A good web based Content Management Solution (CMS) means the difference between a static, underachieving website and a dynamic, flexible site that adapts to visitor needs. It converts prospects into Customers and strengthens your brand. But how do you choose amongst the vast array of solutions dominating the internet?

The answer lies in a solution providing seamless engagement that is not overtaxing to either business or users - User experience is foremost.  It must facilitate dynamic multimedia content that supports browsing from the multitude of web access devices – now and in the future. Look for enterprise-standard flexibility, scalability and adaptability with a structured content approach that also serves as a strategic business tool for marketing.

It’s not just a technology decision – it is a key business decision so consider the following summary points when choosing your CMS:

Ease of Use; Being Intuitive for both marketers and editors. They should not have to know HTML or be technically savvy.

Control; Putting the website content control into the hands of users but supplying the option of leaving branding, navigation and other components in the hands of the website owners.

Integrated Digital Marketing Capabilities; integration with Email marketing programs, Marketing automation, website monitoring and analysis tools, social media integration, real-time personalization and responsiveness, and search engine optimization utilities.

Integration with existing business data systems; such as your Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems – the ideal solution being a system that offers or can contain and integrate with all of these.

Mobilization; Your CMS needs to enable a dynamic experience for the user regardless of language, device or type of content. Multiple language support should be available and optimization for different device types should be automatic and not require a re-rendering for each variant.

Security; Permission management to grant rights to users, groups and roles should be available without requiring extensive coding, configuration or integration efforts, as should external authentication and authorization.

Navigation; Automated functions such as navigation and breadcrumb tools that simplify new page, section or site creation. Ideally, the solution should enable as much or as little control and flexibility to the satisfaction of the site editors.

If you have your own developers in-house they should be included in the evaluation process. The underlying infrastructure, development tools and capabilities should be reviewed as should the design flexibility – your CMS should enable site designers to create page layouts for the site without coding. Integration with tools, such as Visual Studio, should be seamless to enable developers to make the best use of their existing skills.

Scalability and Performance – The way we use the web will continue to evolve. Thus, it’s essential to understand the performance and scalability implications of any CMS you are considering. Your solution should let you deploy multiple websites on a single system for cost effectiveness and the ultimate in scalability is the web based solution.

To ensure a successful evaluation process consider getting expert advice…

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