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With so many different options available, it may seem that selecting the right CMS must be a complicated process. However, it can actually be rather simple. All you need to do is prepare a checklist that you can use to compare the different products available. Based on your specific requirements, your list may vary, but here are some suggestions for comparing the different products offered.

How to choose the right content management system for your business.

Understand your business requirements

Your first step should be to define precisely what your business wants and needs. Ask for input from the people who will be using the CMS regarding their needs and expectations. For example, will you be selling products online? If so, you’ll need a content management system that is good for e-commerce if you want to boost your online product sales. Examine how you can use the CMS to contribute to your customers’ experience and support engagement across channels.

Identify content management systems that fulfill your business needs

Once you have defined your needs, it is time to select a CMS. The four most important aspects that most businesses consider are core functionality, ability to customize, cost and ease of integration.

Recently, Info-Tech Research Group evaluated 14 CMS competitors, including some of the costliest products available. Info-Tech named DNN, formerly known as DotNetNuke, as one of its six champions and winner of its value award. DNN was awarded high marks for its social and content management functions as well as its experience management features and low cost. The other five champions included Drupal, Ektron, Sitecore and Bridgeline. In all categories evaluated, DNN scored as well or better than virtually all of these four competitors, and only Drupal could come close to DNN in the area of affordability.

Choosing DNN as your content management system

When it comes to providing economical but powerful customization, DNN is the clear winner. It operates on a commercial open-source model that makes customization easier, faster and less expensive than most of its competitors. Mobile device detection allows the delivery of content to be dynamically rearranged, enhancing navigation and page rendering for mobile users. In addition to being robust, DNN also offers advanced security features.

Content management system requirements checklist

Answering the following questions will help you select the right content management system for your business needs.

  1. How much are the licensing fees? How well do these fees align with your budget?
  2. Would an open-source platform such as DNN or Drupal suit your needs and your budget?
  3. How difficult will it be to integrate analytics?
  4. Does the platform offer the level of security that you need?
  5. Is the platform SEO-friendly?
  6. How scalable is the solution?
  7. Does the CMS meet your performance needs?
  8. How easy will it be to deploy?
  9. Do you want an on-premises or cloud solution?
  10. Does the option provide the mobility that you need? For example, are smartphones supported or just laptops?
  11. When traveling, will you need to connect to the internet or will software reside on your machine?
  12. If you want social networking, does the CMS support it?
  13. What features are available for automating tasks?
  14. How much training will users need?
  15. Is the vendor an established company that is financially sound?
  16. Will it be difficult to integrate data from existing sources?
  17. Does the CMS offer features to enhance collaborative efforts?
  18. What specific goals do you need the CMS to help you achieve?
  19. How much technical knowledge will you or your staff need to manage the CMS?
  20. Is there an active community of users that you can tap for advice?
  21. Are there add-ons or plug-ins that you might need?
  22. How easy will it be to customize the CMS?

A CMS can be a valuable tool for organizations of all sizes. However, choosing a CMS that does not meet your needs will only hurt productivity and make users less willing to embrace new tools. Taking the time to evaluate your situation before committing to a CMS can help ensure that you purchase the right CMS.

About the author

Joe Lewis is the owner and president of PhaseAlpha, a custom software company that develops solutions for businesses of all sizes in all industries. We can help you improve productivity by implementing a powerful, custom content management system for your business. To learn more, email info@phasealpha.com or call (888) 559-5673.