When you begin to look for the right CMS, the first thing you should do is consider what budget you
have for the system. Your budget will narrow your field some. Then you can begin considering dif-
ferent factors about each company that will help you narrow the field even more:
Look first at the history of the company.
Companies that are new to the market are
risky, especially if they are drastically different from existing companies. The length of
time that a company has been in business is a good indicator of its strength. This is not
foolproof, but you can generally have more trust in companies that have been in busi-
Look at workflow and collaboration features.
You know what you need to accomplish
with a content management system. Whether it is plugging in content from vendors out-
side your company, or allowing for collaboration within your organization, make sure that
the services that you are considering can meet all of your needs now and as your organiza-
tion grows. It’s difficult to migrate from one content management system to another, so
think long-term as you’re making your decision.
Consider how the software will integrate
with your organization. Do you need software
that you install and manage from your own machines or will a web-based program serve
your needs better? Also, how will the system you choose work with the technology that
you already have in place? If you have to invest in additional technology to support the
CMS, the actual cost of the system will be higher than originally thought.
Consider elements of personalization, too.
How much personalization do you need?
Will multiple people need different capabilities? And what about dealing with archived
content? Personalization reaches to more than just defining how many users will use the
CMS for different jobs. It also means looking deeper into all the situations in which a dif-
ferent element of CMS may be needed.
As with any technology, there are many other factors to consider. But these questions will get you
started. Then, as you narrow the field you can request references from organizations that currently
use the CMS software you’re considering. Remember, though, that a vendor isn’t going to supply a
customer reference that will speak badly of them, so also check Internet forums and software reviews
to round out your picture of the company that you’re considering. A great resource to compare CMS
How CMS affects SEO
One real concern many web-site designers have is how a content management system will affect
their SEO efforts. In the past, CMS applications often published content with long, complex URLs
or created multiple copies, which search engine crawlers were likely to look down on. Today, how-
ever, CMS applications are much more SEO-friendly.
SEO has become a large part of owning any kind of web site. Even individuals now consider how
they’re going to get their sites to rank well in search engines, and small or even micro-businesses
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