Updated for 2013
A Content Management System (CMS for short) is software you can install on your website to make it easy to manage web pages without deep knowledge of HTML. This is great for marketing teams and business owners who simply want to change web page copy, add pages and use their website as an effective communication tool. Does your website look terrible on an iPad or iPhone? Thinking of upgrading your current website to a new or better CMS software package?
Reasons to Make a CMS SwitchBelow are some reasons to consider making a switch from your current website.
- Your Site Uses HTML Tables – Table based layout was very common in the late 90s when the internet was young. Most current CMS software will render a website using web standard HTML and CSS based layout if the web designer who created the site did so as well. Search engines also prefer the clean source code that CSS layouts produce so this will help your website perform better for SEO. Search engines also prefer mobile friendly websites built using responsive design. An easy way to tell if your code is outdated, right click on your desktop browser and select view source. Look for “table” and see if you can find one. If there are any tables used, your website is very outdated.
- Your CMS is Hard to Use – Just because your website runs on CMS software doesn’t mean your marketing team is happy using it. Does it take several weeks or months to bring new team members up to speed on your CMS? Do features on your CMS work as expected? Is it easy to add features? These are some of the things you should consider when evaluating CMS packages.
- Your Developer is Too Busy – It’s likely your in house web developer is busy servicing clients. That means your team is forced to wait for site updates or look outside the company for help. Wouldn’t it be great if your CMS had simple plug-ins or modules that could be added with very little custom development? This frees up time your programmer can spend on client projects or improving core services.
- Your CMS was Custom Developed – This is not to say that every custom developed CMS software package is flawed. Some custom developed packages do just fine for the companies that sell them and the companies that use them. What happens to the CMS software when the company that developed it closes it’s doors or fails to return your support calls? Many clients will be left to fend for themselves with little or no documentation. There are many benefits to a popular open source CMS or well known brand backing the software. Plenty of documentation, certified consultants ready to take your call, frequent upgrades, etc.
- You’ve Outgrown Your Website – So your company has grown, continues to add new products and can’t keep up with the number of customer service calls. Your current website is 10 pages about how your company got started and the company dog. That’s a good story but your growing list of customers have problems they need your help solving. A website that can grow and expand quickly as your company grows will help you service customers more effectively. Use a CMS to add and keep current things like FAQs, request a quote, etc. These tools help your customer service team save time and help qualify new customers.
- BONUS: Your CMS is NOT Mobile Friendly – A mobile friendly website, once a nice to have, is becoming necessary for business. Roughly 24% of shoppers used a mobile device to visit a retailers online store and 4 out of 5 customers use smartphones to shop. This means your business must be ready in 2013 to address the flood of mobile visitors coming from 2013-2015. Check your Google Analytics reports to see what percentage of visitors are mobile. Many websites currently have 15-20% of their visitors coming from mobile devices like iPad, iPhone, Android and more. A responsive CMS website, a CMS that adjusts to the device used, should be a high priority for 2013.