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Top tips for choosing a CMS for business

Tips every local business needs when looking for Content Management Software (CMS)

A majority of the business sector today understands the need to be recognised online. A feature that is rarely understood is the Content Management Software (CMS) or website. The reason for this varies but think about it, how can your business leverage your online presence and encourage customers through social media if this basic software knowledge is lacking?

How do you as an owner or manager evaluate what you need in a CMS? What will assist you in managing content to help your website visitor to see the benefit of your products or services? That will be discussed further in this article.

Content is king

The number one thing everyone online should understand is "content is still king" and when producing content for the web finding ways to manage it will make the whole experience easier. When it comes to developing your services and products all CMS's have an easy to use interface and the software itself is usually free.

How complex is my content?

Content is really important and you need to understand how complex the structure of the information is that is going to be displayed to your customer. This will vary from business to business. As a website owner, you need to know your brand and what your customers actually want to know from you. The size of the web site does not matter in this case, all web design needs to display a clear structure of your content so to enhance user engagement. 

How much effort do I need to spend on my website?

Like all things it really depends on what your website needs to achieve and what industry you are in.  An example of this is if you are a local business and want to display products and services to customers in a specific regional area.  Initially, you will need to spend a few hours on creating content or getting it created. But over time as search engines give you authority they will automatically rank you higher than others that don't have any content at all. 

Do I really need an e-commerce website?

E-commerce does have its benefits, the smallest e-commerce website will a minimum  turnover will still promote your business's services and products in your bricks and mortar establishment. Each business owner with their website designer is able to see if a business case can be made for an e-commerce website.

To setup, a basic e-commerce website to your requirements is worth investing in with minimum fuss and the long-term desired outcomes of promotion will assist in your market plan. 

Will a web designer cost me thousands?

No!, there is a common misconception that web designers, even for the most basic website, will cost thousands. Depending on what you need and the type of functionality you require costs will vary but it will not break the bank. One thing a website owner can do to help themselves is stay within the original scope of works, once designs start being changed and re-designed your designer will charge you extra.

Once the imagination starts to go and business owners start requesting additional features to what was initially designed, then the designer has to keep altering costs to achieve the new outcomes. It definitely pays to plan well in the beginning and avoid extra charges. 

How long will it take to setup?

Most standard websites will go up very quickly, web designers and developers usually have a tool chain that can have websites deployed in a very short time. When the business owner gives appropriate information and feedback in a timely manner as well as functionality requests, this greatly improves delivery time. 

Do I really need plugins or extensions?

Depending on what functionality is needed to achieve the business's goals is the real answer. We have done websites in the past that have had some plugins and other websites that have hundreds. When developing your online strategy with a web designer they will talk to you about what your business needs and what plugins you might need. The advantage with plugins is they can be added later so there is usually no need to be too worried.

Will I need to give team members access to the website?

All CMS's allow for an owner of a website to give team members limited access to a website to add and edit content, it is the power of a CMS. But if a business owner needs to allow a team member to access the website, this needs to be worked out with the web designer in the initial discussions.

Can I change to a different CMS if I don't like the one I have?

Yes! All the best CMS's have stopped the idea of vendor lock-in, the reasons are many but the major one is most CMS's are free and the web keeps moving and changing. What vendor lock-in does is cost the web design agency and business unneeded overheads and with the advent of the free CMS they all have created tools to import and export information from other CMS's.

What different types of Website CMS's are there?

There are a number of CMS options to choose from – each aimed at a particular type of content:>

Every business that is creating an online presence can take a very positive view of the online tools that are being created now. Used properly CMS's will benefit your business with outcomes of profit and stability in your chosen market.

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