Thursday, 4 August 2011

Choosing The Right Content Management Systems

First and foremost, let’s clearly define what a Content management system (CMS) is. According to Wikipedia, CMS is “a collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. These can be manual or computer-based.” This system is designed to store, control, revise, enrich and publish almost any form of data, from documents to pictures – which then allows people to customize, contribute and share data as to how the user sees it fit.

Furthermore, it can be sub-categorized as Enterprise CMS – which is involved with the managing of unstructured content commercial organizations, or Web CMS – which is the publication of content to web sites and mobile devices. Another would be as a Component CMS, where content is stored by levels for content re-use.

Examples of some renown CMS would be, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Wordpress, and even some custom made applications such as the Alrayes platform is also known as a CMS.

This then leads to the perfect question in selecting your CMS, which is: What do you actually need? Is it Functionality? Editing your site? Manageable assets? Customization? Security? User interaction? Search Option? Multiple Web Support?

To answer your questions, here are some things about CMS that you might be interested to look at:

Functionality - A lot of CMS offers various options and various functions, which in reality, you don’t really need. There are also those that offer limited choices - but provide you with what you really need.

Hence, everything boils down to what you want to show and how you want to show it. Whether it be a static site, like a brochure or a blog site, or, an online store, it is essential that you are able to find a suitable platform that caters to the specific function or purpose that you are actually looking for.

Simplicity - Your platform should be easy to figure out, neat and clean, easy to scroll, easy to go around with from the perspective of a non-geekazoid, aka, and normal users.

Standardized functions – This finds more importance especially for the backend. This means that functions related to editing, sidebars, or themes, should be grouped together or laid out logically for a better and easier understanding.

Good User Interaction – Your platform must allow a functionality that offers a third party to instill inputs as well. This is most visible in chats, forums and ratings. So, it would be best if your chosen platform has features that will enable you to customize interactions, responses and manage users.

Customization - Your CMS must be flexible enough to meet your needs, and it must likewise enable you to represent in a such a manner the things that you want to convey. It should clearly show the very set of ideas of your website or the things that you want to market. With this feature, you will have creative control over everything – which means that can be a great advantage for you, if you do it properly.

Search Option - Like any other operating systems, the search option is a must to especially if you have numerous contents to offer. In addition, your prospective search engine should have enough scope, thoroughness, and speed to perform the command. Otherwise, this might not allow you to maximize the benefits that a CMS offers you.

Speed – This is pretty obvious. Who would want to wait all day for your page to load? Sometimes, having simple codes helps in making fast-loading sites. Hence, your CMS must not only ensure readability – but it must also provide you with enough speed as well, for your pages to load smoothly.

Security – This is another aspect of CMS that you must seriously consider. You must have the ability to screen the people that have access to your site - and have control over what content that can be displayed by them, most likely thru the use of permissions. This will allow you to determine as to which users can have access to certain pages or sections, which cannot.

Another aspect of security is also how secure your CMS is from hackers and spammers. You need to make sure that the CMS you choose is fully protected and has set precautions in place to protect your site from being attacked.

Web Support – This is a must-have feature to any software, program or CMS. Most likely, you will encounter plenty of bugs and problems - and having a “quick-fix” advice from your friendly neighborhood tech support could actually work miracles. Also, accurate and easy to understand, basic information should always readily be available. Many larger CMS platforms have a huge community where you can tap into and get your questions answered.

Multi lingual support – This aspect is most of the times ignored since the market has been usually the English literate majority. But having this option could most likely give you an edge in catering to a multi-cultural society for the purpose of gaining international recognition and support for your company.

SEO: I’m sure want your website to be found in search results, when choosing your CMS, it’s a good idea to ensure that it is search engine friendly. You should look out for:
- Does it allow search engines to crawl the site easily?

- Does it generate SEO friendly URLS?

- Allow you the option to manage and edit Meta information for each page?

- Does it generate an XML sitemap?

These are just some of the basic minimums to watch out for when selecting your CMS. Remember to keep things simple - but be updated of any changes.

In the long run, what is essential is that you are able to find a CMS, which can help you, achieve the goals that you have set for your company

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