Having a strong online presence is crucial in most realms these days, the size of a business notwithstanding. You need to attract visitors to your website and then convert your leads into customers by making sure they remain on your website. You need to provide attractive content through a mix of text, images, videos, and other forms of graphics to engage your customers. However, this often requires managing, revising, publishing, and updating content.
The bigger a website, the more complex the task becomes, and this is where the role of a content management system (CMS) comes into play. Selecting a CMS for business websites requires that you pay attention to different aspects, and a good starting point is understating what to expect from a suitable CMS.
What is a CMS?
A CMS is a software tool that gives web developers and designers the ability to create, publish, edit, and manage content in different forms. The requirement of a business plays a key role in the CMS that might work best for its needs. For instance, the best CMS for small businesses might not have be the best CMS for corporate websites.
One common factor between all good content management systems is that they aim to provide intuitive user interfaces for creating and modifying website content. They provide online tools that people may use to publish updates in real-time. While content management systems were predominantly available as installable programs in the past, the use of web-based interfaces has increased significantly in recent times.
What Makes for a Good CMS?
Given the varied requirements that might come in the form of simple one-page small business websites to complex e-commerce websites, there is no single best CMS for business websites. From ease-of-use to integrating different tools, there are different aspects to consider. If you are unsure about how to select the best CMS for business websites according to your specific needs, answering a few simple questions will help simplify the process.
Is it User-Friendly?
If you plan to have anything to do with the design, development, or ongoing maintenance of your business website, and not leave it completely to the professionals, it is imperative that you select a CMS that is easy to use. If you end up working with a complicated CMS that requires technical knowhow, you might have to contact your web development agency each time you wish to make an update. With an intuitive CMS, you can do away the need for extensive training. If you plan to carry out updates on your own and wish for your employees to do the same, go with a CMS that offers a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYT) editor. This gives you an actual view of what your updates will look like once published.
Does it Come With an Intuitive User Interface?
If your business is not large enough to have its own team of web designers and developers, or if you do not have the resources to have ongoing website maintenance contracts, consider selecting a CMS that comes with an intuitive user interface (UI). This ensures ease-of-use without requiring too much technical knowledge or training. Solutions, in this way, can be quick and easy to implement.
Is it Customizable and Scalable?
When it comes to business websites, change is inevitable. The best CMS for business websites should give you the ability to customize and scale according to your requirements, as and when the need arises. After all, what you can do with your website depends largely on its content management system. For instance, if you wish to modify the overall layout of your website, your CMS should not prevent you from carrying out the required changes.
Since maintaining a website is usually a long-term affair, you need to be able to depend on your CMS for several years. Bear in mind that while modifying a website does not have to be particularly difficult, switching from one CMS to another can be a daunting task.
Even if your business needs do not extend to beyond offering a responsive website as of now, it might be worth your while to look at technologies you may benefit from in the future. These include, but do not limit to, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, digital assistants, and jumbotrons. When you are ready, your CMS should be able to support these new technologies.
Does it Offer Quick and Reliable Support?
No matter how easy to use a CMS might be, it is only a matter of time before you need assistance of some kind. When this happens, you should have a good customer support team that can provide quick and effective solutions. While you may depend on your web design agency for support, there might be occasions when you might save money by addressing the issue on your own. This might be particularly beneficial with problems that you can fix on your own with the right guidance.
If you look at any of the top CMS for business websites, you will notice that it provides a dependable support network. In addition, with most of the leading alternatives, you may also turn to a number of blogs and online discussion groups to look for advice or solutions.
Is it SEO-Friendly?
If you wish to attract customers online, search engines such as Google and Baidu play a big role in driving traffic toward your website. Consider these stats:
- Over 2.3 million searches are carried out on Google every minute
- Search engines make up for around 90% of all website traffic
- The top five results on a Google search page account for around 70% of all clicks
If your websites does not appear in the top five results of an online search, it is safe to assume that your business is losing out on potential customers. While link-building plays an important role in improving your website’s ranking, so does effective search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, if you want your website to rank well, it is crucial that you select an SEO-friendly CMS.
Is it Secure?
Instances of websites being hacked continue to rise. Data suggests that around 90,000 websites are hacked each day. It is suggested that ransomware will cost organizations and businesses around $11.5 billion in 2019. In addition, the average global cost of a data breach stands at around $3.6 million. This figure continues to increase each year.
