Marketing TechnologyContentWhat are the most important features to look for in a CMS?

What are the most important features to look for in a CMS?

Six of the core features when picking the best content management system (CMS) for your business in 2019 -- be sure to include these in your analysis.

How can you pick the best CMS for your business in 2019? Here are the features you need to analyze before deciding.

It’s not always easy choosing the CMS that you want to use. A Content Management System will help you build and maintain your site and all the important content for your business. Thus, it’s useful to learn about your options before jumping into quick conclusions.

Instead of looking at the most popular CMS options, we will look at the key features that you might want to use in your next content management system.

Six features to look for in a CMS

1. Content editor

An easy-to-use content editor should be one of the main features for every modern CMS platform.WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors can help you create content without the need for coding skills. They can save you time when updating and maintaining your content, which makes them ideal for anyone working in your business.

Most CMS platforms pay attention to their content editors and it’s still a good way to test them when starting your research.

2. Core functionality

A CMS platform needs to deliver what it promises. Its core functionality to help you manage (create, add, delete) your content should be performed without any problems.

The core functionality should align with your business goals to make sure that you’re finding the best CMS platform for your needs.

If you’re just getting started and you want to ensure that you’re managing your content in the most efficient way, then you’ll look at the platforms that focus on this feature. However, it’s still useful to consider your scaling and how your current needs might change in the near future. Think of the core functionality as the features that will help you take your business to the next level without losing your current focus.

For example, just because you don’t have enough content yet, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be interested in the search function or the search optimisation of your page.

3. Design flexibility and mobile support

The control you need in your CMS platforms defines the design flexibility that you’ll need. If you want to use an existing template or theme for your pages then you want to check at the platforms providing a starting point for you.

If you prefer to add your own branding and the design changes that will improve your content, then you want to look at the flexibility in terms of:

  • Editing templates
  • Editing and managing content
  • Managing pages
  • Content architecture
  • Design freedom

Moreover, it’s very important to provide a good experience across all devices. Mobile-responsive content is critical nowadays so except for the design flexibility, it’s good to consider the ability to improve the User Experience if needed.

Even the simplest version of a site will require a good user experience to ensure that people will be able to enjoy visiting it. And of course, the more complicated the site and its content architecture, the harder it will become to provide a great user experience without the necessary flexibility to improve it.

4. User management

Chances are that there will be multiple people using your CMS platform. From the writer to the marketer and the SEO professional to the IT support, you want to make sure that everyone is assigned the right role in the platform.

User management should be easy and the assignment of roles and permissions should be straightforward for everyone in your team.

The easier the process for someone to assign a new role or access the platform, the higher the chances to improve collaboration by using the platform more often.

5. Third-party integrations and plugins

A great CMS platform doesn’t have to provide everything natively. It should be able to work along with the best partners though to provide the key integrations that will transform your content.

Third-party integrations are crucial if you want to go beyond the basic elements of a content management system. There are thousands of options when it comes to picking the integrations and the plugins that will improve your pages and your content.

You don’t necessarily need to try them all, but it’s always good to know all the available options you can have.

For example, it’s good to know that your CMS platform can integrate with your email marketing platform even if it’s not something you’re currently interested in. This way you can still think of how different departments can come together to streamline their workflows to improve efficiency.

Except for the integrations, there are also many plugins that can improve your CMS experience. Plugins can help you save time when planning to add a new feature to your CMS. From adding social icons and improving your SEO score to adding Google Analytics and a content calendar, the options are infinite.

Be careful though, plugins can also make you more vulnerable to hackers and they have been on the spotlight in many instances before. Even popular plugins faced security problems in the past so it’s definitely an issue that you need to consider before installing too many of them at once.

6. Ecommerce and marketing features

Your CMS platform shouldn’t be limited to managing your content. It can help you introduce e-commerce features in a simple yet effective way.

It might be native facilitation of e-commerce features, such as building landing pages and improving the shopping cart experience. It can also be a strategic integration with the best e-commerce partners to ensure that you can bring together your current e-commerce providers with your CMS platform.

Similarly, your marketing work can still be part of your CMS platform. The simplest feature is to provide easy installation of social sharing icons to your pages. Even more advanced integrations can allow you to update your content calendar, your inbound tactics and your digital marketing planning.

Both marketing and e-commerce can be very important especially when they are perfectly aligned with your CMS platform and your daily tasks.

Overview

These features should be your starting point when looking for a new CMS. We’ve picked a mix between the very basic features that are still crucial and the add-ons that can improve your experience. Even if you don’t need all these features straight away, they might be useful to have them available in the longer term. The right CMS for your business should meet both your current and future expectations.

Every business has different needs though, so you might end up looking for additional features for your perfect CMS. Start thinking of how your most important features reflect your actual usage of the CMS to avoid spending more than what you need.

Find a balance between the price, the features, the UX and your team’s interest in investing in a new tool before picking the best CMS. For example, your marketing team may be looking at different features than your designers or your SEO team.

Moreover, you may also want to find more details about support, security, training and accessibility as these elements can also affect your final decision.
After all, you might spend quite some time with it so you don’t want to pick the first option that comes to your mind.

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