A successful digital agency requires strong channels for communication, both internally and externally. That includes a solid, open-source Content Management System (CMS), software that forms the basis for your company’s website. Not all CMSs are made equal, however, or will be the best fit for your unique needs.
CMSs are vital for digital agencies. They’re flexible and powerful tools for creating websites, given their many customization options and add-ons. Yet they’re almost as easy to use as standard website builders, and are often designed so you can create a unique website without any coding knowledge.
You can get a CMS offered under a regular license, or you can opt for an open-source CMS. Open-source software is made freely available, which allows many developers to contribute to its design. Open-source CMSs are often a superior choice, because they are free, flexible enough to customize and they’re incredibly popular, which means there are a lot of tools you can use and huge communities you can turn to for help.
Opting for a open-source CMS is ideal for most agencies, since you get a powerful platform at no cost and have lots of support options. Of course, not every open-source CMS is created equal, so you’ll want to choose yours carefully. These five factors should be your guiding stars when finding the right website solution for your agency.
Finding a platform that integrates with your daily workflow is vital‚ as is choosing one that’s easy to pick up. While it’s important to remember that every platform has a learning curve at first‚ one that feels confusing or frustrating out of the gate is unlikely to be much better tomorrow
Look to find a platform that you and your team can adapt to quickly. This may mean trying out a few options before settling on your favorite.
Every digital agency has its own style, branding, and goals. Your website must be able to reflect these unique elements. That’s why finding a CMS that you can customize is crucial. A strong CMS includes tools your agency can use to tweak the appearance and features of your website. It will offer themes or templates that enable you to brand your site, and include add-ons that provide extra features and functionality.
Before settling on a CMS, take some time to consider how you’d like your website to look and act. Then do some research to find out if the platform you’re considering makes those things possible.
Even if you have no present plans to scale your business upwards‚ circumstances often change. Your website should be able to grow, adapt, and change alongside your business, so you’ll want to be sure your CMS offers these options from the outset.
The exact areas your solution should be scaleable in will depend on your agency’s needs today‚ and what you anticipate your future growth could look like. In most scenarios, you’ll want the ability to add as much content as you’d like, include additional users‚ incorporate new functionality at will, and connect your CMS to other apps and tools. You’ll also want full access to your site’s files and code.
Assured Stability and Security
You need a platform that performs well, is secure, and is not prone to errors. Otherwise, you’re sure to see a massive dent in your agency’s productivity and efficiency over the long term.
Here, open-source CMSs really have the advantage, since they are constantly being developed and improved. Still, you’ll want to carefully research each potential platform. Read existing user reviews and look for performance reports, and check out how often the CMS is patched and updated. It also helps to choose a solution that’s been around for a while, since that indicates its ability to remain stable and secure over the long term.
Community Support Channels
No matter how easy your chosen CMS is to use, you’ll likely run into problems and have questions on occasion. This is particularly true when you’re first setting up your agency’s website and learning the ins and outs of the software. Therefore, you’ll want access to solid support options, both through the developers and the larger community.
Quality is an important factor here. Every CMS will have various channels for support‚ but not all are created equal. Taking the time to explore the question: “Who would I contact if something went wrong?” before signing up is important. Look not only at the CMS’s official website, but at how many other resources are out there. This can include forums, blogs, dedicated courses, and much more.
Picking the right CMS
Beyond that, you’ll also want to look for an open-source CMS that enables you to create and maintain the precise type of site your agency needs. This can mean looking around for existing sites that already run on the platform, as well as checking out what kinds of add-ons the CMS offers.
While many open-source platforms are quality options, WordPress is the most popular for a reason. It’s built upon years of experience and operation, offers a 5-minute installation process, and requires no coding knowledge. This makes it a solid choice for digital agencies that want to get started right away.
An agency that learns to use an open-source CMS effectively will be able to create a professional, high-quality website and maintain it without trouble. Plus, you’ll be able to customize your site to your exact needs, scale it over time, and have access to plenty of support channels. If you aren’t sure what platform to choose, we recommend checking out WordPress first.
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