Technology

5 things to look for when choosing your CMS

July 24, 2015
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Whether you’re establishing a new business, an NPO or looking to showcase your work portfolio on the Internet, it is highly recommended to use a content management system for your website to make your life easier.

So which one is right for me?

You may have heard of some of the more popular CMS sites like WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, DNN or SharePoint. A CMS allows a company or person to easily create and maintain a website without knowing HTML code.

As the market for CMS has grown in the past few years, there are certain aspects of each CMS platform that outperform the others. It’s up to you which system to choose, but it should be based on having the features you need now and for the future.

Here are five of the many aspects you may want to consider when choosing which CMS is best for your site:

User-friendliness

Most content management systems allow for both an option to code your whole site (for the design pros) or to choose pre-made templates that you may or may not be able to customize.

When researching the CMS market, first assess how skilled you are in web design. There are many tiers of CMS based on how easy they are to work with. Look into reviews on how they rank in user-friendliness and go from there.

Templates and design customization

Many CMS sites offer users premade templates that have been created by web designers for you to use. Some of these are customizable, but others are not. Some templates are expensive and others are very affordable or even free.

Most CMS platforms supply many types of template design themes to choose from, such as charity, nonprofit, small business, restaurant, online store, etc. Often you are able to look at the templates before you buy so you can discover if having the ability to customize the template or not is important to you.

Templates are reasonably priced for the most part, but if you really want your company or organization to be unique and stand out from your competitors, then coding a custom design template is the way to go. The CMS platforms mentioned here all provide many online resources for tips and procedures on how to use them.

Add-ons and apps

You’re going to want to add your social media accounts, contact forms and e-commerce apps to your site, right? Not all CMS platforms do this in the same fashion. There are some that have limitations for what you can add to your site, so before you purchase a subscription, it’s important to know the add-on and app capabilities.

Support community

CMS sites offer support communities and help from customer service. Of course, some are better than others. This is why research is so important prior to signing up for a CMS.

The support can range from message boards and live chat help to 24/7 customer service. There are plenty of CMS reviews online to help you make your decision on a platform.

Mobile optimization

Now, more than ever, is it vital for a company or organization to have a website that is compatible for any screen size, including smartphones, tablets and laptops. According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, 63 percent of Americans use their smartphone to access the Internet.

Some CMS service sites do not automatically adjust your site to a mobile version and there are a few that do. This is called responsive web design. You want to look for this when buying a CMS subscription service and/or CMS template. With a responsive design, your website is the most accessible for people to use because it automatically scales the design to the proper size no matter what device your website is viewed from.

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