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March 11, 2019   |   3 min read

Which CMS Solution is Best for You?

There's an art and science to choosing—we can help.

No matter how big or small the business, one question our digital agency fields on a regular basis is: “What Content Management System (CMS) should we use?” Some are curious about integrating a new platform entirely, some simply need to upgrade the platform they’re on, and a small subset have never put much thought into it. All of these scenarios are understandable given how overwhelmed the market is with options of various complexity. You’re either not getting the most out of your CMS, or you don’t know what your choices are.

From setting permissions to making regular updates, your CMS has the ability to dramatically enhance business initiatives. Implementing one without first considering the features you need will only be more costly and challenging in the long run. Here’s everything you need to know.

Before evaluating a CMS, gather this info.

  • Current CMS
  • Current platform
  • Site interfaces
  • Data volume
  • Site traffic
  • Multi-site
  • Number of users
  • Roles and admins
  • Workflows
  • Author experience
  • Security
  • Localization
  • Desired functionality

Industry standards you're likely to come across.

These days, hundreds of CMS options are out there—categorized by the programming languages and frameworks they adhere to. Here are some names to know, which include go-to platforms that have helped us bring amazing projects like Visit California and Plaskolite to life.

Static Site Generators: Jekyll, Hugo
.NET: Sitecore, Sitefinity
PHP: WordPress, Drupal
JAVA: Adobe CQ, Magnolia, Alfresco

The makings of the perfect CMS.

In our experience, there are five attributes that every recommended CMS should bring to the table. Each plays a significant role in supporting your current and long-term business goals.

User-Friendly: Introducing a new platform, or upgrading an existing one, is great—but you don’t want to shellshock teams who suddenly don’t know how to navigate the CMS or do their jobs. We look for powerful solutions that are also intuitive and quick to learn the more they’re used.

Backend Simplicity: The harder a CMS is to install, the more it’s going to extend timelines and require top-tier development resources. This is something to keep in mind if you’re already working toward an aggressive deadline.

Feature Set Strength: Every CMS has its unique set of features, but are those features really what your business needs? Honestly think about what will best support your goals, then make sure your final choice aligns with that vision. This hurdle is often encountered much too late in the game.

Scalability: You want your business to grow, and naturally you want a CMS that will grow with it. What you don’t want is a CMS that’s hard to maintain and update to the point of becoming obsolete in just a couple years. Then you’ll have to start the process all over again.

Community Support: The best platforms already have a network in place to help you once their solution has been implemented. No one wants to feel left to their own devices, struggling to solve a development glitch or confused about how a certain feature works. Relief comes with knowing a person is there with these answers, whenever you need them.

Still need CMS guidance?

Get in touch with a Mindstream developer who can help you compare different CMS solutions, prioritize the features you need, evaluate security concerns and more.

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