5 Necessary Steps for Selecting a Content Management System

Utilizing these tips will put you on the path to choosing the best CMS for your content

Content management systems are like puzzles to me. They incorporate a lot of different pieces and create something beautiful when finished. The free open-source systems I’ve used may even have the “for ages 8-108” label upon them. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but even those users unfamiliar with HTML code can easily operate a number of CMSs.

Unlike puzzles, content management systems can do a lot, from helping to manage content to working on organic marketing efforts. The CMS is an online publisher’s dream. It’s even better that many of them can be downloaded and customized for free via the Internet.

When selecting a content management system to house your content, or before changing from one CMS to another, it’s important to consider five basic components so you end up selecting the CMS that will be right for you and the content you produce.

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5 Content Management System Basic Requirements

Step #1 – Content or Purpose: Defining the purpose behind your content is extremely important. In fact, it’s as important as the actual content itself. Will your CMS be used for interactive purposes, like forums? Or is it for ways to express yourself and share information you care about through blog posts and articles?

Step #2 – Entry Format: What types of content do you want to put into the CMS? Will it be text, images, audio, video, PDFs, XML content, HTML content, spreadsheets or other types of content?

Step #3 – How the content will be stored: There are two main options for the storage of content; flat files or databases. A flat file is a plain text or mixed text and binary file that contains one record per line. A database is software that manages and retrieves the information in an organized fashion.

Step #4 – Support: When using an open-source CMS, it’s important to have strong community support. This is especially true if you aren’t familiar with CMSs and their associated components already. Knowing how helpful and active the community is can benefit you greatly.

Step #5 – Add-ons: There is rarely a CMS available that will match exactly what you need, so it is very important to have as many add-on options available for your chosen CMS as possible.

Pay attention to the steps listed above while initially deciding on a CMS, or if you are contemplating a move to a different CMS. Taking the basic requirements into account will allow you to find a CMS that aligns the best with your expectations.

For more information on content management systems, join us for our new webinar WordPress vs. Drupal vs. Telligent: Which CMS is right for you? Nancy Horan, Mequoda Group’s Systems Director will be the moderator. Guests speaking during the webinar include Aaron Campbell, Mequoda’s Lead Developer and Programmer; T.J. Harty, the Vice President of Technology at Aspire Media; and Doug Wade, the Webmaster at Guideposts.

Don’t miss this informative webinar where technology professionals will discuss the pros and cons of working with three popular content management systems.


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