So you’ve landed on the perfect design for your new website. You’re talking about development, launch dates, SEO, and now someone brings up the question, “How are we going to manage and update all of this once it’s up?” Choosing a content management system (CMS) can be a confusing process. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to determine the differences among them, and which one is right for you.
Not all CMS’s are created equal. Check to make sure that you have all of the functionality your site will require. Issues such as modifying menus, adding pages, and installing plugins and modules to support new features are not aspects of every content management system. Even if these abilities are available, their usability can often create conflicts with accessibility.
Some content management systems allow you to customize and position just about every element on every page. While it may seem enticing to go with this approach, be wary. It can be very easy to get into a situation where you have lost the overall design of your site. Additionally, these systems are notorious for turning out poorly formatted code, which can affect not only the structure of your site, but can also create accessibility concerns.
Consider your goals with a CMS. You’re probably not out to change your site structure and page layout every other week. Look for a system that makes adding and updating content separate from appearance.
The entire purpose of your content management system is to allow you to make changes to your site easily. Make sure that the CMS you select doesn’t require you to have more programming knowledge than you’re comfortable with. How intuitive its interface is, the complexity of implementing day to day modifications, and the level of technical skill required by the user responsible for these changes are all issues you should consider carefully.
Running into a problem either now or later on is inevitable. Do your research and find out how much support there is for your content management system. If you find yourself unable to find much information after doing a few searches, you may want to consider other options.
Remember, there are LOTS of CMS’s out there. Don’t settle for one that doesn’t provide you with everything you need.
Below are just a few of the most popular content management systems available. Be sure to do your research, and find one that’s right for you!