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So, you need to choose a CMS? Here’s how...
Blog / Technology

So, you need to choose a CMS? Here’s how...

Choosing a Content Management System (CMS) can prove to be a tricky task, but never fear we are here to help!
Salesforce Research found that 75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage i.e. website, social media, person etc, so the pressure is on for marketing practitioners to have the right CMS in place!

Here at Pull for example, where we work with clients in the healthy, beauty and lifestyle industry, we need to make sure there’s a platform that works across all three categories.
But where to start? With so many content management systems out there overlapping with similar features to one another, it can become quite overwhelming to choose the right one.
 

Choosing a CMS

Getting the wrong CMS can be an expensive mistake. And what some IT departments forget about is that the marketing teams need to be able to create pages themselves, so having an overly complicated system can fuel the fire into more office politics!
So I’ve put together 4 tips on what you should think about when choosing the right one to get you started:
 

User interface

At a fundamental level, you want to choose a CMS that has a decent user interface that is simple and easy to use that allows you to get on with the tasks that you need to do. Having a user-friendly interface is especially important if you have a team that won’t be living in the system every day. They’ll need a solution that is easy-to-use, not require a lot of technical know-how or training, and can quickly pick it up when they log back in.

Essentially, what you’re looking for here is something that anyone with the most basic of internet skills should be able to use and easily action most editorial tasks such as adding dynamic content or adding and updating pages to create a stunning new website.
For example, if you’re a lipstick brand and you see a colour trending at Fashion Week, you might want to jump on that right away with a blog post. If your content team are able to easily find their way around your CMS and upload content themselves, they can be far more reactive to the business environment and trends, rather than having to rely on web teams.

At Pull, we’re a Kentico Gold Partner. One of the reasons we favour Kentico is exactly this, it’s ease of use. Coupled with a huge number of guides and documentation available online, it makes it a breeze to figure out anything you don’t already know, allowing your business to be as efficient as possible.

And, before any Brand Managers break into a cold sweat at the thought of just anyone uploading content we should mention Kentico’s workflow feature. This allows tasks to be monitored and synced through a process of predefined steps, giving you more control over content before it is published live. The workflow process can be configured to allow editors to make changes before submitting them for approval by a content approver who then pushed them live.
 

Functionality

Functionality differs between different CMS’s. As a Marketing Manager trying to brief your IT department or agency on what you want/need, you should ask yourself these questions:
  • Do I need to sell products or services through my website?
  • How many languages does my content need to be in?
  • Will people be submitting forms? (newsletter signups, appointment bookings, etc.)
  • Does it give me the ability to enter and edit all my metadata?
  • Do I need advanced marketing tools such as automation, A/B testing and personalisation?

Asking these important questions right at the beginning can help narrow the focus to just those platforms which are suitable for your needs. Some CMS can answer all five of these questions. For example, our client Gatineau – a skin care brand that mostly sells their products online - needed a CMS that could collect loyalty points and send out automated emails to let their customer know which loyalty tier they were in. We recommended Kentico’s EMS (Enterprise Marketing Solutions), whose platform includes the ability to run marketing automations and email campaigns based on customer actions on the Gatineau website.

As you’ll discover, there will be plenty of CMSs out there which can’t deliver all the features and functionality on your wish list. What sets the likes of Kentico apart from other CMSs is how feature rich it is. While opening up endless creation possibilities and removing certain limitations, the array of features at your disposal will also save your team from the tiresome slog of trawling the internet for third party features, saving time and money.
 

Budget

Of course, budget will come into play when make your decision, but it’s important to note that CMS’s will have running costs, so paying a large amount for the initial cost may be daunting, but this may save you in the long run.

Again, it all comes down to your requirements and what your website needs to do for your brand. If you just want a simple site that allows you to create simple content pages, e-commerce functionality and review processes, then of course that will come in cheaper. But if you want something a bit more complicated, you could be looking at Enterprise solutions instead.

The great thing about Kentico’s EMS platform is that it can serve very large, complex sites, but without the eye-watering price tag that some other Enterprise platforms offer. For example, SiteCore and EpiServer cost around £100k and can be very complicated to use. That’s why we like Kentico EMS. It competes very well against these other enterprise solutions, but at a fraction of the price!

At this point, it’s important to consider the bigger picture and what you could save in the long run. If we take the case of Gatineau above, the initial outlay to select a CMS solution that could deliver the necessary automation could have seemed steep. However, the potential increase in revenue their new, automated loyalty and reward programme would deliver made it worth the investment.
 

Support

Knowing that the CMS system you have chosen has great support can be a life saver. A system could be everything you need, but if the platform team is not available to help you when you need help the most, it spells disaster for everyone.

Support can come in multiple forms, whether that is forums, online communities or a development team that are qualified in that platform. Having this will make using your CMS a breeze.

This was a major factor in the choice of CMS for another of our clients, the UK crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers. Their website allows members of the public to quickly and anonymously report any crimes they may have witnessed or be aware of. They process more than 1,000 reports a day, often while the crime is underway. As a result, any issue with their website or the reporting process could have incredibly serious consequences.



With telephone and email support available 24/7 from a worldwide team of support engineers, Kentico offers peace of mind and reassurance. In addition, there is a wealth of support material online, including forums, blogs detailing step by step guides and support tickets. With alternative CMSs, support often comes at an additional cost or simply isn’t available.

Pull have been Kentico Gold Partners for over seven years, and boast qualified Kentico EMS Developers, Kentico Marketers and Kentico Cloud Developers in-house. Despite this, we understand that every client is different. We never go in with any preconceived ideas or technology, and always start by understanding the business challenge. So, if you’re struggling to pick the best CMS for your brand, get in touch today!
 

 

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