by Kevin Kennedy
As a person of Irish heritage, we are getting close to March 17th and one of my favorite days of the year: Saint Patrick's Day. During the next week I’ll start thinking about the Greening of the canal in Indianapolis (where I live), the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, listening to Irish music (Isn’t It Grand Boys and Whiskey In The Jar are a few favorites), and partaking with a few pints of Guinness with some friends.
But since we are still a few days away from the 17th, I’ll have to settle for a Saint Patrick’s Day-themed blog post as a gift to all of you that bring out those “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons once a year. As we all strive to enhance our digital marketing and make our websites more effective, we want a web content management system (CMS) that will support all of our needs and desires, whether those needs be technical or marketing focused. So as you imagine such a solution, what features and characteristics make up your perfect content management system?
The following is a description of a content management solution (CMS), along with its features, that should make us all Green with Envy.
I’ll start with the basics and the easiest item on the list. Yes, ease of use and editing simplicity should be a given when evaluating a web content management platform. But that said, there are a lot systems out there that are not easy to use for the technically challenged. Think of ease of use as the most basic requirement, like wearing green on the 17th.
This capability is a tricky one and one that is certainly subjective. Most systems lean towards satisfying either marketers or developers, but rarely both. Developers want a system that allows them unlimited freedom and complete code control, so they can develop and render output without lots of constraints that most CMS’s put on them. Marketers, on the other hand, want their own freedom to build solutions without having to always rely on developers, as well a CMS with reusable components that allow marketing creativity on a website. Both types of users want flexibility to create and be creative. Think of a system that meets both needs like a Paddy's Day party with both green beer for the one-day-a-year Irish, as well as Guinness, for the true Irishmen and women - a solution that keeps everyone happy!
Nowadays, speed is critical for any serious content management platform, but when you think about speed you should consider three different types of speed. First, you want a solution that has a fast back-end or management interface, so all the work your team does within the tool is as efficient as possible. Second, you want a system that allows you to create fast (user-friendly and SEO optimized), live websites, with the infrastructure and capabilities like fast caching, CDN, and resource optimization. Finally, you want a CMS platform with tools and capabilities like rapid development, code reusability, and import/export that allow your development and marketing teams to build effective websites as quickly and as efficiently as possible, so that you maximize your profits. Finding a content management solution like this, is like finding an Irish Pub on Saint Patrick's Day with no beer lines!
When I evaluate a content management solution, I want one that will help me achieve my goals of creating, managing, and marketing successful and efficient websites, without a bunch of extra, non-value added work. In other words, I don’t want to worry and spend extra time managing technology, including infrastructure, security, upgrades, plugin management, and more. Those activities don’t add value for me. I prefer a fully managed SaaS software that covers infrastructure, security, automatic updates and upgrades, all included for a known monthly fee. Connecting back to my theme, having a fully managed solution, is like having bus to drive my friends and I around on St. Patrick’s Day. All the fun and more, without the worries of driving, parking, or Ubering from pub to pub. If you really enjoy your Irish Holiday, this is the way to go!
Time’s a wastin and I need to finalize my Irish playlist for the bus, so my last characteristic of a CMS to make you Green with Envy is a bit of a catch-all. Content management systems can have lots of bells and whistles, but I’ll just mention three. First, is the solution Decoupled and Headless, allowing the distribution and reuse of content across the web via different applications? Second, does the CMS provide Marketing Automation capabilities allowing your business to improve digital marketing processes and efficiency? Finally, does the content management solution provide Personalization capabilities so that you can provide targeted content and better user experiences? If a CMS can do these three things, chances are it will meet or exceed your expectations. Kind of like when you walk into your favorite Irish Pub on Saint Patrick’s Day and realize the band has come all the way from Dublin to play just for you!
Got any other characteristics of a CMS I should add to my list? If so, please let me know. And if you need any advice on content management solutions or how to spend your Saint Patrick’s Day, give me a yell! And as you part, let me give you an Irish Blessing.
May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.
Kevin Kennedy, Marketpath’s VP Marketing and Professional Services, has been working on business strategy, digital marketing, and website technology for over 20 years. Prior to joining Marketpath in 2009, Kevin worked for Delta Faucet Company, including roles as Director of E-Business, where he led the company's technology strategy, and Director of Interactive Marketing.
Kevin graduated with a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and received his M.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University. In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, Bridget, and their five children, travel, and various sports activities, while also participating on the non-profit boards for The Children's TherAplay Foundation and Juega Como Campeon.