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7 signs that it’s time to change your CMS

Siw Grinaker on

There are a lot of signs that you might be in desperate need of a new CMS. Here are seven.

Are your developers or editors are becoming frustrated by the limitations of your current CMS? Is your company running into issues and bottlenecks that are preventing you from delivering the best possible customer experience? Maybe your current content management system lacks flexibility. In either way, here are 7 sureshot signs it's time to change CMS:

1) The system lacks flexibility

Perhaps the worst thing a developer can say is: “Our CMS doesn’t let us implement this”. After all, a CMS that can’t handle the continuous deployment of new code isn’t just frustrating, it’s not fit for purpose. Your CMS should be able to handle anything you throw at it, with the ability to scale seamlessly with your business’ growth or evolving strategy. Instead of looking for workarounds and compromises that lack efficiency, look for a CMS that is customisable and embraces open technology.

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2) It no longer adds value

If your CMS can’t add value by generating revenue, your digital team can’t deliver content and services to support your business. That means there’s a real chance you’re missing out on a key opportunity to stay ahead of your competition. Continuous investment in an outdated system is definitely not the answer, and will only stand in the way of your revenue goals.

3) Publishing content takes too long

You and your colleagues might make a dream team when it comes to editing content, but what’s the point if your CMS can’t keep up? No part of the content creation process should be a hassle, whether it’s selecting and uploading images to go along with the text, previewing the content in different channels, or kicking off a workflow. A modern content management system will offer features designed to speed up the publishing process, like a highly flexible UI for editors.

UI flexibility enables a company to make content management more effective and intuitive, fine tune every single page, and create the most responsive landing pages. Modern systems also help to streamline the image handling process, allowing the creation of a variant of an image on the fly, and removing the burden of manually cropping and scaling images when reusing them across content and landing pages.

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4) Limited mobile support

If you need two separate tools just to publish content to both desktop and mobile, you need a new CMS. On average users spend 69% of their media time and 80% of social media time on a mobile device. So mobile is more than just important, it’s essential. That’s why you need a system that acknowledges the importance of mobile instead of ignoring it or treating it as an afterthought. Using two separate systems for publishing content to mobile and desktop is unsustainable, and wastes a lot of valuable time on both the content and developer side, basically doubling their work.

5)  The vendor isn’t keeping up

Agility is the name of the game if you’re going to stay head of the competition and deliver the best possible experience for your customers. And if your CMS provider isn’t agile, then you can’t be either. You need a system that’s constantly being developed and improved to meet a digital space that’s transforming, and transforming fast. Any CMS vendor worth their salt will listen to customer input on any new functionality.

There’s also massive changes on the technology side with the rise of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and a focus on delivering services and not just marketing websites.

6) Lacks marketing tools integrations

No CMS in existence can do everything in a hefty one-size-fits-all solution. But if your current CMS both lacks modern marketing functionality and the possibility to integrate with amazing marketing tools, you know you're in trouble. In other words, you should find a CMS that can integrate all those useful add-ons—analytics, automation, lead nurturing, SEO, and so on. The result will be a future-proof CMS that’s tailored for your team and your customers.

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7) Missing headless capabilities

The digital world of today and tomorrow is certainly different than yesterday. Before you might have had a website and maybe an app—and that was it. Today the focus is shifting to the re-use of content across multiple channels, like web, mobile, wearables, signage, IoT, and more.

So, when your developers are building rich web front-ends, your CMS should support a headless architecture. "Headless" designates a split between content and presentation, and where your traditional CMS blends these two, a headless CMS splits them up. Given that a pure headless CMS delivers a limited set of features for handling websites, you should really look for a hybrid CMS. This sort of magic combines all the advantages of traditional systems with the advantages of headless—you can create and preview content like in a traditional CMS, while simultaneously sending the content to other channels via an API.

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Taking strong steps down the path of digital transformation will be essential for your company’s success, but it will require you to invest in a system that enables, rather than restricts, the delivery of amazing digital experiences for your customers. A flexible, scalable and user friendly CMS will be the foundation on which you create, manage and publish quality content and build fully integrated digital experiences and services for your customers.

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Originally published 4 June, 2018. Updated and republished 14 October, 2019

Frequently asked questions

What is a CMS?

A content management system organises content and provides it in various formats, like a website or an app.

How does a CMS work?

A user adds information to a database through a GUI, which are fetched by template code and published as e.g. a web page.

What types of CMS exist?

Three main types exist: a traditional CMS combines content and presentation, a headless CMS separates the two, while a hybrid CMS makes it optional.

How to choose a CMS?

Consider the requirements of your organisation: your audience channels, your budget, self-hosting vs. cloud, and the UX of the CMS.

Topics: 
cms
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