanted to, your whole team could have access to create, edit and publish content, eventually building distinguished pages like a news archive, homepage, and meet the team section, for example.

 

In a CMS, you should be able to add and create content such as images and text, and depending on how much freedom the system allows, you could even reformat entire pages to how you’d like them to look. As mentioned, however, this depends on the type of CMS – some platforms offer more creative freedom than others.  

2 - What systems should I know about?

There are hundreds of CMS platforms out there, some of which you would have likely heard of, such as Wix and WordPress. Here are a few systems we’ll be discussing:

 

  • WordPress: Used by 18% of marketers, https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics WordPress https://wordpress.com/ is an immensely popular, free, templated CMS platform that offers a variety of pre-made styles for users to choose from. Despite being templated, it offers a surprising amount of creative freedom with customisable widgets.
  • Hubspot: This paid CMS software https://www.hubspot.com/ is priced from £33.60/month, and allows users to create optimised websites with ease, as well as use the integrated CRM software for customer journey tracking.
  • ProteanCMS: Of course we had to mention our very own software! ProteanCMS https://www.proteancms.com/ offers a bespoke system resulting in sleek, creative web design as well as a responsive support team always on-hand. There are also some handy additional features, including content authoring.

 

 

3 - What are the pros and cons of free, templated or bespoke CMSs?

The aforementioned CMS platforms fall into a range of categories that can overlap, each of which come with pros and cons. For our full analysis, visit our previous blog. [LINK TO PROS AND CONS BLOG WHEN LIVE]

 

  • Free: Wordpress and similar sites like Wix https://www.wix.com/ and Weebly. https://www.weebly.com/
  • Pros: budget friendly and time saving.
  • Cons: Limited features available, unprofessional domain name
  • Templated: Often available in both free and paid CMS software.
  • Pros: Easy setup that saves time.
  • Cons: Limited creative freedom with pre-designed templates
  • Bespoke: Protean CMS
  • Pros: Have your website exactly how you want it, fast load times and responsive design
  • Cons: You may be limited when it comes to budget
  • Paid: Protean CMS and Hubspot
  • Pros: High standard load times and responsive design
  • Cons: You may be limited when it comes to budget

 

4 – What features will I need?
As well as the technical staple features, it’s vital that you have an effective marketing strategy in mind to go hand in hand with your content management software, which makes the following considerations important:

  • Are you able to schedule regular content? It’s always easiest to work in advance with your content, so it’s handy to be able to schedule content in batches, allowing it to be published automatically at staggered intervals. When browsing software, it’s worth checking if the CMS enables you to do this
  • Can you create a bespoke URLs? A key step for ensuring a good SEO ranking https://eonic.com/Blog/2114-/digital-marketing-strategy-search-engine-optimisation-business-website-easy-wins is the ability to include keywords in your website URL, meaning you need to be able to customise it. Once again, it’s worthwhile checking if you’re able to request this functionality.

5 – Will my CMS allow for futureproofing?  
As demonstrated by the coronavirus crisis, businesses and business needs have the potential to change unexpectedly. Will the CMS that you're considering enable you to add create new pages and new blocks within pages if you need to make an emergency announcement?

 

A good rule of thumb with CMS software is that you get what you pay for. If immediate cash flow is your major concern, you may opt for a cheap solution now, with a view to investing more on your website when your business is in a stronger financial position. But if you have the finances, investing in a CMS that can grow with your business will give you a solution that works harder for your business for longer.