As an entrepreneur, you're constantly looking for ways to improve your business's convenience, visibility and market footprint.
Many times, that means tricking out your company website. But you'll probably want the ability to change your site's content and add elements quickly to make your web portal as informative, relevant, and cutting-edge as possible.
This means deciding on a content management system.
A CMS allows you to do anything from updating your blog and adding photos to integrating a complex banking function or e-commerce application. But it's vital that you find a CMS which best suits your needs instead of one which is too complicated or not sophisticated enough.
Before choosing a CMS, you must ask yourself three questions:
- What exactly do I want my site to be able to do (now and in the future?)
- How tech-savvy am I or the individuals who will be in charge of updating content?
- How much money can I allocate toward this endeavor?
Here is a list of the most common content management systems and some characteristics about each one.
Tech expertise rating: 2 out of 10
Ideal for: Novices and creative techies – or anyone who just wants a simple blog. There's not even any registration needed.
Not ideal for: People who want any multifunctionality or customizable features.
Cost: $20 and up for basic templates, $1,000 and up for custom design.
Tech expertise rating: 3 out of 10
Ideal for: Sites who only need a home page, blog, and some photos and videos. It's pretty user-friendly, has oodles of plugins and themes, and generally provides you with the most features for the least amount of work.
Not ideal for: People who want to build a site from scratch or are fond of complex customizations.
Cost: $8.95/month for up to three blogs.
Tech expertise rating: 5 out of 10
Ideal for: Sites who only need a home page, blog, and some photos and videos. It's perfect for journalists who aren't enamored with buzzers and whistles.
Not ideal for: Individuals who aren't coding knowledgeable, or those who want a moderate selection of themes.
Tech expertise rating: 7 out of 10
Ideal for: Well-informed programming types who want to be able to customize anything and everything to their hearts' content. In addition to a blog, photos, videos, and a home page, Drupal offers e-commerce capability, an ad server, and a huge user community for support.
Not ideal for: Laymen or anyone who shudders at the phrase "open-source" code.
Tech expertise rating: 8 out of 10
Ideal for: Someone who wants the features of Drupal with a tad more customization capability.
Not ideal for: Because of its smaller user pool, people who want a large user/developer community to answer questions or bounce ideas off of - and who aren't willing to search a little harder for plugins and modules.
Cost: Easily six-figures.
Tech expertise rating: 10 out of 10
Ideal for: Someone who needs something uniquely customized to their needs – and who just wants to outsource the whole darn thing (and has the ability to pay for its development and maintenance).
Not ideal for: Anyone who has a budget or doesn't have a coding genius at his or her disposal.
The last thing you want out of your content management system is to be frustrated by either its inability to accomplish your online goals or its overwhelming complexity which requires substantial time and effort to make relatively simple changes. That's why choosing the perfect CMS is vital to the adaptability and flexibility of your business.