For any business, year-end is the perfect time to review and reflect on the year behind in order to learn lessons and also set actionable resolutions to enhance the path forward.
n this post our focus is on the CMS website development space which has become an utter mess. While operating in this industry for more than a decade, we have talked with a large number of clients. From those conversations we have learnt that this unregulated industry is aflood with companies who don’t even have adequate skills.
As a consequence, hiring CMS development services becomes a daunting task and might accompany the risk of losing your entire budget if you collaborate with a wrong partner.
We do not want you to be taken for a ride ever! So, start with these following resolutions whenever you consider your next CMS development project in 2018 and beyond.
Resolve to make an educated and fact-oriented decision
Learning is the necessary prerequisite for making an educated and informed decision. Therefore, before you undertake any project you would need to learn. Are you thinking about downloading couple of white papers and setting up few calls with consultants? Then, we are afraid, you are absolutely wrong!
To learn and become educated takes much more than that; it demands time to evaluate your business needs and determination to discover answers to the questions that you have without any bias.
Learning is all about becoming the expert about CMS options at your organization and getting equipped to make an informed decision about the best route forward. It isn’t about making calls to CMS development companies or selecting one that probably gave you the best presentation. Rather it is diving deep into the ocean of knowledge instead of surfing on the waves.
How do you start educating yourself about CMSs? Well, we suggest three key areas to focus on:
#1 CMS architecture
When we mention CMS architecture, it is not about the appearance of the user interface rather the technological architecture of the software. So, this would mean that you should learn about “decoupled” or “headless” CMS. Also you must understand words like “integrated” and “monolithic” in the context of CMS. In other words, you should understand how the content is created, catalogued and then distributed.
Just like the architecture of a building, the architecture of software is highly crucial because a flawed foundation can make it crumble.
Interested to know about decoupled architecture, decoupled Drupal and its benefits? Then click here!
Technology, undoubtedly, is the major deciding factor for an organization; however, not often all the right reasons are considered. More often than not, a platform is chosen without any legitimate reasoning just because that platform is the most used one.
We suggest, you spend your maximum time researching and learning in this area because the choice made in this area would determine the success or failure of your project.
#3 Upfront and ongoing costs
Being an outsourcing CMS development agency in India we have seen our clients making the same mistake again and again while making an attempt in understanding the true economics of any platform.
All software has costs which can be divided into 3 parts:
- Upfront costs like license fees;
- Implementation fees like design and development; and
- Ongoing costs such as hosting, management, monitoring and maintenance.
In addition to all these costs you must include the cost of continuous improvement otherwise you would incur the risk of stagnation for your website or application.
Hence, you must investigate all these and perform a thorough research to find out what will be the costs of each platform.
For instance, many customers get excited about WordPress as it is free with zero license fees. Even marketing teams of large corporations are more than happy to ditch licensed software to take a dive into the open-source world. Do they really understand the true cost?
Resolve to challenge the status quo
The CMS space is besieged with many technologies that are already obsolete. Have you ever thought of questioning the establishment?
WordPress, the largest player, is dominating the web CMS space by powering almost 40 percent of the websites out there. Have you ever wondered why it is the most popular player by far?
Is it the most secure and scalable platform? Is it because of its architecture? Or is it because of performance?
Perhaps, none of the above! In fact, the popularity of WordPress is mostly driven by comfort. It is always good to know that you are not alone and in case, things go wrong, you would get the support of a large community of developers and users.
Furthermore, it is fast allowing you to get started with your site within an hour. Also its pricing is another reason that this technology is so ubiquitous. However, remember that popularity is not an indicator of usefulness or efficiency!
Therefore, do resolve to dig deeper and watch out for the newer CMS solutions around. Also, make it a point to evaluate the actual reasons why one platform is the preferred solution. Compare your business requirements against the features and functionalities offered by the CMS solution. And then logically decide the right fit for your particular situation.
Resolve to future-proof your content
No, we don’t want you to visit a tarot card reader! What we mean is that while you research CMS platforms just do a little forward thinking and ponder where this platform will take you down the line. How your business would adapt through the wear and tear of time along with this CMS?
If you skip this step then you might have to resort to CMS migration in future which will be a huge headache. This is because traditional coupled CMS and infrastructure doesn’t allow you to deliver customized experiences to different customer segments.
