Choosing the right Content Management System

Hannah's Photo by Hannah Rowbotham


Your website Admin Area plays a huge part in the running of your business so it’s important that it’s easy to use and encouraging rather than awkward and off putting.

Content Management System, CMS, Control Panel, Admin Area, ...however you refer to it, you’ll probably end up spending hours of time each month to keep your website’s content updated, so your CMS needs to be a help not a hindrance.

This article aims to explain what you should look for in a Content Management System to make sure you find the right fit.

So… before we get to good, what makes a Content Management System bad?

Imagine a pair of uncomfy shoes.

We’ve all been there. At first, all seems fine; fresh, new and maybe you feel fancy! But, fast forward to when you're trying to actually get things done and you'll slowly notice that every task - no matter how simple - is frustrating because there's an underlying problem. Every step is painful.

You hope things will get easier in time but the chances are it's a case of the wrong fit.

It should feel so intuitive that it takes no thought at all; it’s instantly familiar, supportive and shaped around you.

Managing your website content in an admin area should be a breeze. It should feel so intuitive that it takes no thought at all; it’s instantly familiar, supportive in all the right places and shaped around you.

With some Content Management Systems, the opposite is true; they get in your way instead of making your day more efficient. They dictate the way that things should be done and managed, so you end up adapting to the way they work rather than the other way around.

To us, this was backwards, so we trialled pretty much every CMS available until finding Craft CMS back in 2015. And, even after continuously keeping an eye on the CMS landscape, since then it's been the only CMS we have full confidence in recommending.

One of the many reasons for this confidence is the power and flexibility it offers.

Craft CMS provides a really solid and secure foundation and, with the right planning, can be set up in a way that suits you.

Craft CMS allows developers to tailor the admin area to suit the way you want to manage your website content. It provides a really solid and secure foundation and, with the right planning, can be set up in a way that suits you. This makes sure you don't have to think about how to do something; it's second nature meaning you can focus on the content itself.

There’s really no need for your CMS to be a sticking point. A good CMS coupled with a good developer should result in an admin area that encourages you to easily update your content instead of presenting a barrier.

A good Content Management System absolutely should:

  • Be intuitive - it should be easy to use.
  • Be scalable - able to grow with your business.
  • Be flexible - not dictate how things should be done.
  • Be regularly updated - with bug fixes and improvements.
  • Be secure - to keep your data safe.
  • Be powerful - work with speed and efficiency.
  • Have a community - a group of passionate agencies and developers that are behind it.

If you're feeling the pain of even one of these things not being present in your current CMS then you'll know how limiting it can be. They can all be damaging to your business in different ways so we understand the importance of making the right CMS choice.

As well as the fundamentals when making sure your CMS is the right fit, think about any specifics that you might need too, such as:

  • Multi-language - enter translations easily for different locales.
  • SEO tools - control how each page appears in search engines.
  • Ecommerce - add an online shop.
  • Integrations - with your CRM or other business tools.
  • Different user types and their permissions - control who can edit what.

We're driven to change the way that businesses see their Content Management System.

We totally get that you’re never going to be excited about logging in - it’s a functional tool to get the job done - but it shouldn't ever be a tool that you dread using.

We totally get that you’re never going to be excited about logging in - it’s a functional tool to get the job done - but it shouldn't ever be a tool that you dread using. If that’s the case then the fit is most definitely wrong!

It might be that you have a great CMS but it’s been setup in a way that isn’t properly tailored to the way you work. Maybe your Admin Area is overly complicated, confusing, overwhelming, or maybe it’s just plain difficult? Whatever frustrations you’re feeling, don’t put up with them!

With the right CMS and setup, they’re all avoidable.

Life’s too short for uncomfy shoes. The right fit is out there and when you find it, you’ll wonder why you put up with anything less.

You can read more about why we use Craft CMS here.


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