Today’s digital marketers, big-time businesses and entrepreneurs need content. They need a lot of content. In most cases, it isn’t enough to micro-manage online writing via a singular, in-house team. For this reason, businesses turn to a content management system to govern the creation, management and outreach of digital content.
The CMS and Businesses
Typically, a content management system, abbreviated as “CMS,” is used to manage the following:
- Enterprise content
- Web content
- Marketing content initiatives
Enterprise content management, often abbreviated as “ECM,” helps workplace collaboration by fully integrating document management services. Similarly, it assists with record retention, digital asset management and offers role-based digital access for an enterprise’s many workers.
Web content management (WCM), meanwhile, is mostly website-centric. It helps business operators create collaborative authoring opportunities. Sometimes, ECM software even includes WCM publishing options. That said, an ECM-controlled webpage is normally accessed behind a specific organization’s firewall.
Today’s Most Popular Content Management System
A few content management systems exist, today, which users use to create, organize, edit and publish material. Among these, WordPress is probably the most popular. Wpbeginner’s Beginner’s Guide for WordPress covers much of the content management system’s dynamics, helping users get used to the world of web publishing. WordPress content can be managed both in an intranet and within a single computer.
Content management systems like WordPress also give company users complete control over the documents, files designs and innovations a business may need. Having full control over content is important in the business world, and many users needn’t understand coding to get involved with content management systems such as WordPress. A good content management system requires little technical know-how, yet several complex systems do exist.
Content Management System Features and Functions
A CMS’s elementary features, while seemingly basic, are incredibly important for a business’s success. Whether a CMS is being used by an entrepreneur, a small company or a multi-industry corporation, a CMS’s features can make or break an entity’s growth, marketing ability and ROI.
Small and medium-sized businesses, in 2017, are picking up CMS solutions for good reason. An enterprise-ready CMS is surprisingly useful for managing small-scale content marketing initiatives. Furthermore, small and medium-sized businesses can buy cheaper product editions, giving them the ability to leverage features, business scale, product output and growth. Below are today’s most-sought-after CMS features. Each is adaptable to small businesses, and each is capable of helping any content initiative reach success.
A proper CMS will be able to cache. Caching is important to your website’s performance, and your CMS should support multi-level caching to assist with customizable content initiatives. Additionally, a solid CMS has the following:
- Consistent performance reports
- Cloud accessibility
- Web farm support leverage
Next, an effective CMS will need flexibility. Regardless of a business’s size, their CMS will need to integrate with the following:
- Other CMS systems
- Social networks
- Mobile apps
Additionally, a CMS should have ready-to-use connectors capable of “plugging in” to today’s common platforms. This decreases development costs, and it makes a CMS accessible to constantly changing digital environments.
The online world can be a dangerous place. As you include more content providers, you’ll need a CMS capable of handling advanced security management operations. All security option should offer the following:
- Content permissions
- User rolls
- Module permissions
Again, you’ll need to select a CMS capable of meeting your business’s ever-changing needs. A mature CMS will have multiple authentication options—so as to provide accessibility at all levels.
Four: Digital Marketing Tools
Today’s best CMS products have in-depth digital marketing tools. Today, it isn’t enough to simply manage content. A business needs to have good outreach, and they need fully integrated content marketing tools to manage the ins and outs of customer-centric marketing campaigns. Ideally, a CMS will support multi-channel marketing, helping users and consumers alike maintain access to quality content.
Five: Training Services
Finally, a viable CMS will offer user tools. As a business hires on more CMS editors, it’ll need more training. Understandably, a business’s time, training expenses and ability to enhance user experiences are limited. For this reason, a good CMS will offer the following:
- Immediate access training
- In-depth user guides
- Up-to-date training services
Hosting Options: Which Works Best?
A lot of content management systems, such as WordPress, exist. That said, not every CMS is built equal. CMS creators place a ton of attention on design, blogging options and a variety of hosting options. Today’s CMS hosting options offer baseline accessibility, but a business may favor one over another due to client and design needs. Check out today’s most popular hosting options below, and check out the pros and cons each. These suggestions are similarly promoted by Vandelay Design and Web Designer Depot:
Light CMS is powered by ElementFusion, and it’s a solid CMS geared towards designers. If you’re a designer, you can create a free Light CMS account and initiate a re-branded CMS experience.
That said, Light CMS is limiting for end users. Light CMS designers can generate revenue through individual clients, making it a fantastic small business option. As it scales, however, the platform’s monthly fees will need to be accounted for.
Vae, which used to be called Verb, is an e-commerce-centric CMS platform. It offers email marketing, too, making it one of the market’s top-performing digital marketing CMS options. While typical CMS options include modules, templates and blocks, Vae hands users total control over CSS and HTML files. This markup permits dynamic content generation, element maintenance and intensive management options.
Vae, however, is highly particular to e-commerce. While the system is flexible, its functionality may be limiting to some users. Vae offers a built-in subversion repository, video encoding tools, AJAX support, email marketing tools and a wealth of other benefits, but these options come with a hefty monthly fee spanning between $19.95 and $249.95.
The ever-popular Squarespace offers easy-to-use content creation tools. It has an integrated blog, portfolio website and the powerful tools needed to generate robust, yet simple, content design. It uses a build-as-you-go approach, helping users generate material on the fly.
Squarespace doesn’t have an admin panel, and all processes occur in real-time, which may not be useful to larger businesses with set-in-stone content creation and output plans. Squarespace uses a function-oriented angle, too, which relies heavily on a point-and-click interface.
Content Management System Constraints
While few laws restrict the use of a content management system, your business’s internal rules and regulations may restrict users. That said, many of these regulations are custom to the business at hand. If you require employee access for specific actions, a content management system may be difficult to adopt.
Why? Because content management systems frequently allow—and restrict—specific users. Rightfully so, too, as they’re responsible for content outreach, internal success and constant editing. Your assets need to be managed responsibly.
Several other restrictions may hinder your CMS, too. Above all, a lack of cohesive contributors will be a problem. A lot of websites simply lack “personality.” They’re heavily marketed, generic and are sourced by a business’s multiple employees.
Additionally, poor in-house author training can result in poor CMS management, writing and publishing. In this area, plagiarism and improper sourcing can flag your content in search engines. Again, your CMS employees should be constantly updated, learn your organization’s goals, and circumnavigate the world of bad copywriting.
A content management system is an incredibly potent business tool, when used effectively. Take charge with your business, empower your employees and chase success.