In the context of operating a business, Content Management Systems (CMS) are the backbone or, in essence, the lifeblood of how a company organizes and manages all incoming and outgoing projects. These handy systems give users the tools to create, manage, and deploy website content.
Content management systems have become integral in our day-to-day lives in the digital marketing realm in the same way that we breathe. We are taking those breaths, but we aren't always self-conscious that we are doing it.
A perfect example of a CMS would be Wordpress. On the surface, it might appear to be a simple blogging platform, and that was how it was originally designed, until it became a full-on CMS platform that now extends roughly 35% of active websites out there. Making web development easy is the name of the game, and that is why platforms like Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal are so widely used. While CMS platforms remove the difficulty of coding an entire website from the ground up out of the equation, there are still many elements that go into making the website stand out from the rest.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial as digital marketing continues to grow and expand. Achieving a high SERP rating is the result of integrating SEO best practices into your CMS.
Content Creation: Often overlooked, but just because the backend of the CMS may be fully built doesn't mean the website would function as intended if there were no content displayed on it.
With so many to choose from, it is easily overwhelming to decide what CMS is right for you. In the case of having a platform similar to Adobe Business Catalyst, that announced its end of life earlier this year, there is the issue of adding site migration to the checklist.
The most widely used CMS platform currently, Wordpress is easy to use and allows for a wide range of customizations.
Pros: A free, open-source application that allows you to customize and fine-tune its code to suit your website's requirements.
Wide range of customization options
Variety of free and premium themes
Allows for the use of plugins that enable you to integrate different applications into the website to automate workflow.
Offers an open-source e-commerce plugin called WooCommerce to set up an online store on your website.
Utilizes Shopify plugin for e-commerce
Cons: Due to its popularity, Wordpress is prone to security vulnerabilities. The best way to avoid these issues is to keep the CMS and plugins updated regularly.
Not ideal for complex access control workflow
Teams that require the use of Wordpress UI themes
Another free and open-source CMS software used in a variety of industries from entertainment, education, healthcare, media and publishing, and many more.
Over 44,000 free modules (third-party integrations)
Over 2,800 free themes to extend the website's functionality
Excellent security, taxonomy support, and multilingual support
Custom CMS creation
Plugin integration with Shopify, Google Analytics, Hubspot, Salesforce, Mailchimp and Tableau
Cons: While Drupal offers several excellent features, its main issue is that it is not a beginner-friendly CMS.
Need an experienced web developer to manage
Difficult to manage and update from a technical standpoint
Similar to Wordpress and Drupal, with being a free, open-source CMS, this platform offers a lot of the same conveniences as well as other perks that make Joomla a powerful CMS for a diverse content mix strategy.
Supports multilingual websites
Multi-level user permissions
A vast number of features without the need for third-party integrations or extensions
Steep learning curve and not beginner-friendly
This platform is well known for being a marketing automation provider. It can also be a CMS platform that perfectly integrates the two services to consolidate everything into one place.
Consolidates marketing automation and CMS into one service
Can create, manage and track the performance of blog articles, landing pages and emails from one place
Offers SEO features and mobile-friendly themes
Creates a more personalized experience with smart content, chatbots and live chats
Built-in analytics tool
Designing and developing the CMS is different than other platforms and has a learning curve
Difficult site migration if you choose to switch CMS platforms
A widely used open-source CMS for the e-commerce industry.
Features a drag-and-drop page builder
Schedules website updates
Personalization features such as customer segmentation, visual merchandising, etc
Manages multiple websites from one backend
Launch multilingual sites
Cons: If you want to take advantage of customer reward programs and targeted promotions, then you will be forced to use the premium service, Magento Commerce, instead of the free version, Magento Opensource.
Magento Commerce offers more features and targeted promotions but comes at a hefty yearly price tag of $22,000
Needs a lot of updates and attention
Site migration is not smooth when the time comes
A new, headless CMS platform that works great for large teams. Contentful is the current CMS tool we use at Watermark as it does wonders for our business model. A headless content management system is a backend only system that makes content accessible for display on any device. Where other CMS platforms are focused on presentation first, a headless CMS such as Contentful focuses purely on content with no focus on presentation layers, allowing the content to display on any device functionally.
Great for complex page layouts that have multiple sections per page
Offers great functionality for multi-stage content creation and review processes
Simple web interface for editing content
Organized, flexible data models (i.e., form fields and WYSIWYGs).
Intuitive user interface
Not ideal for managing user-generated data such as comments
Not the option if your company requires all tools to be on-premises
Not suitable for teams that need access control restrictions
Cannot be installed locally
There are several more factors to break down when choosing the CMS that is right for you, from the most basic of information, pricing, SEO friendliness, and usability to the more technical jargon of technology stacks, coding language, and backend management. Choosing the right CMS all comes down to what you believe is the best fit for your company and what features you would most commonly use. There is no wrong choice at the end of the day, as long as you have a CMS that works for you. With Adobe Business Catalyst coming to an end, Watermark is here to help you figure out all your CMS needs.