Choosing a CMS for My Website: Where Do I Begin?

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When talking with a new customer about the development of their Website, one of the first questions they often ask is, “what platform are you going to use to build my Website?” They are often disappointed when we can not answer this question right away. The truth is there is a bit of research to be done first…

Our customers all have their own unique set of needs. Some are only looking for basic functionality and page management, while others need support for running multiple Websites. Some of them want us to be their Web support and handle all updates, while others want us to build the site and turn the reigns over to them for daily updates. All of these unique needs are taken into consideration when we are looking for the right Content Management System (CMS) for our clients.

So “what’s CMS” you say? CMS is a Web Application that allows for an easy and efficient way to create and manipulate HTML content. It basically allows for “non-tech people” to easily manage their Website with little to no knowledge of HTML and CSS or other coding.

Whether you are planning to go it alone on a site build or if you plan to hire a developer, there are some pieces of information that can help you narrow your search for the right CMS, as there are literally hundreds to choose from these days:

First, think about some key areas like managing media, customization, search feature, how many Websites you will run, and how many people will have a hand in operating your Website. Some of these needs will definitely limit your potential CMS platforms. Make a list of your criteria so that when you’re researching a particular CMS and it doesn’t meet one of your needs, you can easily cross that CMS off the list!

This comment might seem a bit silly, but make sure to choose a CMS that is aesthetically pleasing to you (or whoever will be working on your site). It does not help anyone if you do not find the site interface to be intuitive, and intuitive can be different things to different people.

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Most important, don’t go with one of the major players just because they’re one of the major CMS players. Just because they’re a massive well-known brand doesn’t mean a thing. Build your list of unique needs and use that list to guide your search…even if it means crossing off a popular platform.

WordPress is the CMS we use most often because it’s inexpensive and meets the needs of most of our customers, but we have experience building in other platforms, too. We’re often commissioned to make changes to an existing Website and we’ve never heard of the platform, but as developers we’re accustomed to find our way around the backend of almost any CMS. If you have something already in place and need help with updates, no matter the platform, contact us. Or if you’re ready to get rolling on a new site and this blog confused the heck out of you, definitely call us. You kinda’ need us.