A CMS should be like that advert for wood restorer – it does exactly what it says on the tin, in other words.
If it does, then it’s the answer to your prayers. But if it doesn’t, you could find yourself getting frustrated and angry while you battle with crashing website pages mid-edit.
The simple solution is to use BT and let our tech people instruct you in the ways of CMS (sort of like Yoda with Luke Skywalker). Our bespoke website packages come with an easy to manage CMS included – so you can be assured you’re on safe ground.
But if a CMS of your own you must have (as Yoda himself might say), then what should you look for? And how do you know if your CMS does the job it’s supposed to?
Your CMS, should have functionality. Functionality is good, we like functionality. When picking a CMS, go for one that can do what you need right now (the ‘built-in’ features) AND will be adaptable to grow as your business grows (sometimes called scalability).
There are clues in the name as to what you want from your CMS: content, management and system. You want to be able to upload content and manage it effectively on a system with the functionality to handle what you want your website to do.
It’s wise to bear in mind that word: content. Not design and not appearance, but content. Some CMS will let you play around with appearance and lead you into all sorts of trouble with the brand or look of your website. Change copy, add copy or pictures and edit copy. But leave the overall look of the site to a designer.
When you choose a CMS, make sure you are happy with how pdf files or documents are displayed to site visitors. And if you have a search facility on your site, make sure these documents show up on the page index.
If you are intending to gather feedback, it’s vital that your CMS will support this. Or you might want to respond to customers or share RSS feeds. Again, check that your CMS will support it.
CMS for the newbie will be frightening and most people using them (me included) upload content as part of their job. Understanding it isn’t part of that job in most cases – so the simpler the better. The end user must be comfortable updating a site.
Many CMS have HTML and plain text options and it’s also a good idea to be able to review the finished page before it’s published (WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get).
Most of the common CMS (Joomla, WordPress etc) are open source, ie free, but you can expect to pay for some add-ons and plugin-ins. Having one of these (BT uses Joomla) makes a lot of sense and there are thousands of articles on forums offering solutions to every type of problem. There are also plenty of free add-ons and plugin-ins as well as the paid-for type.
Functionality, ease of use, and compatibility. If your CMS has all this, then it won’t keep you awake at night.
Websites from BT put you firmly in control. The functionality options range from simple page additions and editing to full content management system capability. Find out what BT can do for your website.