Most of us adopted our first content management systems (CMS) long before content became king, back when our best option for personalization was a custom color in WordPress. But as our content becomes increasingly sophisticated, so should our solutions for managing, editing, delivering, and measuring that content.

Today, the CMS has evolved to encompass products and platforms that include e-commerce, collaboration, digital marketing, and many other aspects of a company’s online experiences. And while a good CMS used to be a nice bonus to bolster a company’s web presence, these days, choosing a CMS that’s tailored to fit a company’s specific demands can make or break a brand’s digital presence.

So, shopping for a new CMS is a pretty big deal. And with so many options available, it can be tough to make a choice that matches the unique needs of your business while keeping all your team members happy. Here are a few questions to ask when considering a new CMS in order to make the transition as painless as possible.

Content produced in collaboration with Kentico.

What are you hoping to accomplish?

When it comes to choosing a CMS, it can be tempting to choose the platform with the most bells and whistles. But having a ton of features that aren’t relevant to your company’s needs can actually make your CMS more difficult to navigate and less likely to address current pain points.

Before you even start searching for a new CMS, it’s important to meet with your company management and business teams to discuss how, specifically, the CMS will be used across the organization. Make a list of specific goals for your CMS. Is your website focused on lead generation, brand education, e-commerce, or some combination of these functions?

A CMS designed specifically for e-commerce could be difficult to navigate for a team hoping to launch a blog. Creating a wishlist from sales, marketing, and IT can help avoid a rocky transition to a new platform.

Can your CMS cover all aspects of your business?

Most brands have myriad ways of connecting with customers: through online stores, community and forum sites, intranets, marketing landing pages and campaign sites, and blogs, to name a few. If delivering omnichannel experiences to your customers is an important goal for your business, it’s crucial to choose a CMS that not only allows for the creation, management, and use of different types of content but also allows easy access to analytics to determine the effectiveness of that content.

Customers are increasingly eager for experiences with brands on one channel (or device) to carry over into their next interaction. Make sure your CMS facilitates omnichannel experiences by allowing users to manage and monitor every aspect of your brand’s digital presence in order to serve an audience that has come to expect seamless communication.  

Will a new CMS make life easier for everyone?

We’ve all heard grumbles and gripes about outdated CMS platforms that are difficult to use and incompatible with the changing ways businesses interact with customers online. And while the CMS was once primarily the realm of the IT department, more and more marketers and sales teams expect a platform that is tailored to the unique demands of creating content for multiple channels.

An ideal CMS brings teams together with user interfaces (UIs) that are friendly even to those who don’t come from tech backgrounds. As brands focus more and more on providing useful content, easy management, editing, personalization, and measurement of that content is incredibly important. And for companies focused on e-commerce, effectively linking customers to support and sales teams is also critical. Marketing, sales, design, and technology teams are equally valuable parts of a successful company, so your business’s CMS should be equally beneficial to everyone.

How much support will you need to adopt a new CMS?

Change is never easy, and implementing a new CMS will absolutely take some time. Just like you’d never buy a new piece of office equipment that didn’t come with a handbook, it doesn’t make sense to sink money into a new CMS from a vendor that doesn’t provide ample training for your IT and business teams.

When shopping for a new CMS, make sure the vendors you’re considering provide customers with consulting services and an ecosystem of partners that provide support and solutions. Allowing experts to assist in implementing your new system and provide guidance for your future plans can help avoid a protracted trial and error period that leaves your team, and your customers, frustrated.

For more information, you can download ‘How to Choose Your Next CMS’ guide here.

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