There are a many content management systems available. And every month it seems like a new one is announced, to fill a niche or specific editorial purpose. Both open-source and commercial options provide a wide range of possibilities for website owners to harness powerful administrative functionality.
Content management systems do exactly as they say - they allow you to manage content. And finding the right one to meet your specific needs as a content manager is vital, as this is the secure backend on which your entire website or app will be built, and needs to be as effective and as efficient as possible.
I deal primarily with open-source software, having worked with Wordpress for many years and I’ve also recently started building sites with Statamic which I find to be an extremely capable and elegant solution.
Both of these content management systems provide a lot of editorial control, as well as additional features available through external plugins, designed to enhance existing, or add new functionality. They can be adapted to meet the majority of your requirements and offer a clean, easy-to-use interface to allow not just administrators but editors, authors and any other designated users access to upload and modify content.
Key things to consider when selecting a content management system are:
- How often will you update content?
- What additional functionality will you require? Are you an accomodation business taking bookings online? Are those bookings fairly simple, or more complex processes?
- How complex will your content hierarchy be? (Large companies with lots of internal documentation & resources may need a more structured, larger site - with the administration overhead that can come with this)
- How many different types of user will need to have access? A single administrative user, or perhaps an entire editorial team?
- How technically minded are the people who will be using the system? Different CMS’ are designed to provide varying levels of depth in terms of their user interfaces.
And some things that shouldn’t concern you:
Regardless of the platform chosen, as long as it’s a reliable one, a good developer can squeeze out the best performance for your requirements. However, costs can vary, as - for example - a Wordpress-based website will need more server resources to get the same level of performance as a Statamic-based website.
Likewise, the security implications of a platform such as Wordpress (more complex) vs. Statamic (much simpler) shouldn’t be of concern. Again, a good developer will set up and maintain your installation to ensure that it remains secure and free from issues.
Other solutions such as ongoing backup procedures and real-time site monitoring can be put in place to ensure that if something catastrophic does happen, your data is safe and your site can be restored quickly and to its previous state.
Wordpress is great for larger sites with complex functionality. Statamic works well for projects without as many ‘moving parts’
Time = Money
Two other important things to factor in when selecting a CMS are time and budget. The more complex the CMS, the more time and money you should devote to maintainance of both the system and your content. Think about how many person-hours you or your company would be able to devote to managing content and ensuring that information is kept fresh and updated.
This is a very important point, and one that is sometimes overlooked. A CMS which is more complex than your company requires may end up being more time-consuming than you expect.
I can help you figure out the best course of action and advise on potential routes for your project. Get in touch, I’ll be happy to chat through things with you.
If you have a significantly more complex web project, and feel that one of the off-the-shelf content management solutions might not be the best fit for your needs, why not take a look at one of my other articles, Bespoke website design - utilising frameworks