When first building a digital presence, your needs tend to be simple. Being able to market your brand and reach your audience on a content management system is the start of being successful. A simple CMS such as WordPress or Joomla can fulfill needs and aid in managing your online presence without needing a team of web designers and marketing professionals.
A template-based CMS does not fit everyone and could significantly hold back your company. Whether your content needs are expanding, or your business model is changing to accommodate online behaviors, here are 4 signs it's time to upgrade to an advanced content management system.
1. Plugins Overload Your Site
Many open-source CMS solutions work on the basis of simple core functionality. For anything above that, external plugins are needed to accommodate your needs. WordPress is just one of many examples that have an increasing reliance on plugins. Originally built as a blogging platform, the CMS relies on plugins and widgets to accommodate more complex needs such as lead generation and e-commerce.
The more you rely on these plugins to match evolving business needs, the worse off the website can become. External widgets can significantly slow down load times, which will result in higher bounce rates, worse SEO, and less revenue. External plugins also involve security risks. If you find yourself relying on plugins to meet your business goals, consider switching to a CMS that gives you the same functionality natively.
2. Content Strategy Increases In Complexity
Every CMS allows the creation and publishing of written content. But what if your content needs become more complex? What if you engage in inbound marketing and lead generation strategies that require more visual and interactives or even event-based content? A more advanced CMS that can accommodate video and interactive graphics will be needed.
Workflow functionalities that are provided in an advanced CMS gives your content a flow through a defined approval structure. This is clearly seen as the company increases; your content writer may not necessarily be the publisher anymore. Having these workflows, allows for a smooth transition to complete each task.
3. Looking For Internal Communication Tools
Your growing business may begin to require a digital platform that can used for automated and standardized communication with your employees. Especially if your workers operate in more than one location, an intranet or employee portal can help distribute important administrative and promotional messages effectively.
As soon as you need your website to accommodate an internal employee portal or intranet, look to an advanced CMS. Enterprise website structures look very different from their external-facing counterparts, and simple CMS such as WordPress and Drupal struggle to adequately accommodate these unique needs.
4. Begin Considering E-Commerce Capabilities
Finally, if you begin to consider the possibilities of conducting sales through your website, it's time for a CMS upgrade. Plugins for the most common CMS solutions promise to accommodate your needs. In addition to contributing to your plugin overload, taking this approach can harm your efforts in a variety of ways.
Most importantly, conducting e-commerce means storing personal and financial information on your website. Unfortunately, open-source CMS systems have a history of security concerns. Also, complex e-commerce models such as SaaS that rely on recurring revenue can be difficult to manage with a simple CMS. In short, any e-commerce efforts should follow a move to an advanced CMS.
Does any of the above signs apply to your business? If so, the move to a more custom and suitable solution for your needs should be imminent. But even if you are just starting out, an advanced content management system may be beneficial and easier to scale than its open source alternatives.