What NOT To Do When Choosing a CMS

We’ve given tips in previous articles about what to consider when choosing a CMS. Now, let’s take a look at the flip side and consider what NOT to do when choosing a CMS. It’s good to know what to avoid, too, rather than learning the hard way (and the expensive way!). These tips were derived from experiences we’ve seen with organizations in the past that made a few big mistakes in their quest to buy a CMS. Take a lesson from them and do not follow in their footsteps:

Don’t shoot in the dark.

When choosing a CMS, don’t make your decision blindly. Why do you want to buy a CMS? What do you expect to accomplish with a CMS that you can’t do now? Make a list of goals you want to achieve with a CMS; for example, increase productivity to eliminate XX days from the editorial cycle; reduce translation costs by XX%, publish content in XX new languages, or produce XX new deliverables. Based on these goals, you can create your list of requirements that the ideal CMS must have and measure each candidate against this list to help you choose the right system for your needs.

Don’t stick with “the way you’ve always done it”

Why do you want to buy a CMS? Probably because the way you are managing content now isn’t efficient or effective. If writers like a CMS’s interface because it’s familiar (i.e., it’s similar to the tools they’ve been working with), will they really be more productive using a CMS that works like their old tools? You may be exchanging one inefficient method for another. Step out of your comfort zone and explore different ways of working with content to find the most productive system.

Don’t go cheap.

The almighty dollar is often the primary factor in deciding which CMS to buy. But is low cost really the best choice? Will you really get what you need? The old adage, “you get what you pay for” rings true in many cases in the CMS industry. If you buy cheap, your initial CMS purchase price may be lower. But, it may end up costing you more in the long run for customizations, support, or for purchasing a better CMS down the road when you realize the one you originally chose doesn’t cut it. Make the right choice the first time; not the cheap choice.

Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy.