How to choose the CMS that fits your wishes?
A Content Management System (abbreviated with CMS) is the name of the system that is used to provide a website with content, such as text and images. Every content management system has built in a control panel, that allows someone without any programming skills to manage and adjust a website to his own preferences.
What is a Content Management System?
A CMS allows you to keep up and optimize the content on websites yourself. This is especially convenient in the case of news sites and web logs. The CMS simplifies the whole process of adjustment. It detaches the website structure from the (adaptable) content on the website, so it’s possible to modify content that constantly needs optimizing.
Why is a CMS important?
You can keep full control of your website’s content with a CMS. Since you can easily update the content, you can constantly provide your visitors with new information. Need to place a blog post last minute or delete an outdated page? No problem: the CMS is accessible always and from any location – so also from home. You can also grant multiple people access to the CMS, so you can work together to improve your website at the same time.
How to choose the right CMS
Choosing the CMS that fits the purpose of your website the best is a process you shouldn’t take lightly. It is of vital importance, especially for websites of which the content has to be updated regularly.
Besides, the type of CMS you’re going to use has a big influence on other aspects of your website, such as findability, usability, safety and flexibility.
CMS and SEO
To make sure that your website can be very well found, you write SEO friendly content pages. To subsequently ensure that these content pages are picked by Google, it is important that you choose a CMS that is SEO friendly. Within the CMS you need to be able to adjust a few elements of your content pages. In this way, you can set up your website as search engine friendly as possible and make your website easier to find. Therefore, your CMS should in any case feature the following functions:
1. Being able to adjust individual URL’s of your webpages: a proper URL contributes to the findability of your website and search engines’ appreciation for it
2. Being able to customize browser titles and meta descriptions of your content pages: meta descriptions and title tags contribute to the findability of websites
3. Being able to use a canonical url. A canonical url can be used when you have the same content on different places on your website. With a canonical tag you can highlight the most important content for Google to prevent a penalty for duplicate content. Google then knows which content to value the most
4. Being able to generate an XML sitemap of your website: Google can easily find out how (well) your website is structured on the base of a sitemap
5. Being able to integrate a search function within your website: adding a search function contributes to the usability, something search engines attach value to
Requirements CMS: safety and flexibility
Not every CMS is similarly flexible: lots of content management systems do not offer the possibility to change the layout or structure of the website. An ideal CMS enables you to make changes quickly and real time, like creating landing pages and adding forms.
Besides, it is of essential importance that you choose a CMS where you can work safely with. Content management systems are a popular target for hackers that want to spread viruses or want to misuse hacked websites for phising purposes (internet fraud by finding out personal data). When managing a website where visitors have to fill in personal information, one assumes their data is treated confidentially and doesn’t fall into the hands of malicious people.
Prevent your website from being hacked by installing updates of the CMS. You should constantly be aware of the potential dangers that come with managing a website. Lots of websites are hack sensitive because of maintenance being overdue and neglecting the need of installing updates. Do you happen to know in advance that you won’t have a lot of time to keep the CMS up to date? Then it is advisable to choose for a content management system that installs updates automatically. Prevent your website from falling into the hands of the wrong people.
Website goal: informative or commercial?
Before being able to decide which CMS suits your website the most, it is important to determine what exactly you want to accomplish: what is the goal of your website? What kind of content do you want to offer? And how many content? Is your website mainly informative (blog, news site), or will its nature be commercial (web shop)? The more comprehensive your website, the more comprehensive the CMS has to be.
Pay attention to the following aspects when choosing a CMS:
1. Informative or e-commerce: first determine what you ultimately want to achieve with your website. Once you have chosen a CMS, switching isn’t that easy. Therefore, check out which functions the CMS offers, also the ones you might not use right now but could use later.
2. Customization of your website: do you want to adjust the content to your visitors, or do you want to show every visitor the same content? If yes, it is important to find out what kind of customization options the CMS features.
3. Integration of forms/plug-ins: is it easy to integrate necessary plug-ins and forms with the CMS?
4. Responsive design for mobile devices: The largest part of your traffic will come from visitors using a mobile device (smartphone, tablet). A website that isn’t mobile friendly is disastrous for your website’s usability. Therefore, choose a CMS that allows you to create a mobile friendly website.
5. Multipublication: Do you want to be able to directly place published content on social media channels and blogs? Then multi publication is an important functionality you CMS should offer.
6. Open source software: Software is open source when the source code of the website is freely accessible and adjustable for both the developer and the administrator. Then a new functionality or service can easily be built into the CMS, enabling the web shop or website to keep up with the growth of the company. Therefore, it is advisable to choose a CMS that is open source.
Choosing a CMS: different types of CMS
Which content management system ultimately is the best fit for your website depends on different factors. Do you want the CMS to be free or do you have the budget for a paid CMS? What is the purpose of your website (informative or commercial) and do you want to make use of forms and plug-ins? Every type of website has another type of suitable CMS.
CMS for web shops
A CMS for a web shop asks for other functionalities than a content website does. Are you planning to set up a web store? Then Magento is a commonly used content management system.
CMS for websites
Is your website mainly informative, perhaps to lead visitors to your physical store? Then the best choice might be a content management system as Umbraco.
CMS for web logs
The freely available content management system WordPress is one of the most used systems for web logs or simple websites, and in many cases it even isn’t inferior to a paid CMS. There’s not a single CMS that has that many options to create such a SEO friendly design. The American MyThemeShop has built an entire company around WordPress. They offer a wide range of templates and plug-ins to completely customize your own WordPress website. The templates that you can buy at MyThemeSite are subdivided in different categories. You can purchase appropriate templates for blogs, but also for magazines, business websites and e-Commerce sites.
The Swiss company SwissMadeMarketing has developed the content management system InCMS where you keep full control. InCMS is a pleasant and simple CMS. Both beginner and advanced users can easily build their own website. You can design websites that fully comply to contemporary SEO standards, e.g. metadata and alt texts can be configured. You can also easily install social media plug-ins and embed YouTube videos without any hassle.
CMS for local entrepreneurs
Besides InCMS, SwissMadeMarketing has developed another content management systems, such as LocalBizProfit. This CMS is specially designed for local entrepreneurs who don’t have any expertise concerning creating and managing websites. With LocalBizProfit you’re only a few clicks away from your first website. The pre-programmed templates are an easy start and are completely adjustable to your own preferences. Next to the templates, LocalBizProfit also provides in a blueprint of how to start your own company: including checklists, presentations and handy tips.
CMS for communities
Do you run a company that sells digital products and makes them available online? Then the MemberBizProfit content management system is a good option. MemberBizProfit enables you to offer your content in a members-only environment. Think of e-Books, podcasts, teaching materials, papers or other digital work. Members receive log in credentials (after payment) to log in at your website.
MemberBizProfit is an expansion of the previously mentioned InCMS made by SwissMadeMarketing. You can purchase it as a subscription where you have the software for your website(s) and the hosting in one.
Have a look at the website building tools we have used and reviewed ourselves. And don't forget you can get a special deal via us at the official website, like e.g. the website building tool of Mythemeshop!