Choosing a Web Content Management System

May 10, 2011
Content management software how to select gears
Virtually all of today’s websites are built using a web content management system (CMS). A common approach is for organizations considering updating their web presence is to take greater control over the content updates and maintenance a requirement solved with a good CMS.

A web content management system is essentially that: web based software that allows the site administrator the ability to edit the website copy without any technical knowledge with a browser based editor. Most modern day CMS's do much more than update text and upload images which is the motivation behind this blog post.  

We’ve built many websites over the years using a variety of off the shelf CMS’s along with our own custom developed CMS in the past. Its run the gamut from open sourced PHP solutions like Word Press to enterprise systems like SharePoint server. That being said we’ve gone through the process of sourcing and selecting a commercial CMS partner for our clients projects.  We evaluated based on many factors of which we will discuss here.

It's all about finding the right tool for the job not necessarily open sourced vs closed source or this technology or that framework. 

Important Factors when assessing a CMS:

  • Feature list
  • Scalability
  • Hosting 
  • SEO & custom vanity urls
  • Ease of use 
  • Support and Training
  • Versioning - release cycle
  • Price and licensing
  • FLEXIBILITY and ability to customize

The number one rules; "Don’t use a bespoke WCMS built by an agency Focus on your key business needs. What are you trying to achieve with the site? Are you trying to access and support a global market? Are you trying to improve operational efficiency? Do you need a highly accountable system? Is standards compliance important? Are you trying to create a community? These are more important questions than "Is it hosted on Unix or Windows?” but all too often we see questions like that at the top of the list.

The website is not a bad place to start looking at a simple matrix. Or the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management 


About the Author

Tony Tullio

Tony Tullio is a veteran in the interactive business and Director/Founder at Inorbital and always looking for great web apps and useful websites. Let us know what you think about this topic by commenting or rating or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn