How to Choose a CMS

Conclusion & Checklist:

There are a lot of choices out there, and the options are almost overwhelming. Building websites is a complicated thing and there really isn’t a way to make it much simpler. Sometimes you just have to deal with that reality. Your website is unique, and has unique requirements. There is probably no solution that will work perfectly for it right out of the box.

In the end, a decision has to be made, and it will affect the rest of the website building process. It may have taken a bit longer than it was supposed to setting it up, or sometimes it may not work exactly as you thought it might. But you just deal with that and move on to the next project, learning as you go. Your first experiences in dealing with CMS’s may be frustrating, but there is always that “Aha!” moment when everything works as it is supposed to and it saves you a lot of time. We hope that you will find that to be true.

To be helpful, we have attached a checklist that you can reference when you’re in the beginning stages of the design. Hopefully some of these questions are helpful and time-saving.

1. Checklist: Who are you choosing the CMS for?

  • Are they technical or non-technical users?
  • How many people will need access?
  • Do you need to be able to control what content individuals or groups can change?
  • How high of security will they need?

2. What are the project needs?

  • What type of website is it?
  • What tasks is the client going to need to be able to accomplish on their own?
  • How do these tasks equate to needed features?
  • What is the process for posting content? Will it be reviewed/edited?
  • Plugins/extensions, etc

3. The Logistics

  • Are there any “sacred cows?”
  • Are there any technical limitations?
  • What is the timeline, does that limit your choice?
  • Does the budget allow for purchasing a CMS?
  • What are your capabilities?

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