How to increase content team productivity with your CMS
Supercharge your content editors by choosing a productivity-boosting CMS.
So you’re in the market for a new CMS to improve your productivity and remove friction? Congrats! You're about to become your web editors’ favourite person. The right CMS will help your team create and manage better content in a fraction of the time, saving them energy and a few grey hairs along the way.
Here we’ve rounded up our top tips for choosing, implementing and revamping a CMS for unbeatable productivity.
Make sure to choose the right CMS for your organisation with our checklist:
Shave minutes off every task with intuitive navigation that turns multitasking into child’s play. With the right CMS, you can easily see different content types and handle content items through e.g. a tree navigation system familiar from operating systems. Navigating between visual production and code-based production should also be a given.
Finding the right images, videos, or blog posts can be the biggest time drain when it comes to producing content. A powerful search function should allow you to filter by content types and dates, and be fuzzy as well. This way, the search will help your web editors filter out irrelevant results, and get to the good stuff in seconds.
The best CMS will let you drag and drop the images you need from your hard drive straight into the system. Not only that, but with a good image handling feature, you can edit pics just as easily. Flip, rotate, crop, and even setting a focal point—a productivity-boosting CMS should support them all.
To web editors, keyboard shortcuts are like a second language. A CMS should allow your team to use tab, arrow keys, and shortcuts to navigate through the interface for superfast editing. It's a bonus if the shortcuts are familiar from operating systems as well.
Boost your team’s collaboration with issue management. Whether an editor needs a proofreader or some technical support, they can reach out to the relevant people by assigning a team member to the issue inside the CMS. There's one thing to have external communication platforms, but having one internally in the content management system will point your teammates directly to the relevant content items, context, and history.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many CMSs or legacy platforms still don’t let you edit on-the-go. Having a fully responsive CMS cannot be overstated. Being able to quickly and painlessly edit from the palm on your hand when needed can for instance save potentially brand damaging situations from unfolding.
Web editors shouldn’t need coding skills to be able to create new content. A CMS should let them whip up a new page or a piece of content in an instant thanks to drag and drop layouts, text components, and fragments like buttons or video lists.
Third-party marketing tools
Marketing tools are created to make web editors’ lives easier. Let your team make the most of them with a CMS loaded with safe and tested integrations—of everything from analytics and website health optimisers to CRM and payment solutions.
The ability to duplicate content—whether it’s a single image or an entire site—is a surefire way to boost your team’s productivity. With the click of a button a great CMS should let you decide whether you want to duplicate an entire hierarchy of content children, or not.
With a CMS, your web editors should get a full view of the structure of a website, including all the internal references between your content and images. Both inbound and outbound links to any given content item should be featured, making it easier for your content team to remove or prevent 404s and other unfortunate effects of content reorganisation.
Access and roles management
Managing who gets access to what can be a minefield. Cue access and roles management. A great CMS will make it easy for you to switch roles, edit permissions, re-assign people, or revoke access. An even greater CMS also lets you separate different digital projects, like a corporate site, a blog, and an intranet, into different repositories—each with their own set of allowed users.
Many organisations have an international presence and thus require digital experiences in different languages. Being able to swiftly cater to the needs of different content teams in different geographies is a surefire way to delight your editors.
Intuitive help texts
Helpful messages and labels guide your editors as they get to grips with a new CMS, helping them avoid roadblocks and navigate the platform faster.
A great CMS features an interface to configure the solution within a secure, but still flexible framework, without the need to be technical or have extensive knowledge of programming.
The ability to embed rich web content anywhere is an essential part of a truly dynamic digital experience, and the good news is that they don’t have to be complicated to manage. Work with your developers to create macros that simplify embedding HTML in your rich text editor.
Reduce the number of page templates
Having too many templating options will confuse your editors when they want to stylise their content. Instead, give your site a spring clean and reduce the clutter to supercharge your team’s workflow.
Upgrade your CMS
Never pass up an upgrade—updating your CMS can help you access more features and get rid of any niggling bugs. Being left behind can not only mean a more sluggish system, but also be a security risk. So make sure to pester your developers about levelling up.
Read more: 4 Reasons why your digital experience platform must be agile and flexible »
Make a cheat sheet
Every team is different. Observe how your editors work to discover their system logic. With this knowledge, you can create a cheat sheet that bypasses common pain points and helps everyone work more efficiently.
Always ask for support
If something’s not working, do something about it. Always report performance issues to the right people and work together to find a solution. If you have access to paid support, this should be the preferred channel for most tasks, but if you don't have such access, try to figure out whether the vendor, partner, or other actors offer a community forum.
Make your own customisations
Your CMS probably offers more customisations than you first thought. Work with tech-savvy colleagues to tailor your system to your team.
Bonus: Implement ContentOps principles
You can make the operations of your CMS that more effective if you enact a change to culture and mindset as well. One modern content production principle is ContentOps—content operations. ContentOps aims to improve the collaboration between people, process, and technology, thus bettering the one thing that all editors care deeply about—creating engaging content.
First published 7 August 2019, updated 11 August 2021.