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Posted 21st February 2015 by Lawrence McCrossen

When we initially discuss website development, either with a designer or a client directly, we follow a process that we adapt to our client’s circumstances. Whether you are creating company website for the first time, upgrading due to business evolution, or redesigning, there will be a number of key elements to address:

  1. Choice of a Content Management System (CMS)
  2. Bespoke design or template driven
  3. SEO objectives
  4. Hosting requirements

CMS

In this article we talk about the choice a Content Management System (CMS).

The CMS is a database-driven system that empowers non-technical users to update content – posting new articles, images, video without the need to access the actual code that runs the site. This obviously has cost and convenience benefits over the process in days gone by of requiring a website developer or grappling with HTML code to make the simplest of updates.

Of course structural changes to will still technical expertise in configuring the CMS, and additional modules will require programming expertise.

The selection of CMS will largely determine the capabilities of your website. Once completed it will require almost a full re-development of the site in order to switch to an alternative CMS. Hence the suitability of the CMS requires careful consideration up-front.

The question is which CMS do you choose? It can seem like there are almost as many different CMS’s as there are websites!

Like any other software built for a purpose, the same questions of general functionality, ease of use, longevity, cost, support apply.

The criteria we consider are:

  1. How well can the design of your website be implemented? This is one reason why we at The Bridge always like to be in communication with designers early on in the project
  2. Is the CMS free, Open Source or commercial licensing? What type of support can you expect – helpdesk, community forums etc.
  3. Somewhat related to this is the backend language used eg ASPX, PHP, MS SQL, MySQL. The available skillset of your developer is obviously important here
  4. Usability – do you like using it?
  5. Ease of development or interface with existing systems/databases. Again this more a question for your developer, and will be important if you have future plans for incorporating a lot more functionality into the site
  6. Built-in functionality such as ecommerce, comments or forums, wiki, blogging. An obvious point in considering the cost of delivering the functionality you want

Once you have chosen the CMS you have the basis for the all the future development and maintenance of your site and you will be able to start the design process. We will cover the options for design in the next blog in this series.

If you’d like to discuss your choice of CMS with us at no cost or obligation, feel free to call Lawrence on 02 9993 3300 or email lawrence@thebridgedigital.com.au