Choosing a CMS: What to Consider Posted by: Greg on 01/05/2013

Choosing a CMS: what to consider image

With thousands of content management systems to choose from and the web littered with blog articles comparing them all, finding the right one for you can be a daunting task.

From proprietary products to open-source tools, all with different features to compare and contrast, where do you even start?

Requirements

Making a definitive list of what you need from your content management system and what you may need in the future plays a crucial part in deciding which CMS to opt for. Think about your content, functionality and your business objectives, as you’ll want to seek a CMS that covers all of these without compromising on the ease of use for the content editor.

Flexibility

The technology of the CMS should never dictate the design of your website. Strive for a content management system that allows flexibility in the way content is presented.

Development costs

When choosing a CMS you’ll need to think about your budget and what you can and cannot afford. You can either opt for a commercial proprietary CMS which can offer a robust suite of features out of the box or go for the free option of an open-source CMS. Together with providing substantial cost savings, an open source system may allow a lot of freedom to customise it to your particular needs. No matter what CMS you opt for it’s always best to investigate the costs as there may be some hidden licensing fees.

Credibility within the market

It’s important to investigate the credibility of a CMS system. Are there any big companies that use the CMS? How old is it? A more mature CMS that has been around the block can often mean it’s more robust and may have a wider community of developers. This is an important factor as from time to time you will require support and maintenance, so finding a developer that’s worked on it will be easier for older, more popular systems. CMS systems that are used by big companies should also give you an inkling as to the robustness of the CMS.

Technical implications

If you’ve already decided on your hosting, or if you already have some restrictions in place regarding which software or hardware you have access to, then you’ll have to consider the technical implications of your CMS; the platform the CMS is on, the programming languages it supports and the CMS’s database requirements. These are all things you should consider when making your decision.

Backward compatibility

If you are upgrading your current CMS or converting your existing website to a CMS system you should consider how it will work with the existing content and whether it is backwards compatible.

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