How to compare CMS options.

Choose your CMS wisely—learn what to consider when selecting the perfect CMS for your business needs.

How many options are out there?

Content management systems can be divided into three broad categories:

Page-oriented CMSs designed to output HTML web pages

Modified page-oriented CMSs that let publishers remove or switch off functionality used to generate the display of pages (we’ll refer to these as “head-optional CMSs” because the use of internal functionality that presents the content, known as the “head,” is optional)

Headless CMSs, which can deliver all kinds of digital content to any channel, but unlike other CMSs, don’t render the content in a user interface for a specific channel such as a website (we’ll refer to them as “headless-native CMSs” because the body of content is managed separately from the how that content is presented in user interfaces)

Fixed or flexible?

It may seem like a lot of CMSs have the same features, but when you look closer, you’ll find that some features are fixed while others are more flexible. If you end up needing to modify a fixed feature, it can prove to be quite the task. That’s why it’s important to choose a CMS that has more flexibility in its features—it’ll save you time and effort in the long run.

Which category?

The category of CMS you choose will influence how your organization works with content. Each category has an opinion about how content should be managed:

CMS categoryOpinion about content management settingsConfiguration 
Page-orientedPrescriptive: choices predefinedFixed
Head-optionalOptions as exceptionsPartly flexible
Headless-nativeOpen choice: publisher chooses among many optionsFlexible

With so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for your project?

What steps do you need to take?

Choosing the right CMS for your project is crucial and can make or break your online business. Fortunately, there are actionable steps you can take to ensure you make the right decision.

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    Prepare to transform your content operations

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    Compare CMS capabilities

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    Look beyond features

How should you compare CMS capabilities?

One of the first areas to evaluate is content structure and organization. This may not seem like the most thrilling topic at first glance, but trust us, it's crucial. The way your content is structured in the CMS can have a major impact on the types of content and experiences your organization can create and deliver.

Where to start with content structure and organization?

A basic difference in CMSs is whether they rely on templates that fix the content’s structure or whether they enable the publisher to decide the content structure themselves. This can influence the diversity of content the CMS supports.

Want to keep reading?

Get your complimentary copy of How to compare CMS options to learn how you can:

  • Clarify your decision parameters
  • Evaluate content structure and organization, authoring tools, content delivery capabilities, and other CMS areas
  • Decide what you need

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