Dissemination of views, information and knowledge without any cost or ado was made possible after blogging dawned upon us. Lets take a look at some of the burning topics, general discussion, innovations and techniques from our Editor’s desk
Mar 14 2011
CMS Selection: A Guide To Select The Best
Content is an important aspect of any website and needs to be presented and maintained in a proper way to let the users make use of it. Only after the content is added, in form of written text, images, logos, video, audio, etc a website is said to be complete. This necessitates the need of an efficient Content Management System (CMS) with the help of which it becomes easy to publish and manage content on a site.
With so many CMSs available, the task of selecting the one which fits the requirement gets complicated. The article aims to clear the confusion by covering various aspects regarding the choice of CMS as well as presenting some useful tips which guide the selection process.
Is a CMS really required?
This is the first question that developers must ask themselves before heading for a CMS. For this they need to analyze the purpose and needs of the site they are going to built. If the site is a static one, it can do well even without a CMS. However Content Management System is required if:
- The site is content-driven, say for example a Blog
- Site’s content needs to be regularly updated
- There is a need to add more functionality to the website.
Also such a system proves beneficial in saving the cost while allowing the flexibility to manage or modify the content from any remote location even if one has limited technical skills.
Factors to consider for selecting the Right CMS
Identify the core function
A CMS is not just meant for publishing and editing content rather it offers a wide range of features which can be used to create a quality site. But what differentiates a CMS from another is its core function, the identification of which helps in selecting the right one. To say for example, for an online store, CMS that offers ecommerce features is considered suitable. So it is important to find the core function of the system and if it aligns with purpose of the site, it should be chosen.
Simple User Interface
A CMS must present an easy way to create, edit, add or delete content providing simple steps to carry out these tasks. It is the basic requirements which it must fulfill; otherwise there is no point in choosing it. It must have an efficient WYSIWYG Editor in place.
Images and Files Management
CMS that effectively caters to this particular field should be considered as handling images and other files such as PDFs, Word Documents is difficult. It must provide the required image editing tools, provision to add descriptions, etc.
Ability to Customize
It is a crucial factor which must be considered before selecting a CMS. The one which allows the ability to customize the Template design and offers ways to modify the content presentation as per the specific requirements should be chosen.
Make sure that the CMS allows you to extend functionality and add desired features by means of Plug-ins or Modules, even if the site currently doesn’t have any such need. It will help in case any change or addition is required in the feature.
No owner would like to keep the site and its content at risk. In this regard, CMS which assures to secure the site should be preferred. Though every such system offers security but choose the one which has adequate safety features and controls the access by allotting separate username and password to each user.
Documentation and Community Support
It is necessary to ascertain that the CMS is properly documented and provides important information in easy to understand manner. Also as no CMS is free from problems, which may occur due to any specific reason, an active user community can provide the right support and help in sorting out the issues. Select a CMS that offers both, proper documentation and excellent Community Support.
Mistakes to avoid
- Popular is not always the best Developers often commit the mistake of selecting the CMS on the basis of its popularity. They tend to forget that it may not match the requirements of the site. It is not necessary that the one which is popular is also suitable for every type of site.
- Neither too Tech friendly nor too Simple CMS Often developers choose a CMS which is technology oriented to a great extent paying no heed to the fact that everyone is not tech savvy. In the similar way, sometimes they select the simplest CMS to avoid complexity. But the right approach is to select the one which offers a right mix of features, which are neither too technical nor too simple.
- Lack of Understanding of the website and the CMS This mistake is commonly done where owners select the CMS without understanding what exactly the website is about and what the CMS can do to make it effective. They opt for the CMS on certain assumptions and then suffer the consequences of making the wrong choice.
These are the considerations to keep in mind when you choose a particular CMS as per the requirement of your site. Comments and views are welcome.