I remember when I first gave my mother an iPad. “No! No! She cried, I don’t want these newfangled devices. I’m technologically challenged. I’ll continue to use the laptop. I’ve finally got the hang of it”. “Go on!” I said, try it out.
All I did was show her how to turn it on. And in half and hour she was browsing the net looking up recipes for chicken curry.
The Content Management System (CMS) that you chose should be like the iPad. It should be intuitive to use. And you shouldn’t have to do a course just to figure out how to do simple things to your website.
Here are three easy and quick pointers to follow when choosing the right CMS for your website. But before we get started let’s quickly recap what CMS means.
What is a CMS?
A Content Management System (CMS) is a web application that is used to create, manage, store, and deploy content for your website. A good CMS will allow you to spend more time focused on writing and designing the content instead of worrying about what is under the hood.
Now let’s get to the nuts and bolts.
Here are 3 pointers that will help you look at the nuts and bolts of choosing the most intuitive CMS
1: Easy to install and administer
2: Easy to create, edit and extend
3: Mistakes to avoid
Let’s dive a little deeper into the three pointers and look at each one closely.
Pointer #1: Easy to install and administer
Make sure the CMS is extremely easy to install. That means, the installation process should not need you to wade through tons of documentation. Installations should be as quick as a single click.
Easy installation is one half of the equation. The other half is how easy it is to administer. The administration interface should be simple, easy to set up and then manage the website. The menu options should be intuitive so that just by looking at the options you know how to proceed.
But what about about editing? Let’s take a look at it.
Pointer #2: Easy to create, edit and extend
Is it easy to create a new website? Can a beginner with no technical skills build a website? Always look for a CMS that answers these questions with a resounding Yes!
Content is the most important aspect of a website. It’s what visitors read and what drives traffic to your website. And this is where 90% of your time will be spent. So it is very important that content should be easy add, edit or delete.
Besides editing your content, there should be easy ways to extend the functionality of your website to showcase your content. Let’s say you want to add membership capabilities to your website. The CMS that you choose should be extensible so that you can easily add a membership option. And a Forum. And a Newsletter. And a Shopping Cart.
Just like the iPad has an app for practically any kind of functionality you might need, so should your CMS.
When choosing a CMS, there are many common mistakes that people make that can easily be avoided.
Pointer #3: Mistakes to avoid
- Choosing a developer friendly website
Make sure the CMS that you select or your designer selects is not just catered for the tech savvy. Just because a CMS comes with 1001 bells and whistles doesn’t make it right for you. Make sure you choose a CMS that does not need a computer engineering degree to use.
- Not doing the research
It is extremely important to do your research. Check out the popular Content Management Systems (CMS) available. Read the reviews of what small business owners like you have to say. Look at examples of websites that have been created using the CMS. All this can easily be done with a simple Google search.
- Not looking at the user community
Are the users of the CMS, similar to your technical background? Are they many small business owners using the CMS? Is there a large and helpful user community? Are there forums that you can get on to find answers to your questions? These are the questions you should be asking yourself when it it comes to checking out the user community.
We covered three pointers that will help you choose a CMS. Not just any CMS but an intuitive CMS that will work as easily for you as the iPad did for my mother. We covered that a CMS should be easy to setup and administer. Also that it should easy to create, edit and extend. And finally we covered what mistakes to avoid.
Today there are 3 popular Content Management Systems namely – WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Now it’s time for you to do your research. Find out more about these popular Content Management Systems (CMS). In my next post you can find out why I recommend WordPress as the CMS for a small business owner.
Do you still feel unsure how to proceed, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to help.
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