Decoupled CMS, on the contrary, delivers content via an API (usually RESTful JSON API) which means that you are empowered to deliver your content anywhere and on any device.
So, it is high time to contemplate the future and look for options to distribute your content via multiple channels. You can collaborate with our team of CMS development specialists and discuss on how to future-proof your content by focusing on future tech advancements and other monetization strategies.
Resolve to weigh risk versus reward
Being professionally active in the CMS space for more than a decade, we would like to give a piece of advice to our potential clients. It is that you must carefully evaluate risk versus reward and please do not underestimate the importance of this concept.
Before collaborating with a CMS development company make sure that you have done your homework. Firstly, utilize your personal and professional network by making them aware of your needs in a precise manner. You can also leverage the power of social media channels to find your potential CMS development partner. Finally, do some adequate research on search engines and zero in on few brands.
Once you have shortlisted them, here’s what to consider prior to hiring them:
- Fully understand your project requirements so that you are able to define your needs precisely to the company you are going to hire.
- Dig deep into the previous projects done by your potential partner and find out if they have a proven track record.
- Ask them if they would provide you with a dedicated project manager; it might appear no big deal but in fact it could make or break your project. We at Helios understand the gravity of how cultural differences, though subtle, can bring huge communication gaps. Therefore, we have international project managers on board to facilitate effective communication.
- Try to establish a balance between quality and cost. Your website or web app would be the face of your business, so it would be unwise to compromise with the quality. At the same time, seek competitive rates from your potential partner.
- Look for a company that is keen on long-term partnership because you would require ongoing improvements to stay relevant in your industry.
Resolve to question the typical CMS cycle
More often than not, when you consider website redesign, you discover that it would be easier to begin with a fresh CMS installation rather than migrating your existing site to the latest version.
Wondering why this happens? Well, to begin with, most of the CMSs out there are built to handle various use cases and thus limit the front-end capabilities. Therefore, when you would custom design your website, you would want your CMS to handle the new layout but only to discover that they are incompatible.
You would find that, over the years, plugins, extensions or modules have already changed and if you go for a new vendor then just stay assured of a new installation. This is obvious because nobody quite wants to deal with someone else’s work in which they were not involved.
In fact, often the CMS installation comes with the issue of technical debt which usually occurs when you choose an easier and faster pathway rather than using a better approach that would have taken longer. Hence, after using the CMS for a couple of years you would need to spend money on small and incremental improvements which if not taken care of then lead to redevelopment.
This typical CMS cycle needs to be challenged if you want your CMS to survive two or more branding-oriented redesigns. Hence, instead of choosing a traditional coupled CMS that is tightly integrated with the front-end, you must choose a decoupled CMS entirely separated from the user experience.
By adopting headless CMSs, you can easily focus on innovative design as well as clean and future-proof content as all the garbage from the installation is already removed.
Therefore, in 2018 when you plan a CMS web development investment, keep in mind that the typical CMS cycle can be broken by embracing new technology with a willingness to adapt to change.
Resolve to be unique
This point is quite similar to breaking the CMS cycle but it is about the user experience. It’s high time you resolve to make a significant difference when it comes to user experience.
Resolve not to become a part of this era of “sameness” and become stagnant. The good news is that the front-end technology available today is better than ever before. Still sameness is rampant because it’s cheaper, easier and faster to obey the rules and keep in line with everyone.
Even our clients in order to play safe seldom ask for web designs that are edgy! Our CMS development experts always love to move the needle and accomplish goals at the same time. It’s true that creativity doesn’t come for free, being unique does incur cost.
Many businesses would like to put that money towards other business initiatives and end up stalling behind the game.
Therefore, your New Year resolution must be to stand out amongst the crowd in 2018 by being unique and coming up with a brand new user experience for your business website.
By now you might have realized how crucial it is to challenge our current thinking and existing CMS technologies in 2018. Going with the flow could risk stagnation and could be deleterious for your business.
Are you ready to challenge the status quo in 2018? Then, we are just what you are looking for – a bunch of enthusiastic techies with a proven track record of client satisfaction.
How has been your experience with CMS website development, so far? Let’s start a conversation; please be the first to leave your comments below.