Know Your Requirements Before Shopping for the Right CMS
As many publishers have found out the hard way -- i.e., wasting their time and money -- identifying the right content management system (CMS) for your business is no easy task. As a prelude to a session he'll lead at next week's Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York, CMS Forum: Identifying and Implementing the Right CMS for Your Magazines, Han Huang, principal and founder of Counterpoint Analytics, offered up some tips to help save publishers from the frustrations of a CMS implementation gone bad.
INBOX: What factors should companies weigh when determining whether to build or buy their CMS?
HAN HUANG: The first thing to do is look at their business objective. What functionality do they want on their site? Do they want blogs/forums? Do they want polls? What kind of reporting do they want? Do they want lead reporting? Look at what their Web site is trying to do -- what their business model is.
When they work out what that is and what functionality they want -- they literally want to list it out -- then it's a question of looking at CMS companies. Look at whether the build vs. buy question is favorable one way or the other.
For example, if all they have is basic article content, one could argue that they could build that themselves. But the moment you start wanting to have blogs/forums, it's pretty rare now that one could build it themselves. But there's a proviso on this: You have open-source CMSs. So it's not always a question of build vs. buy. You can actually get an open-source CMS. There's still a cost to it, and that's in development costs to integrate it. But essentially the short of it is: Know what your requirements are, know what your budget is and then shop around for the right CMS.