For years, there have been many debates in the website design and development community revolving around the topic of what makes a good content management system.
In many cases, the lengthiest phase of a website design and development project is the content population phase.
At times like these, a good content management system can really come in handy. The problem is that many website designers and developers who have just started out have no clue what a good content management system really is.
They may even get seduced by fancy functionality that will never be used and spend considerable amounts of money on a CMS when the job could have been done by a free one. In all honesty, selecting a good content management system requires a clearly defined set of requirements.
So What Are Some Requirements That Make A Good Content Management System?
Easy To Use
Finding someone who is supposedly a copywriter, a designer and a programmer all at the same time is rare. The same goes for those for those who wish to use a content management system.
Their goal is to think about their audience, their tone and their words. Therefore, a good content management system should be so easy to use that they do not have to worry about code because they are probably not interested in tinkering with code.
A good content management system should be functionally smart to handle things like the placement of a piece content in multiple places in a website.
In this case, a customized CMS may prove to be a good solution because it can be tweaked by the development team so that the needs of the user are anticipated by the CMS and the relevant function is delivered accordingly.
From a good content management system, users will be able to get help easily and quickly whenever they need it. A good content management system will be extremely helpful with things like easy-to-locate help sections, FAQs, tool tips, and videos on how to a specific process.
The system should have this kind of information built into it. The purpose of using a content management system is to avoid leaving the CMS in search of information on a website.
When using a good content management system, users should not have to jump through numerous hoops to get something done.
While doing things like adding a whole new section to a site, adding links to the navigation or setting up modules with a CMS can be complex, the CMS should have some checks and balances too.
Getting complex tasks completed is always possible with a good content management system that has plenty of power in its backend. This is the very reason that a content management system is developed, to allow users to get content editing, modifying and publishing tasks done. It is even better if a content management system is open-source because this way, users can develop upon the system.
If a good content management system is being used, there will be no need to worry about losing content or functions due to the CMS crashing. When using a good content management system even if a problem is caused because of a mistake that was made, it should be stable enough to recover from the problem instead of crashing the whole site.
A good content management should be secure, such that it is possible to configure user account settings in a way that sensitive information on the back end and front end remains protected. Only the things that have been authorized to be visible to users should be shown to them by the system, nothing more.
For a good content management system, simplicity is the most important element. Simplicity does not mean that the content management system should be limited or weak.
Achieving simplicity is not easy and significant effort and planning is required to get it right. The presence of complex and complicated modules that will probably be used by one in a million users and compromise the simplicity is not the sign of a good content management system. With a good content management system it should be possible to build a solid foundation first.
A Good Content Management System Can Prove To Be Very Useful
Now that content management systems are available, hand-coding CSS and HTML pages is no longer necessary.
All it takes is identifying a good content management system based on clearly defined requirements such as the ones above, and making use of it.