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Why Choose a CMS?

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
Published on December 6, 2023

We look at the advantages that a Content Management System (CMS) can bring to your digital and content marketing strategy.

Why should I use a Content Management System (CMS)? That is a question we get asked almost daily by both our current and potential clients. The truth is, a client almost needs to feel the pain of a static website before they can fully understand and appreciate the advantages of a CMS-driven solution.

A lot of our customers started off with template-based systems or used very basic administrative tools to maintain their websites. These usually work well initially, when the sites are smaller and have less content, but over time these sites grow organically, and as the amount of content increases, so do the challenges of maintaining it. What used to take just one person to manage now takes multiple In many cases, the organization will have a person (or group of people) responsible for writing the content, and another person or group (usually IT or web developer) responsible for implementing the changes. This process tends to be very inefficient and takes more time and costs more money than is necessary.

In addition, as more pages are added to the website, it often becomes necessary to create new layouts and arrangements to accommodate this new content and evolving business needs. Changes to the layout and appearance of the website often mean that a programmer will need to be involved in the creation of these new pages, modules, and layouts. In the end, the website is comprised of numerous page templates, countless pages of content, and multiple content authors with no real web content management system in place.

Your Website is a Publication

Having a website makes your organization a publisher... even if you aren't aware of it. It's important for companies, especially in use cases involving government or healthcare, to make sure that the information they are publishing for the public is accurate and up to date. Without a system in place, how do you control exactly what web pages and content exist on your site, and who is in charge of each page of content? How do you ensure consistency in the display of the site if the code is spread across multiple template files (created by multiple developers over several years) and content that is written by various content authors?

CMS platforms are put into place to accommodate these issues. First and foremost, a CMS makes your website: Ease of use, less expensive to maintain, and more secure. Here are some more benefits of a CMS:

  1. A CMS allows digital content to be controlled by the people who own the content strategy (the digital marketing team or subject matter experts). This means no more relying on developers to make changes to the web content; subject matter experts can add content without needing to know HTML or any programming languages. Aside from being user-friendly, it saves time and money.

  2. Content creation is easier and more efficient. Nothing is worse than time-sensitive information not getting posted in time because the request to update the site is stuck in a development queue.

  3. Keeping content controlled by the content authors frees up the developers’ time to focus on other things like the design of the front end of the website, optimization, or implementation of new features and functionality.

  4. A CMS allows you to distribute content authoring duties to different people or departments within your organization. Many also allow you to set up workflows, approval chains, and permissions. This helps to make sure that your web pages aren’t published without full approval.

  5. Workflows are built in as part of most enterprise CMS platforms. This streamline approach gives team members the ability to view, share, and approve drafts of content without needing to resort to marked up printouts, sticky notes, and emails. Content can be previewed from within the software.

  6. A CMS can work in parallel with web design efforts to force visual consistency across sections of the site. By putting style rules in place, you can make sure that things such as font sizes and colors are used universally, without regard to how many content authors you have. This keeps things looking professional, helps maintain brand unity, and allows for scalability.

  7. A CMS provides a wide range of functionality by default, functionality that would normally cost money to build from scratch.

  8. Most CMS software is web based, which means that you can access and edit your site from any computer with an internet connection. No specific software needs to be installed nor is an abundance of technical knowledge required.

  9. Migrating to a cloud-based CMS could provide many benefits as well, including scalability, flexibility, enhanced security, and potential cost-savings. 

  10. Many enterprise CMS platforms can securely protect your data and information about your users or members. In addition, they allow you to set rules which make sure that content editors fill in all the necessary information on pages in order to meet accessibility requirements, such as Section 508 Accessibility Standards.

Why You Should Use a CMS

You should use a CMS because it will allow your organization to have complete control over its website without the need to pay excessive and recurring development fees for almost daily, routine website updates.

If you're looking for a partner with the technical expertise to help you choose the best CMS for your business, we're here to help! Please contact us, and we'll work with you to plan and execute a digital strategy that will bring you success in your online efforts!