Finding the right content management system (CMS) can be a difficult process. Some systems are excellent for Ecommerce but aren’t conducive to creating a website. Others might be good for web development, but lack the proper infrastructure for ecommerce.
Analyzing the differences between the most popular CMS systems can quickly lead to information overload. Analyzing the less popular CMS platforms only increases the likelihood of finding yourself overwhelmed.
Finding the right CMS doesn’t need to be this stressful. Here are 5 of the most important questions that we ask our clients to help them decide which CMS is best for their Business.
1. What Functionality Do You Need?
Another way to ask this question is: What is your website going to do? Do you intend to have an information-based site or a site that sells 50+ different products? Do individuals need to be able to book appointments on your site?
The primary function of your site will go a long way to determining which CMS will be best for you to employ.
Shopify or Magento will likely be your best bet if your site needs to have ecommerce Functionality. Magento was designed for large ecommerce players who sell hundreds, if not thousands of different products. Shopify was largely designed for smaller ecommerce sites that will sell 10-20 products. However, both of these CMS options were developed specifically for ecommerce sites, so they’re adept at handling a large number of transactions.
On the other hand, Squarespace or Wix would be good options to consider if your website will primarily serve as an online business card that tells people about your business. Squarespace and Wix are easy to use for those who are looking to put a basic website up online.
2. What are Your Design Capabilities?
Do you know how to design an aesthetically pleasing site, or would you rather have pre-designed templates to choose from? How much customization do you need to be able to have in a pre-designed template? Are you experienced with Adobe Illustrator, or would you prefer to work with a CMS platform that provides drag-and-drop functionality?
Platforms like Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, and Shopify provide access to templates for teams lacking design resources. You simply find a template you like, change the colors, images, fonts, etc. to what you prefer, and you will have a well-designed site without having to do any of the heavy lifting.
From there, you can choose to work with an outside designer or developer to add additional customization. However, there are limits to how much you can customize when choosing to work with a template.
If you’re adept at design and web development, a CMS like Craft or WordPress provides experienced designers with near-limitless abilities for customization. Both can be a great option for those with strong design capabilities who view their design skills as a competitive advantage, as well as those who value providing a truly unique website experience to visitors.
3. How Frequently Do You Expect to Update the Site?
Will you have a weekly blog? Monthly events? Will your product listings be changing regularly?
You may be updating your site on a daily basis or you may not need to touch it for months at a time. However, the frequency of expected updates will give you an indication of the CMS you should be using.
Platforms like Magento and Drupal provide advanced functionality. However, these platforms may require the involvement of an outside developer to make changes. Craft and WordPress, on the other hand, can be structured to allow for regular changes without needing to keep an outside developer on a monthly retainer. This can help your business save money in the event that you expect to be making regular updates.
4. How Much Functionality Do You Expect to Add Over Time?
You may start out with an informational site, but as your business grows, you may need to add functionality to your site. Advanced contact forms, blog functionality, affiliate links, or other features are common to add to a site once a business gets established.
If you want to be hands-on with your site and have the ability to add custom functionality, create landing pages and customize your site, you may want to consider an open-source solution like WordPress, Joomla!, or Drupal.
These open source CMS platforms each have a massive plugin library that can simplify the process of adding functionality over time without the need to hire an outside developer.
5. What is Your Budget?
Budget plays a large role in finding the right CMS for your business. Squarespace and Wix are great options for do-it-yourselfers who are looking for an affordable CMS. Businesses just getting started will appreciate their low cost. They even have basic SEO tools you can use to start the process of showing up properly in search engines like Google.
Magento is an ideal option for million-dollar ecommerce companies that are comfortable with spending several thousand dollars per month on their CMS to have a smooth running online store.
Regardless of whether you are just starting out or you have outgrown your current CMS and need to make a switch, finding the right content management system for your business depends on the functionality you require, your design capabilities and your budget. Choosing the best one for you can make all the difference.
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