How To Choose a CMS

Regardless of whether you're a single person running a website or a company with a large online presence, you will have to use some sort of content management system, or CMS, to upload data and content to your website, and to customise things such as themes, layout, plugins, and install patches, updates, security, and more.

In this article, we'll first talk about what CMSs are, and then talk about some of the more popular options available on the market, and finally how to choose a CMS that is right for you.

Find out which CMS is best for your needs

  • Different management systems have different strengths and weaknesses
  • Read all about the specs, features, and benefits of the leading CMSs
  • Learn how to narrow down and choose the CMS that is right for your needs

CMS defined

A content management system (CMS) is an admin dashboard or panel which allows users to create, manage, and run their websites. Great CMSs have intuitive and easy-to-use panels that allow you to create, update, add, remove, and change pages, posts, and other types of content such as images, videos, sliders, buttons, and banners however you wish.

Open-source CMS platforms such as WordPress and Joomla are free and can be used to run everything from online shopping pages to blogs, news sites, community forums, company pages, and enthusiast discussion boards.

Before choosing a CMS

Before you choose a CMS, you first need to have a clear idea about what your objectives, requirements, limitations, and tech abilities are. Once you have those things nailed down, you can start the hunt for the CMS that matches your requirements. Knowing how you will be expected to manage all of your content across all of your channels is an important part of determining how you or your organization will be able to use and make use of the functions available in your CMS of choice.

Benefits of a good CMS

Top content management solutions make it very easy for folks with non-technical backgrounds to manage the uploading, arrangement, and editing of online content on their own, without having to involve IT helpdesk support for daily tasks and activities. Having a CMS that helps you in your business functions, in reaching specific goals and targets, or achieving pre-set milestones is the first step in getting to where you want to go with your web page, or pages.

Your CMS of choice should be able to:

Choosing a cms

While not every CMS does everything you could possibly need, every CMS does, in fact, do a specific set of things at the bare minimum. Here are a few things you should make sure your CMS of choice can do before you make a final selection.

  • Allow users to manage their content: The end goal of any CMS is to help you build and manage your website effectively. Website updates are simple and straightforward with the right CMS.
  • Roll back older versions, and undo accidental changes: Security features that protect you from online breaches and unintended changes are important to have. Your CMS should also prevent, or at least restrict, content updates that are either unintentional or unauthorized.
  • Improve speed: Good CMSs improve website performance by optimising page loading, and by automating load requests across the network.

Your CMS of choice should have:

Your choice of CMS will affect you virtually every day down the line once your website is up. It is indeed an important decision, so let's take a look at the key components your CMS should have.

  • Easy to use: make sure the CMS you choose provides flexibility when it comes to design, layout, templates, uploading and editing content, and managing pages and posts, without having to code.
  • Responsiveness: this is a term that refers to the ability of web pages to display correctly on different devices, and on devices with different screen sizes. Choose a CMS that allows you to tailor and lay out your page for mobile, tablet, as well as desktop users.
  • Scalability: your CMS should help your pages to load quickly while maintaining high performance and speed as your site grows
  • Help and support: do a little digging to find out more about the service and support offered by your host for your CMS of choice to make sure you'll be covered for all your requirements once you go live.

The leading CMS solutions on the market

Choosing a cms

Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress are the market-leading CMS solutions on the market today. Let's take a look at what each one offers.

WordPress: This is an open source CMS that runs roughly half of CMS sites on the planet. It has the backing of a very large developer and user community, hundreds of free extensions, and a very simple and straightforward user interface.

To use it, all you have to do is create a page or post, add it to your menu, upload some content, and go live with the page. That's it! It's free to install and anyone can use it.

Joomla: Joomla has tried to strike a delicate balance between ease-of-use and customisability. It is more technically complex than WordPress and might be harder for beginners to get a grasp of, but for seasoned campaigners, Joomla is great if you want to deploy complicated or high-tech features. However, the level of detail with which you can tailor your content makes it much better than WordPress for cases where you may want very micro-level management of the content on your site.

Drupal: The most advanced of all CMSs, Drupal allows you to do practically anything. Where you might need custom coding with other CMSs, Drupal allows you to do the same things right on installation. However, it can be very difficult to learn and become used to, so either large companies or experienced tech folks, are likely to find that Drupal is right for them.

In summary, before choosing your CMS, first figure out what it is you want to do. Next, look at what each CMS described above can do to do the job for you. Finally, consider how much time and/or technical ability you have to dedicate to your project or webpage and choose the CMS that falls in line with what you are comfortable doing while allowing you to manage and customize things according to how you'd like your page to be. And it's as simple as that!