Pragmatic CMS Advice to Build On

On the eve of the CM Pros Summit and the Gilbane Conference on Content Management (both in Boston this week) here are a few bits of foundational advice from The CMS Myth. If you find yourself right now within 100 miles of a web CMS implementation project, consider this a quick reality check for you and your team.

  •  “Content management” is a business process and a discipline; CMS is a software tool. You need both. But don’t equate one with the other. 
  • If you haven’t established a clear and coherent web strategy, get one. If you don’t have a strategy, don’t get a CMS. A CMS is not a web strategy.
  • A CMS doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a central part of a diverse website ecosystem. It’s frequently the glue that holds together website/marketing/analytics/other software and applications (e.g. ExactTarget, Google Analytics, CRM systems, etc.) So, think beyond the CMS.
  • Plan ahead and document your plans for your web CMS. And when you’re done, plan some more. There’s no such thing as too much planning before you tackle a CMS project. 
  •  All vendors say their CMS is easy to use. If you buy that, then also be prepared to invest in user training and mentoring – and potentially lots of it.
  • You’ve probably spent way too many hours (months?) researching CMS features, price, and other criteria. Sick of sifting through RFP responses and feature matrix comparisons? Turn instead to trusted market observers (e.g. CMSWatch, Forrester, Gartner, Gilbane) who’ve done the heavy lifting and can deliver a valid short list of CMS systems that would meet your needs. 

 

About the Author
David Aponovich

A former 'CMS Insider,' David is relentlessly focused on the gap between vendor speak and customer adoption. In addition to keeping a keen eye on industry trends, he works with clients on the cultural and process implications of CMS that are so often overlooked. David wrote for the CMS Myth during his time working at Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design).

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