Sparks from a sparkler

Do you love your CMS?

It is no surprise where my inspiration for this blog came from, having just celebrated Valentine’s Day. Do you love your content management system (CMS) as it is? Are you hoping you can make it more compatible to your needs, or are you contemplating breaking up with it?

I doubt that anyone would say they are in the perfect relationship with their CMS and, to be honest, the perfect CMS doesn’t exist (which is why there are so many versions out there).

So how do you find the CMS that matches your needs? Just like eHarmony and Match.com, there are tools available to help get you started.

  • Review papers from information technology and advisory companies such as Gartner (Gartner Magic Quadrant Report) and Forrester (The Forrester Wave).
  • Research websites you like using BuiltWith to see how they were developed and which CMS is supporting them.
  • Compare multiple CMS features using CMS Matrix to see a snapshot comparison.

If you find yourself struggling with information overload, then there is the traditional method of finding a good relationship: that is the personal reference, or matchmaker. Just like Will Smith in the movie Hitch, there are experts who can provide an unbiased approach and recommend how you should best proceed.

CMS experts typically have relationships with different CMS vendors and can help setup demos tailored to your business needs. They also understand the product roadmap and how that will impact you in the short- or long-term. Sometimes an unbiased expert who’s not politically influenced by your organization’s culture or the vendors themselves can be a big help.

Here’s a basic process to find the right CMS match for you:

  1. Document your user personas (internal and external)
  2. Document your business requirements
  3. Document your budget (six month, 1 year)
  4. Choose three recommended platforms (minimum)
  5. Schedule product demos (two hours minimum per vendor)
  6. Map your requirements to product features
  7. Write up your selection recommendation

Just like matchmaking, there is a proven strategy to finding the right CMS. The question is, are you ready to find the right match for your organization?