Whether you’re running an online business or an old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar store, you need to get a website up and running to attract more customers. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure that you choose the right Content Management System (CMS) to host and manage your website.
A CMS is a software made of different programs that allow you to create, schedule, publish, and manage your website and its content. Many of the CMS websites now even include web hosting among its features.
Benefits of using a CMS
Coding’s no longer a requirement
Back then, the only way you can create a website is through HTML coding. If you don’t know, you’ll need to hire a web developer to create, update, and maintain this for you. The thing is, web and software developers don’t come cheap.
With a CMS, you can design the way your website looks and functions even if you don’t know how to code. All you got to do is to choose a template, tweak it, and install the different plugins you need, and you’re set.
Your website is mobile-friendly
Since Google launched its mobile first indexing, it’s now a must to make sure that it’s easy to navigate through your website and read your content on mobile devices.
Most—if not, all—of the CMS platforms available have already updated their software to meet this requirement. Also, all the templates they provide are responsive. That means they automatically adjust depending on the screen size of the device your target audience is using.
Optimize your website for search engines
Another benefit of using a CMS platform is it also guides you on how to properly optimize your web pages, blog posts, and other content types. This is crucial because it’ll increase the chances of your target customers to find your website when they search on Google.
If you’re working with a team, you wouldn’t want all of them to have the same access to your website’s back-end as you. You can specify on your CMS what access level will you grant to the different members of your team so that they can get their respective jobs done.
Choosing the right CMS platform
1. Opt for a web-based CMS platform
Although you can have someone create a custom CMS for your website, it’ll be a better option for you to go with one of the CMS platforms you’ll find online.
For starters, you’ll be dependent on that person or company to maintain and update your CMS. If they go out of business, you’re left out in the cold.
Also, the price of a custom-built CMS is more expensive than what you’ll pay for a web-based CMS.
2. Ability to scale with you
As your business grows, you’d want to add additional features to your website. Make sure that the CMS you decide to go with will allow you to do all of these without you having to pay more for their service.
3. Capable of omnichannel marketing
This is essential if you want to get the widest possible reach for each content you publish. There are now so many channels available to your target customers to use to find and consume content. Choose a CMS platform that’ll allow you to distribute your content to those channels your customers frequent.
4. Reliable customer support
Of the different things to consider, this is perhaps the most important.
No CMS is perfect, so you’ll need assistance now and then. The last thing you’d want is finding out that the CMS website that you’ve chosen to use provides hardly any help.
Review sites like Capterra and CMSWire can help prevent this from happening. Here, you’ll find feedback from current users of the CMS platform you’re looking at about their customer service and other features.
5. An interface that matches your technical skills
Here’s a surprising fact: all CMS’ interfaces are user-friendly.
What sets one apart from the other is how well it matches your technical skills. If you’re a complete beginner or a visual person, a CMS that has a drag-and-drop user interface would be the best option for you because it requires very little technical know-how. At the same time, you’ll also get to see how your website’s taking shape.
6. Allows you to automate workflow processes
Managing your website is essential, but it isn’t the only task that you got on your plate. Getting a CMS that includes marketing automation features will help you get the job done faster. At the same time, you can track and monitor the progress of your marketing campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not.
Now that you know what to look at when choosing a CMS platform for your website, here are some of the top ones that you can choose from.
WordPress is the platform used by 24% of all websites on the Internet, including ThriveGlobal.
Because of its popularity, the majority of third-party plugins and apps available today seamlessly integrates with this CMS. The downside is that it can be quite overwhelming to choose which plugin or app to include on your website.
Since the platform’s one of the oldest CMS platforms, it can take a while for you to get the hang of using this, even if you’re using a ready-made theme. This can be quite frustrating, especially if you’re a complete beginner.
2. Spark CMS
Spark CMS is one of the newest kids on the block. Still, it’s a CMS platform worth looking at, especially if you’re looking for one that’s easy to use and on your budget.
One of the most significant advantages of this CMS platform is that you can start a professional looking website complete with the fundamental components for free.
It’s got a library filled with responsive design templates you can use to create landing pages as well as different parts of your website so that it comes out just how you envision it.
Another advantage is its pricing plans. While you’ll need to pay more to get access to more features, the price difference isn’t that steep. So, you can quickly scale your website’s features along with your business without affecting your net profit.
3. HubSpot CMS
HubSpot’s CMS is designed specifically for businesses looking to use inbound and content marketing strategies to promote their brands and products.
In addition to the standard features you’ll find in most CMS websites, HubSpot’s CMS also allows you to research and develop your entire content marketing strategy in one place.
It also gives recommendations on how to properly optimize your website and the content you publish here for search engines.
Lastly, it allows you to schedule posts to be published on different social media accounts the moment your brand-new post goes live.
One of the downsides to this CMS is its hefty price tag, which can set you back a whopping $300/month!
And since this CMS was specifically designed with inbound and content marketers in mind, it can also be quite complicated for a beginner to figure out and make use of its full potential.
SquareSpace is a CMS platform that has a very clean and straightforward interface. Its drag-and-drop editor makes it easy for someone without any background creating a website.
At the same time, it allows you to customize the CSS and HTML codes on the templates using their What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. This is great if you know a bit of coding and want more control over how your website will look.
SquareSpace’s CMS will even generate your content’s metatags and metadata. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can manage them. Also, it doesn’t give you anyway on how to check the SEO of your blog posts and web pages, so you’ll need to do this manually. Loganix’s SEO services are quite comprehensive and can help you make sure your website ranks favorably on Google.
Wix’s CMS most significant selling point is that it gives you full freedom to design and create a website just the way how you like it to look and work. You can do all of this through their drag-and-drop editor.
At the same time, it has built-in email marketing and live-chat features that allow you to quickly connect and engage with your visitors and convert them into customers.
They do offer a free plan, but it comes with a catch: Wix will promote ads on your website. Some don’t mind while others may find this annoying. The only way to get rid of this and have access to many of their key features is by upgrading to one of their paid plans.
The disadvantage to using Wix is that you can only make changes and updates on your desktop or laptop because this feature isn’t available on the CMS’ mobile version.
Also, if you’ll need to contact their customer support, you’re only given two options: sending an email through their ticketing system or by talking to an agent over the phone. This can be a potential problem if you’re living outside the US.
Subscribing to a CMS platform is just like buying a pair of shoes. Just because it looks stylish and fits doesn’t mean that it’s meant for you. You got to see if you’re comfortable wearing them.
Each of the CMS platforms we’ve looked at here has its set of pros and cons. Carefully review them using the tips shared here.
At the end of the day, the best blogging platform for your business is the one that you’ll find easy to use, within your budget, and contains all the features that you need now and in the near future.