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what's important in a cms product?

The whole concept that Content Management as some homogeneous technology segment is fundamentally flawed. Not only do definitions of Content Management vary wildly, the broad discipline includes Document Management (DM), Knowledge Management (KM), Record Identification Management (RIM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), the glorious sounding; Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and just about every other digital information storage area. Of course the very fact that you are at this site means, like us, you are probably in the subset of Web Content Management (WCM) which is the most commonly accepted form of CMS.

The most important features of a web content management system are the ones that your organisation needs to achieve its objectives. Of course, there are some core features that are required for software to be a web content management system, and these are discussed in the section on
Features of CMS Products. The important thing is that you do not get caught up in these generic features and you discover what specific needs your organisation has. Once you know these features you will probably find a subset of vendors that also believe that your needs are the important features of a CMS. That is because they are working in a segment like yours and for that reason their CMS will probably be well suited to your organisation and your particular business needs.

Lets dive right in. If you also believe that the following are important features then your organisation and our product match … Bingo! If not, it is not that your feature list is flawed, but rather that you are better suited by a different product sub-group.


Core Web Content Management Features
First see the 12 core features discussed under Features of a CMS Product and determine the level of performance that you need within these areas.

Brand and Corporate Identity
As a publishing solution, protection and assistance with the maintenance of visual communication elements may be important to you.

Flexible Editing
If you wish to distribute the contribution of content to members, staff, clients or other participants, you will probably want flexibility in terms of what browsers and platforms they use. You will also want a simple interface to reduce training and support.

Statistics and Traffic Reporting
You will probably want to know how well used your site is, who is using it and what sections and pages they are most drawn to. You will probably also want to know where users of the site are coming from and what marketing and links are working for you.

Rapid Development Tools (Templates, Copy and Paste, Shared Content)
Why create each piece of content when you can use the systemisation benefits of a CMS to speed things up. Using templates, copy and paste and repeatable content, you can reduce site adjustment and deployment times.

Accessibility and Useability
Focus on accessibility and useability does more than enabling disadvantages audiences to use you site, it also generally improves effectiveness of communication and power of your message.

Built in Features (Site Map, Search, Breadcrumbs, Navigation)
Since you site content is in a database, shouldn’t the site map be created dynamically? You should also be able to search all content and build navigation structures automatically.