Do your homework before choosing a CMS

Toby Ward discusses what to look for when shopping for a content management system.

Toby Ward discusses what to look for when shopping for a content management system

Looking for a content management system for your Web operation? Remember the adage about the cart and the horse: plan carefully and put first things first.

Most often simply called CMS, content management systems offer suites of tools that simplify the process of publishing and managing news articles, photos and product information to the Web. The universe of products is large, ranging from enterprisewide solutions for Web sites that attract hundreds of thousands of users on a typical day to scaled-down programs aimed at specific business and publishing niches.

If you’re serious about communicating on the Web, experts say you probably need some sort of CMS. But the systems can be pricey, and how do you know which one is right for your shop?

At’s recent Web Management conference in Raleigh, N.C., Toby Ward, president & CEO of Prescient Digital Media offered some tips that can make the process easier and highlighted some traps to avoid.

Make a new plan, Stan. The right CMS depends on what you need the system to do. Companies that manage lots of traffic or have complex application integration or search needs may be better off looking at portal management systems, which offer robust end-to-end Web management tools.

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