With internet security posing a significant threat to businesses, the importance of getting a CMS that offers high levels of security cannot be undermined. If your CMS provider employs a dedicated cyber security firm, it is definitely a good sign. What you should also look for in a good CMS is that it gets updated regularly.
Understand Stakeholder Requirements
Different departments of an organization are typically involved in the decision making process when it comes to selecting a suitable CMS. These can include the IT department, the sales department, and the marketing department. However, every department that has a say in selecting a CMS tends to have different requirements. In such a scenario, it is important to prioritize requirements accordingly.
Consider this – while an IT department would want a highly secure CMS that minimizes redundancy and offers effective backups, an editorial team might favor a WYSIWYT editor over all else. In addition, while a marketing team would want a CMS that offers easy integration with various tools, a sales department would benefit through a CMS that simplifies product listing.
What is the Best CMS for Business Websites?
If you have really deep pockets, you could hire a developer to come up with a customized CMS that caters to each and every requirement you have. However, not everyone has a big budget. Fortunately, you do not have to spend a lot of money to get the best CMS for business websites. There’s a popular CMS that even some very big companies and organizations use, one that is also well within your reach. In fact, it is easily among the top content management systems for business websites. It is a CMS most people already know about – WordPress.
While some people might not look at WordPress as the best CMS for corporate websites, you can get it to adapt to varying needs. If you’re wondering what CMS big companies use, you should not be surprised to know that several big names have turned to WordPress. For instance, do you know that the official Star Wars blog make use of WordPress? Some of the other popular names that use WordPress include TechCrunch, The New Yorker, BBC America, Bloomberg Professional, Variety, Sony Music, MTV News, and The Walt Disney Company.
Benefits of Using WordPress
Data suggests that around 33% of all websites use WordPress as a content management system. Launched in 2003 and based on MySQL and PHP, this CMS gives you the ability to create simple blogs or feature-rich websites using content in different forms. The benefits of using this CMS to create and maintain a business website are multiple.
Flexibility and Adaptability
In its early days, WordPress served as a basic blogging platform, which then moved on to different types of online publishing. Now, the WordPress CMS powers scores of websites from different parts of the world. People use it to operate personal blogs, with Usain Bolt and Beyonce being prime examples; it is used by scores of small businesses; and its use by large multinationals is all too common. This diverse use is mainly because WordPress offers the flexibility and adaptability to meet different changing needs.
Easy to Set Up and Update
WordPress gives people with little to no programming and coding skills the ability to create a website. If you want to set up a basic website and have the required content at hand, you can do so in no matter than a few hours. Installing updates is another aspect WordPress users do not have to worry about, because this is easy and requires no more than a single click. The WordPress admin dashboard gives users the ability to customize important features such as the website’s layout and heading.
When it comes to large businesses, operating a website typically requires the involvement of multiple people. With WordPress, you may use the multi-user capability that the platform offers and assign different roles. The different alternatives that WordPress lets you choose from include:
Extended Functionality Through Plugins
While WordPress gives users easy means to create basic websites, there is no dearth of businesses that turn to this CMS and use more specialized functionalities that suit their websites’ more complex requirements. WordPress further simplifies the process by allowing easy integration through the use of a wide range of plugins. With this feature, adding elements such as shopping carts, contact forms, picture galleries, and click-to-call buttons becomes fairly straightforward.
Makes for Responsive SEO Friendly Websites
Making a responsive mobile-friendly website is crucial, given the number of people who use mobile devices to shop and look for information. If you use the services of trained web designers and developers who are adept at working with WordPress, you may look forward to getting a website that performs equally well across all types of devices.
Responsive website design is also important because it plays a role in Google rankings. WordPress websites tend to rank higher for their chosen set of keywords when compared to sites from the same niche made and maintained using other content management systems. This is partly because WordPress websites are typically updated regularly and also because WordPress offers various tools that focus on optimizing content for search engines.
The role of a CMS is far-ranging when it comes to creating, updating, upscaling, and maintaining a website. What helps is that WordPress rates well across all these parameters. In addition, what makes WordPress the best CMS for business websites is the ease of use that it offers even novice users as well as the fact that all WordPress websites are mobile friendly.