How often do you buy business software without trying it or even seeing it first?
Well, there seems to be one type of software that all too often remains untested until after it’s been purchased: content management systems.
Just to be clear, a content management system (or CMS) is the generic term used for the admin software that a business owner or their staff members can use to update the content of their website. Using a CMS, a non technical person can log into the software, change and add web text or images, upload files, write blog posts and generally keep the website up to date.
However, what I find interesting is that almost without exception, the people I speak to tell me they didn’t trial their CMS before they bought it as part of their new website.
If you have had a new website developed with a CMS included, is that true for you too?
Not all content management systems are created equally
Some content management systems are just plain bad. If, for example, a CMS requires you to add in bits of code in order to format your text, or if it doesn’t allow you to add new pages easily or it doesn’t allow you to add new images where you want, then avoid that CMS. It’s already not fit for purpose.
However, you will need to do a more thorough test of the CMS to know if it’s the right one for you. A proper trial would involve you using it in the way you expect to use it in the future. Add new pages, change page text and formatting, move and add images, upload documents, add blog posts and (if relevant) use the shop/ecommerce function to add and change product information, so you know it will do what you need.
There are quite a lot of ‘off the shelf’ content management systems and some are perfectly adequate for many websites (though there is no such thing as a perfect CMS). Good examples include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and ExpressionEngine. But they each come with their flaws. The ways in which you intend to use the CMS will to a greater or lesser extent expose the flaws in any given system.
From experience, the businesses that use content management systems which are best suited to them are much more likely to have a ‘living’ website that is updated regularly and (very importantly) is feeding their website visitors and the search engines with regular and timely content.
Don’t get stuck with a CMS that discourages you from keeping your website updated. Try before you buy.CMS, content management systems, website design