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Guide to content management systems

Content management systems (CMS) have become an indispensable part of modern businesses, serving as a central hub for driving digital transformation. The best CMS solutions offer more than just a one-dimensional content database; they store and manage a variety of content assets, including text, images, videos, and audio, and allow for seamless publication on websites, mobile applications, and other digital platforms. With a robust CMS solution in place, businesses can streamline content management, enhance user experiences and achieve their digital goals with ease.

What's the best content management system?

When it comes to choosing the best content management system (CMS), it's important to consider your organization's specific goals for content. The right CMS will depend on your unique objectives. For example, if you have a large team creating and publishing content, you'll want a CMS that can accommodate multiple users. Similarly, if you're active on social media, look for a CMS with seamless social media integration.

It's important to note that most organizations don't need a CMS that does everything. Instead, focus on finding a CMS that meets all of the requirements that matter most to you. Make a list of the features and tasks you deem important, and use it to compare potential CMS options.

The best CMS will help you manage your brand identity, tell your business's story, and unify your publishing voice. It should also simplify the process of creating, gathering, storing, and accessing content as needed.

Ultimately, the best content management system for your organization is the one that meets your specific needs. By considering your priorities and using them as a measuring stick, you can find the CMS that will help you achieve your goals and streamline your content management processes.

What do you want from your CMS?

Various content systems can provide a wide variety of services. But the only services that matter are the ones you’ll actually use. Start by determining your productivity must-haves, and if you find a CMS that also includes extras, even better. To get started, consider this list of common CMS features and consider making your own list of specific needs.
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Is your CMS easy to use?
Many businesses seek a CMS to simplify the process of creating content and posting it to the web and want one that’s as easy to use as Word or Google Docs, without a need for users to understand coding or software development.
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Does your CMS support a growing number of users?
Do you need a CMS that will accommodate a certain number of users to manage and collaborate on content? Is it easy to manage permissions, workflows and other project needs?
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Is it easy to find content and other assets in your CMS?
You may be looking for a CMS that allows you to search past posts or videos in an instant. That searchability makes it easy to update, repurpose or republish older items just like new. You can also easily audit the site for the use of certain keywords.
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Will your CMS scale as your business grows?
Do you want a CMS that will scale with your organization as it grows? Look for a system that offers versions for organizations of different sizes or can accommodate various numbers of users.
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Can you customize your CMS to suit your business needs?
If you have specific ideas about how you want your CMS to work and how you want your content to look, you may not be happy with simple templates and one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, you may want a CMS that is fully customizable to your specifications.
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Is your CMS secure?
Data security is important for most organizations, and that includes the data that will be housed in your content management system. How important is security to your CMS search, and what specific safeguards are you seeking out?
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Are you getting real value from your CMS investment?
What is your CMS budget? Make sure you understand all the costs involved with the CMS you choose. Some options will require add-on expenses, while others provide all-in-one solutions.
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Are you getting the best support from your CMS partner?
A new software tool often comes with a learning curve. Is it important to you to find a CMS that provides customer service when you need help making it work for you?
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Content management systems explained

What is a content management system?

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that allows users to create, manage and publish digital content, typically for websites or mobile applications. It provides a user-friendly interface for organizing, storing and updating various types of content, including text, images, videos and audio files. A CMS also enables multiple users to collaborate on content creation and management, making it a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.

What are the benefits of a CMS?

A content management system (CMS) offers several benefits, including streamlining content creation, simplifying publishing and improving collaboration between teams. It also helps to organize and manage content, automate tasks and ensure consistent branding across all channels. With a CMS, you can quickly and easily update your website or other digital properties, improving your online presence and user experience.

Who needs a content management system?

Anyone who creates and publishes content online can benefit from using a content management system (CMS). This includes businesses, organizations, individuals, bloggers and more. A CMS can help manage content more efficiently, streamline workflows, improve collaboration and ensure consistency in branding and messaging.

How does a content management system work?

A content management system (CMS) allows you to store and manage your digital content, such as text, images, and videos, in a central location. Users can create, edit, and publish content through a user-friendly interface, without needing technical knowledge. The CMS manages the content and presents it to the website visitor through a front-end presentation layer, such as a website or mobile application. This allows for efficient content publishing and updates, as well as the ability to track and analyze content performance.

Visit our guide to CMS architecture to learn more about the different options.
How to choose the best CMS architecture for your content management system
To choose the best CMS architecture for your content management system, it is important to understand the various options available. With the increasing number of vendors offering different approaches, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. To simplify the process, we have created guides that explain the differences between the main types of CMS platforms, such as coupled CMS, decoupled CMS and headless CMS. Our guides also outline the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help you make an informed decision.
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