Deciding on which website content management system (CMS) to use for your next website design project shouldn't be a quick process. It's an important decision and one that could have a negative influence on your marketing for years. Most of the standard features of modern Content Management Systems are reasonably common amongst the major players. It's fair to say that using the 80-20 rule of all CMS systems; they're pretty much the same under the hood.

It's identifying the remaining twenty per cent of the systems and what is different is the challenge. You need to determine the elements that are important to you and the team keeping your website maintained. Let's say you have an incredibly gifted code developer working on your site, then perhaps you don't need the hosting support package for your website.

We've identified four elements that are extremely valuable with helping make the correct CMS choice for your new website development project. Though every company has different needs and requirements, by taking a moment to look through the list and decide how important these areas are to you, we think ring-fencing the right CMS will become a lot simpler.

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Ease of Update

For a start, you want to ask yourself how important is having the ability to update the website internally. This can be a good idea when you have a team member that doesn't have a creative bone in their body but does have the skills to write compelling content and so can manage the weekly updates for your website and blog pages. What you don't want is them messing with the look and feel of the site, turning that silk purse back into a sow's ear.

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Customisable Options and Integrations

How important is it for you be able to change the formatting of a page? Is it essential for you to be able to go in and play with the CSS code and update elements on your site? There are many reasons integrating with another platform could work well for you. Having leads from your enquiry forms feed directly into your CRM, combining a calendar, displaying events, having comments appear on your blog via social media integrations, bill pay, subscription renewals, and the list goes on and on...

Security

Security of a CMS has two main areas: the first, are your website pages secure? And second, how safe is the system where the editing takes place? Making sure your website can’t be easily hacked into via a log-in and have your content vandalised and deleted.

It's essential that you want to display secure pages on your website. To start with it's a trust factor on the web and just as importantly it’s a trust factor with Google. It's common knowledge that Google now gives more credit to sites with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. You can quickly identify if you're viewing an SSL page, as the URL will start with “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”.

WordPress has to be one of the most popular CMS platforms on earth with more than thirty per cent of the world's websites developed on it, but it's also the most vulnerable to being hacked. To help combat this fact, there are a constant barrage of updates and patches that need to be kept on top off if you do go down this path.

Built-In Best Practices

You should care about your online presence and make sure you're doing everything right to help you rank high for your search terms. Here's a list of bullet points that should be high on your to-do list.

  • Friendly URL structure

  • On-page SEO enabled

  • Sitemap generation

  • Minimise JavaScript and CSS

Friendly URL Structure

How much work is involved to ensure that your site is optimised for search engines and the load speed of your pages are up to spec? Are you looking for a Content Management System that covers all the changes to your website or one that needs you to continually put in them, so you're sure that everything is ticked off?

Key Thoughts

There may be far more mitigating elements, but we have developed a lot of websites on a vast range of CMS platforms and what we can share is that there is not a massive difference between them. Simply, concentrate on what your priorities and end goals are. We've discussed many of the things that matter to Hart Design when it comes to choosing a CMS to develop your next site on. We're confident that by looking through our website you'll get to know which systems we prefer.

The Website Lead Generation Playbook

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