How to Choose CMS Development Services as a Periodical Publisher

cms development

When choosing CMS development services for your organization, consider how much retrofitting will be involved to get your premium membership website running and how much familiarity you have with third-party fulfillment systems.

Periodical publishers and other membership-based organizations do not run the same kind of business as most others do on the web, so why do so many choose a content management system (CMS) that caters to everyone? In our experience offering CMS development services, the magazine and newsletter publishers who come to us end up on our door because they have spent too many years with providers who were trying to re-rig their existing systems to meet the needs of publishers and, in most cases, doing it poorly.

The trouble with finding a content management system is that, despite the word “content” in the title, rarely do out-of-the-box solutions work for publishers. Indeed, rarely do even the most talented custom CMS developers understand publishing business models enough to develop a system that is built to attract, capture, engage, and monetize all in the same place.

To ATTRACT new customers, a custom CMS must be SEO-friendly. You’d be surprised how many development companies get this wrong, but in actuality, you need to be specially trained to understand website architecture for search engines.

To CAPTURE email addresses, a CMS needs to have a conversion architecture in place. This has been built into our system for over a decade while other big-name CMS developers are only beginning to integrate this feature. Even then, they usually get it wrong. Every page should be zoned so that a free product is directly related to the content on the page being given away. The embedded ads used to capture email addresses through this method should be consistent and visible above and below the fold.

To ENGAGE new email subscribers, a CMS needs to be fully integrated with the email marketing system so that content marketing efforts are synced and user databases are always in line with marketing objectives.

Finally, to MONETIZE email subscribers and site visitors, you must have mastered all of the above and have a system in place to convert visitors into buyers. Moreover, your CMS should collect data that can help you increase your conversion rate over time.


Before you research CMS development services, here are three things to consider:

  • Has your developer ever built a CMS for a business like yours before? How many times have they done this?
  • Can your provider offer references from other publishers like you for whom it has built a system?
  • Does your provider offer strategies and training to maximize the capability of your new system?

If you’re going to hire an architect, check out where they live and work.

If you’re going to hire an accountant, ask to see how they keep their books.

Moreover, if you’re going to hire a CMS developer, check out their website. Is the website and conversion architecture functional and easy to follow? Is the design crisp and clean? Is the content well-written and entertaining? A CMS developer that does a great job with its own CMS is much more likely to do a great job with yours. It’s not just publishers who should be using the attract, capture, engage, and monetize principles. If your development company isn’t giving away free content to build an email list, that’s a red flag that they won’t understand how important that list is to you.

Our advice? Choose a CMS development service that specializes and aligns with all of your needs.

If you need more than one firm, make sure you understand which one will be helping you set your global marketing strategy.

Our Haven CMS is a state-of-the-art SaaS content management, content marketing, and content publishing tool—built, owned, and maintained by Mequoda—to enable all the functionality that multiplatform membership businesses need to be successful and profitable.

Unlike retrofitted websites with disparate systems that make customer service and reporting more difficult, Haven gives you a complete central database that informs your marketing decisions and helps you maximize the lifetime value of each subscriber. We manage all the infrastructure, so you never have to look under the hood.

We’ve even identified the best partners so you don’t have to research software, email, hosting, and other functions on your own or take stabs in the dark. When you put your system management into the hands of the industry’s only strategy-centric provider, your organization reaps the benefits of stress-free technology, content-focused implementation, and ongoing profitability.

If you’d like to talk more about our comprehensive custom CMS development services that bring you from point A (you are currently here) to point B (super profitability and passive income), schedule a time to chat with a member of our executive team. 


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