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6 Must Ask Questions Before Your Website is Developed

December 14, 2020

Your content management system (CMS) is the engine room of your website. It’s where your tools, content, and hosting work together to keep your website humming along steadily. Or, it should. If you’re not invested in your CMS, you run the risk of suddenly finding some bizarre duct-taped solutions that nobody knows how to fix - or run into an exploded boiler that will sink the ship. 

And where plenty of businesses are solely focused on the color scheme, precise language, button placement, and feng shui of their website, you’re going to focus on what matters. 

And we are here to help. 

The following questions will help you address these potential problems with your CMS up front and prevent most of them altogether. Asking these questions to your agency will ensure you’re aware of what’s going on and put you in charge. 

1. How much will my CMS cost me?

The cost of your website is more than just the website design and development. It includes your CMS and anything else not built into the CMS:

  • Hosting
  • User licensing pricing
  • Security features, Backups and Monitoring
  • SSL
  • Support (and the degree of support)
  • Upgrades and Extensions: Forms, CDN, Caching, SEO solutions, performance and image compression
  • Integrations and Automations

...and how do you pay for your CMS?

Are you paying your agency or do you pay the content management service directly? Picking your own CMS and paying them directly has clear benefits. First, you’re not stuck with a CMS you never wanted. Second, if something happens between you and your agency, you still have full control over your website and every part of it; at that point you just park your CMS with another agency. 

2.How easy is this CMS to use?

Please note, you’re not asking your agency’s opinion. You’re asking for yourself. Once you’re in charge of managing and uploading the content, can you do everything you want to do without spending half the week looking for answers? Like most services online, you can try any reputable CMS for free. This lets you click around the interface and see all the options for yourself. You’ll also get an idea of how many third-party tools (i.e. plugins or extensions) you’ll rely on to get the experience you want. 

A related question focuses on those third-party tools. Make sure you understand how many and which plugins the agency will be using to build your website. The usability of a CMS also means you have a clear understanding of how all the pieces of your website come together. 

3. Can you integrate your marketing solutions with your new CMS?

Or, in other words, does the CMS offer any automation capabilities? Working on your website inevitably means using it together with your marketing channels. Ask your agency how your new website will integrate with existing marketing solutions. They might use third-party tools that integrate automatically.  If not, Zapier can automate a lot of your existing processes, but other automations can help you, too. Also ask to see if your new CMS offers auto-indexing and automation capabilities to make your work easier. 

4. How does this CMS keep my website safe?

You should not have to worry about your website’s security on two levels. First, the actual website being hacked - this article does a great job of describing what could happen. And secondly, the backend/server files. This is a security concern through vulnerable plugins or missing security updates or could be as simple as a compromised password. Either way, make sure you know where your CMS stands on this, and if your agency will support you if you were hacked, and at what cost.

The CMS you choose can be your website’s offensive coordinator in the following areas: 

  • Integrated SSL certificates
  • Automatic updates
  • Automatic backups
  • Support (and the degree of support)

When it comes to support, Marketpath CMS is not just there as an emergency service. We’re there when you don’t know how to do something or don’t want to. You can call us when something comes up with your website. If that’s something you want in your CMS, make sure it’s included. 

5. How will the CMS respond to growth?

You don’t just select a CMS based on what you need right now. You should select it based on what you might need in the future. There’s little so disheartening as getting a spike in traffic and seeing how your website cracks under the pressure. And then there are all those future updates, expansions, and extras you’ll want and need to support your business growth. 

You need a CMS that’s ready for your future and can scale with you. When it comes to a CMS, a slim fit doesn’t cut it, and neither does a one-size-fits-all. It’s about being tailored to your size, with easy expansions ready to go. Is your CMS ready for that? 

6. Do a lot of people use this CMS?

Your agency should be able to work with a lot of different CMS platforms, but if they prefer using a very specific one, it could bring problems in the long run. We’ve touched on it before, but there are great advantages to picking your CMS independent of your website agency. With Marketpath, you can rest assured that any agency can pick up where the previous one left off. We don’t use obscure systems or code, and work with well-known tools. 

Better Working With Your Website

Your CMS has a much bigger impact on your website’s functionality and speed than most people initially think. The questions above will help you align your CMS with your wishes, expectations, and future plans. When you work together with an agency, knowing their CMS (or better: bringing your own to the table) can make the difference between getting what you want or forever catching up.

Marketpath CMS: A Fully Managed Content Management System

Marketpath CMS has features built-in, like CDN, image resizing, SSLs, automatic backups, and non-breaking updates, that puts you in full control of your website. Plus, if you or your agency wants to try Marketpath CMS, its free and you have access to our support team if you're in need of advice or have questions. You only pay when the website is live. Save yourself the headache of constantly updating and a slow website by giving Marketpath CMS a try.

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Related Tags: Web Content Management Systems, CMS Features, CMS Comparisons, Website Design, Website Maintenance, Marketing Automation, Small Business, Client Website, Marketing, Agencies

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