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How to Choose the Best CMS for Your Business

by Savannah Lyons, on Mar 24, 2021 2:39:58 PM

Content is king.

Understand the “why.”

Content management systems are crucial to your inbound marketing efforts and support your team in achieving business goals. 

Okay, so maybe that last one doesn’t have a ring to it, but it’s equally important. A CMS (not to be confused with CRM, SEO, or CSS) platform is the key to successfully creating, managing, and streamlining content on your website. Let’s start from the beginning.

What is a CMS?

A content management system, or CMS, is a software application empowering users to develop, manage, and modify a website — without requiring technical knowledge like coding or HTML. Users customize the design and functionality of their website by purchasing plug-ins and templates. Another bonus? Multiple users can access the backend at the same time to maximize efficiency.

Essentially, a CMS provides a solid foundation, structure, and tools to make the modifications and renovations you need. Instead of building the house from the ground up, jump straight to choosing the color of the shutters. Fun, right?

But before we dig into the details, let’s draw a distinction between a website builder and a CMS platform.

What’s the difference between a CMS platform and a website builder?

Website Builders

A website builder is a simple, digital hosting platform to display your portfolio or provide relevant information about your business. Perfect for restaurants, creators, and small businesses, a website builder empowers anyone with an internet connection to quickly launch a website. 

While users focus on digital content and design for their site, the hosting platform handles important tasks, like security and maintenance, behind the scenes. 

Website builders are great for simple, effective websites. But if you need advanced features and complex customization, you’ll need an agile system that scales with your business. 

Examples of website builders include:

  • Shopify*
  • Squarespace
  • Weebly
  • Wix

*Shopify is the only website builder we use here at Sauce — and for good reason!  Shopify offers a robust platform that seamlessly integrates with HubSpot and enhances any online store’s inbound marketing capabilities. Our neighbor in Downtown Memphis, Stock&Belle, is a  beautiful example of a Shopify website.

CMS Platform

CMS platforms afford users total control and customizability. Your website launch will take more time, but the payoff is a website that grows and expands with your company. CMS platforms are best for large businesses, schools, and companies with a high volume of users. 

A CMS platform isn’t the right choice for your business if you don’t continuously add content to your website. Remember to focus on who is responsible for launching your website. With a CMS builder, you’re responsible for finding a host, conducting site maintenance, backing up content, handling security, and managing plugins.

Examples of CMS platforms include:

  • CRM Hub by HubSpot
  • Drupal
  • Shopify
  • WordPress

CMS Platform vs. Website Builder comparison chart

How to choose a CMS

Different businesses have different needs. But when it comes to choosing a CMS platform, all decision-makers need to focus on four key criteria: accessibility, customizability, security, and pricing.

Accessibility 

Ease of use is paramount. Anticipate learning curves and prepare a clear, direct learning plan for collaborative creation. After everything falls into place, you’ll enjoy a streamlined and straightforward website management experience.

Your CRM needs to work with you, not against you. Prioritize a CRM that supports core technical requirements, offers flexibility, and integrates with your existing tech stack. Think about your team; how do they use your website now? How does a CRM streamline and improve their autonomous workflow? Can international visitors understand and navigate your website? A CRM is more than a website builder—it’s your most valued marketing tool and employee.

Customizability 

The right CMS platform provides a plethora of creative templates and opportunities to achieve your business goals. Most platforms provide easy access to a template library, but it takes expert graphic designers to adapt and build the website your business needs. Customized template designs paired with sharp coding skills make your website clear, accessible, and memorable.

Choose plugins and add-ons that are safe, efficient, and easy to use. Additions to your website need to provide value to your team and your visitors, not friction and frustration. Instead of maintaining the website, a healthy CMS enables your team to spend time creating and driving intended results instead of wasting time updating and sustaining.

Security 

Beautiful homes need powerful locks. Don’t build a digital home for your business without the right security to protect and preserve. CMS platforms are open-source software, which means folks with bad intentions can take a peek at your website’s source code and investigate until they find a weak spot to take advantage of. 

“Time and time again, I’ve seen businesses—large and small—take a risk with the security of their website and learn the hard way. Hackers don’t discriminate based on business size. The reason we have robust security and backups built into our hosting is that I experienced this firsthand with a very small mom-and-pop shop the day after the website launched. I vowed to never again let one of our clients experience downtime or loss of business because of something that could be so easily protected against.”

Kim Garmon Hummel, Sauce Boss

Installing proper security protects you and your website’s visitors from malicious hackers. Be proactive about combating cyberattacks to prevent loss of money, time, and positive reputation.  Think of your website’s security package as an insurance policy. In the end, it’ll cost less than choosing not to pay for security at all.

Pricing

Most CRM platforms are free to start with various paid services, like web hosting, third-party extensions, and design templates. It’s up to you and your team to decide which services bring value and warrant the cost. The best approach is to research a CRM’s details, reviews, and costs before committing. Generally, prices range from $10 to $40 per month.

Create, Manage, Grow

At the end of the day, investing in CMS software is much more than just automating content creation. You need an intuitive, collaborative, and efficient powerhouse that supports your website, content, team, and behind-the-scenes operations.

Remember, your CMS should be:

  • Flexible and compatible with your existing tech stack
  • Accessible for multiple users at the same time
  • Extremely secure, quick, and always available
  • Supportive of team members to work autonomously

Ready to find the right content management system for your business?

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Topics:Digital MarketingHubSpot