Selecting the right CMS is a critical part of creating your business website. This choice can often mean the difference between your website’s ability to support your online business needs, its ability to compete in your online market space, and your ability to promote and manage your digital marketing moving forward. It is a big decision with many downstream consequences, so it deserves your strategic attention.
Here are 4 steps to organize and approach the key business decision of selecting the CMS foundation for your website.
1. Start with the End (Use) in Mind
In today’s market you can throw a stone and hit a content management system (CMS). The options are robust, technical and can be overwhelming if you’re not sure how to begin or what you are looking for. So before you start typing into Google ‘2016 best content management systems,’ stop and ask yourself, “What does my website need to do?”
This analysis is incredibly important as it defines the features and abilities your CMS should contain. This will help to reduce the number of contenders and ensure you’re only looking at Content Management Systems that meet your website's needs.
Here are some of the most popular CMS features to put on your consideration check list:
- Ability to manage pages easily
- Ability to add content with ease
- A graphical slide show (for presentation on your home page or sub-pages)
- A Blog feature
- A Calendar/Events function
- Social Media connection points to your social profiles
- Social Media Sharing Features
- Document storage and management
- E-commerce and shopping cart functionality
- SEO Friendly
- Mobile friendly, supports responsive web page presentation across all screen sizes
2. Know Your Numbers
Now that you’ve thought long and hard about what your website should do and have compiled a list of the ‘to do’ items, you can now focus on the second most important piece – cost. What is your website build budget? Content Management Systems range from free to sticker-shock expensive. Therefore, it is good to know what your hard budget is before you dive into the market place.
3. Understand Your Hosting Needs and Options
Before you wrap up your hard budget, don’t forget about hosting. Hosting is a monthly cost to house your website (i.e. like a parking spot for your car) and should be a cost factored into your budget. Hosting is dependent on many factors (website size, amount of traffic, CMS hosting requirements, etc.). For basic hosting to custom hosting, ensure that you’re considering this cost up front.
4. Go to Market – Interview and Refine Your Set of Preferred CMSs
After features and cost have been defined you’re now ready to head out into the market place. Below are some great content management systems, that are frequently used and include all of the above mentioned ‘most popular’ features:
Sitefinity is a robust content management system in .NET technology and features website content management, social media integration, online marketing, e-commerce, multi-site, multi-lingual and a slew of other great features. Bayshore Solutions is a certified Sitefinity solutions partner.
Kentico is a very comparable platform to Sitefinity and offers a lot of the same features. Some of the distinguishing differences are that Kentico offers an intranet, online community, and robust online marketing tools. Click here to see all of features. Bayshore Solutions is a certified Gold Kentico Partner.
nopCommerce is a very scalable and customizable shopping cart that when leveraged with a theme, gives you a professional full-scale store front. The best thing about nopCommerce, outside of its robust features, is that is open source and does not require licensing fees. Our skilled team members are nop-certified and Bayshore Solutions is a Gold nopCommerce solutions partner.
Bayshore Solutions has extensive experience creating successful websites across many CMS platforms. We are proud of our specific CMS partnership certifications yet we stay platform agnostic in order to objectively evaluate the business needs of our clients and recommend the best CMS solution to support their website needs now and into the future.
Bayshore Solutions can perform thorough analysis to match your business needs with the right CMS to power your web success.