Top tips for selecting a new content management system

How you manage and maintain your website is just as important as how it looks. Ensuring your website is regularly updated is vital to maintain a good user experience and keep visitors coming back time and again. The key to this is ensuring your website it quick and easy to update – and that starts with the Content Management System.

But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one for your business? Our checklist will help ensure you make the right choice.

1. Does it meet your requirements?

When you are looking for a new CMS, set out your intentions clearly. Think about the following points and discuss them with your web developer. This will help ensure that you select the right one to suit your needs:

  • Who will be maintaining and updating the website? Having the freedom to give admin rights to certain individuals is a great advantage to ensure your website is regularly updated with fresh, new content. However, you also need to ensure that you retain a level of control. For example, you may want to give users access to post news items or update certain pages, but you don’t want them to be able to change menus or core pages. Select a CMS that allows regular updates to be made to the website, but also gives you the control to restrict certain areas.
  • How often do you expect to be updating it? A difficult to use CMS can be frustrating to use and damaging to your business. It could mean that regular updates aren’t made and outdated content is left live. Leaving your website to stagnate gives visitors a negative impression of your business and they will go elsewhere. Look for a CMS that is easy to use to encourage regular maintenance. This will keep your website engaging and encourage visitors to return time and again.
  • Are you anticipating any significant changes to the website in the future? If your business strategy means you want to add additional functionality to your website in the future – check that your CMS gives you the flexibility to not only do this, but in a cost effective way.

2. Is it a popular CMS with a large community?

Check how popular the CMS is and what support is available. Are there online forums and help groups you can turn to should you have a question or issue to resolve? Are there lots of developers experienced in working with the CMS? Having the support of a large community for your chosen CMS is very useful if you need help in developing your CMS, have any issues to resolve or for a quick fix to any security breaches. For example, a popular CMS, such as WordPress or Drupal, will often have bugs identified and fixed very quickly and people will be developing new plugins for it all the time.

In contrast, for the less popular, more bespoke CMS, updates and changes are made far more slowly, with new features only being implemented at your own request. This could mean your site lags behind, as you are unable to make useful new enhancements and keep up with the competition. Plus, if there is only a very small community of people trained in your CMS, it could be difficult and costly to find support when you need it.

3. How secure is it?

Security updates are crucial for everyone. Hackers don’t care about the size of a business and if your website is insecure, they can break in. It is becoming increasingly important for website owners to be responsible online, and that means keeping up to date with their web security updates. This is especially important for websites transferring sensitive data, as it could be at risk if they fail to keep on top of their security updates. If data is hacked via your insecure network, you could be held responsible, and the damage to your company’s reputation could be disastrous.

  • Find out if there are security updates for the CMS and how often are they made available. Most content management systems display any updates ready for download, so you can always check if your security updates are up to date.
  • Find out what the security policy of your hosting company is and if updates are included in your hosting package.

Get in touch!

If you are looking at getting a new website and are not sure which CMS to select, or you think it is time to migrate to a new one, then give us a call and we can advise you. Complete a contact form, email or call 01865 794009.

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