The Think Blog

Choosing the Right CMS for Your Business

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Greg Greiner Director, Technical Delivery May 29, 2020

Content is a critical factor in successful user experiences, and the Content Management System (or CMS) your business chooses can impact your content goals.

Great content creates trust, removes complexity, and answers questions. At Think Company, our Content Strategy practice ensures that your content is well-planned, structured, and managed to deliver the best possible experience.

The technology enabling the delivery and management of that content is just as important. Choosing a CMS platform that’s right for your business goals, how your teams work, and that fits with your overall technology ecosystem can make the difference between frustration and delight—for both your users and your internal teams.

We’re often asked, “Which CMS do you recommend?” It would be easy to say, “Choose Sitecore, or WordPress, or AEM!” because of our own comfort with implementing one or more of those particular solutions. But, the more responsible answer is, “Let’s assess your CMS needs, and choose the right solution for you.”

Which CMS options meet your needs?

What questions do we explore to ensure we’ve thoroughly assessed your CMS needs? All CMSs are capable of storing and presenting content, and most can be customized to do much more than that. So, how do you know which one is the right choice?

It’s more than just a checklist of requirements. Start with a detailed research and discovery activity to uncover the core needs for your project, separating the must-haves from the nice-to-haves, and narrowing the options to a short-list of candidates.

Is the CMS right for your team?

Evaluate the skillset and makeup of your team. Are your content authors and technology teams in-house employees, partners, contractors, or a mix? Use this as input to decide between a solution that matches your team’s skills today, or a solution that requires skill growth—including technical training and content governance.

Understanding your content creation and review process is critical. Do you have legal or regulatory reviews, for instance? Support for automation of key workflow stages can make your whole organization more efficient.

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How long will it take to implement a CMS? How much will it cost?

Diving deeper, evaluate which capabilities are “out-of-the-box” or achievable with minimal time and cost, and which are complex, requiring expensive add-ons or costly customizations. Which features do you need now, later, or perhaps not at all? Consider the cost factors—licensing, implementation, training, hosting, maintenance—and plot a roadmap that achieves your goals within your budget.

There is no predetermined or prescribed solution when selecting a Content Management System. Your current CMS might even be the answer! Your requirements, timeline, budget, and your team are all important factors. Ultimately, the best CMS for you is the one that meets today’s needs, tomorrow’s needs… and gets out of the way of the system you’ll need after that.