Your CMS, a.k.a. your content management system, is known as the “back end” of your site. It’s where the average Joe can make content changes and feel like a superstar doing it.
WordPress is the most widely used CMS on the planet, but there’s a sea of other options floating around out there, too. Some companies even make there own proprietary CMS platforms.
So here’s what you need to know—no CMS is created equal. If you’re considering making a switch, make sure your CMS has these key features!
Fluid Content Options
You want a CMS that gives you flexibility. Your content blocks should give you options and allow you to place text, images, video, social media feeds and more. Those content blocks should also be able to move around easily, giving the editor multiple layout options. If you have a rigid CMS that doesn’t allow for some variability, you’ll be limited in how you can present compelling content on your site!
Essential SEO Capabilities
Your website is the bait that attracts visitors. But if your CMS isn’t set up to handle some basic SEO housekeeping, you’ll be fishing where the fish aren’t biting.
Sure, these days, the foundation of good SEO is writing content that your visitors value and want to read—but you need some icing on your cake, too. Your CMS should allow for on-page SEO like descriptions, titles and metadata and also should give you the ability to add specific SEO features.
CMS platforms like WordPress are designed for end-user content because they serve a broad range of customers. WordPress may have savvy retailers using their platform, but they also want it to be useful for someone like your Aunt Betty, who just wants to showcase her latest knitting creations or pictures of her cat. Because SEO isn’t important to every customer, WordPress doesn’t make it a standard feature. So, if you go with WordPress, be sure to install an SEO plugin like Yoast.
Don’t get locked into a CMS platform with restrictive admin rights. Unless you’re happy operating as a one-man-show, you’ll want to share website access with others. More importantly, you’ll want the ability to grant varying permissions to different users. For example, you may want to give one user permission to post blogs, but not other content. Your CMS platform’s ability to differentiate between different authors, and grant them appropriate access, minimizes risk to your site and gives you flexibility.
Functionality That Doesn’t Affect Design
If it were up to us, this would be a standard feature—but we don’t make the rules here. The design of your website should never be affected by any content updates made in your CMS. This will save you from a lot of grumbling and frustration. Just imagine it. You make what you think is a simple change and then—poof—your website menu jumps around, entire sections disappear or worse, your whole site ends up in Comic Sans. Protect yourself, and your site. Use a CMS that respects its boundaries.
Last, but certainly not least, you want the ability to schedule content. Pre-dating, post-dating and saving content as a draft are key CMS capabilities that allow admins to work ahead and plan. You also want to ensure that you can access your CMS from any device. If you’re constantly on-the-go, this is worth its weight in gold!
Now, go forth and make good decisions about your next CMS!
Have questions about a new website? Reach out to the 360Ideas experts through our contact form!