An effective website is well maintained, with regular updates and outdated content removed. The key to this is ensuring your website is quick and easy to update, and that starts with the content management system (CMS). Having an outdated, difficult to use CMS could hamper the success of your website. Here is our checklist to help you decide whether the time has come to change to a new one.
1. Your CMS is no longer supported
Like most other products, there is a ‘shelf life’ to a CMS. Developers work on upgrades which you can use for your existing system, but new versions will be launched and at some point your CMS will reach the end of its life and no longer be supported by its developers. This means you won’t have any of the new features but, more importantly, you won’t have any new bug fixes or security updates. Any breaches to your site’s security could have huge implications not just for your website, but also the business.
Without upgrades and backup from the developers, eventually the system will break as the web moves on leaving your site woefully behind. For example new browsers and browser features are developed all the time and could bypass your website, your hosting provider could invest in server upgrades and stop supporting it. Its time to change before this happens.
2. Your CMS no longer serves your needs
What suited your organisation a few years ago might not suit it now. You could have grown or changed direction and you may need a new CMS to get your website to do its job properly for the business.
Many CMS’s limit the amount of functionality or control general users have over the site’s layout. Although this can prevent damaging errors from being made by the inexperienced editor who finds themselves changing much more than they bargained for when updating content. For example you may need to add ecommerce, a complete new product range, change styling or add content such as film not supported by your current system. In this instance, you will need to speak to your developer to see if you can get the proposed changes made. If you have a bespoke CMS, and your developer is no longer around, this could provide difficult and costly.
If you can’t get your website to do what you need it to do, then it is time for a change.
3. Your CMS is difficult to use
A clunky CMS is a complete pain, and can be damaging to your business. It could mean that important updates aren’t made when they should be, old content is left live, and information is not even being posted at all. If you are struggling to edit content or frustrated because you can’t find the options to achieve the results you want, it’s time to make a change.
4. Your CMS is outdated
The web changes faster than fashion. Quite simply your website may look antique – and not in a good way. So how old is old? Generally 5 years is a long time in IT and by this stage there will probably be pressing reasons for making a change, and of course, it might not take that long. When you get to this point, you need to ask yourself:
- Does your website look out of date?
- How easily can you update it to look more modern – ie make your website responsive?
- Can you update it to do more modern things, such as adding videos?
Making these changes to certain CMS may prove costly, and it may actually be more cost effective to migrate to a CMS that can do this more easily. Updating your website goes hand-in-hand with updating your CMS. Then not only will it look more up-to-date, your website will also be more efficient, faster, more responsive, more secure and easier to work with.