If your business doesn’t have a physical storefront or office, imagine if you were seeking one out and previewing commercial properties. You find a storefront or office, you stand about fifty feet away from the front door, you like what you see and you say, “I’ll take it!” Now, imagine if your business needed a small fleet of trucks and vans. You visit a dealership, you find a van that’s painted your company colors and you say, “I’ll take it!” We imagine that most of you are probably recoiling in horror – who leases an office or storefront without taking a step inside, or considering the amount of square footage required? Who purchases a commercial vehicle without considering the horsepower, gas mileage or interior square footage?

Your Content Management System Is Very Important

As a business owner, you don’t make important decisions about company or professional assets without doing research and coming to an informed decision. That said, how many entrepreneurs understand how a Content Management System (CMS) is used to power their website? It can be just as important to research, as your CMS determines the capabilities and limitations of your website!

What Is A Content Management System?

If you aren’t familiar with the inner workings of the Internet or web design, you may be completely lost as to what a CMS actually is. Fortunately, almost all of us use a laptop and a smartphone, and it’s easy to understand that a CMS works the same way for a website as the operating system and software works to make a laptop or smartphone useful. Without an operating system and software, your personal computing devices would simply be expensive, oddly-shaped bricks. The Internet is powered by powerful computers called servers, and these servers host the software used to create, store, and present websites when a request is submitted by a user – this software is the CMS! While you may think of your website primarily as the graphical elements that are presented on your screen, they are only the “surface” of a complex digital creation, and the brain, backbone, and heart of that creation is the CMS.

Having A Basic Understanding Can Be Helpful

If you are dealing with a competent web design firm, it is not necessary for you to familiarize yourself with every modern CMS platform available. However, having a basic understanding of how CMS platforms work, and what your business will require of your website and CMS now and in the future, can help tremendously when you’re communicating with your designer and expressing what you want and need.

Which CMS Is The Right One For My Business?

Most modern CMS platforms are designed to be both versatile and user-friendly, which can be hugely important if you plan to make superficial or small changes to your website yourself. Most include an application that allows users with limited web design experience to make those changes, while leaving the core components of the website intact. It is important to inform your web designer if you want to utilize a system that is extremely user friendly like WordPress.org or if you will be leaving the management of your site completely up to an experienced web design professional.

Does Your CMS Need To Be Customizable?

Next, it is important to determine if you need a dedicated ecommerce solution built into your CMS, or if you would prefer to utilize a system that can be upgraded in the future to include an ecommerce component. Dedicated ecommerce platforms such as AllProWebTools include a robust set of ecommerce and digital marketing tools, while platforms like WordPress can include third-party ecommerce plugins that provide many of the same tools. A dedicated ecommerce platform is best for businesses that primarily rely on ecommerce to generate revenue, while a different, more customizable platform may be a better option for other businesses.

Will Your CMS Be Storing Sensitive Data?

Finally, it’s important to consider whether or not your website will be utilized to collect, store, and transmit sensitive data. Businesses in certain industries may require a CMS that is designed to incorporate or work well with third-party tools and services that are designed and certified to handle sensitive data. It is important to communicate such requirements early in the design process, as your designer may have to refer you to another firm that specializes in such services.