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The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

CMS Selection is More than a Features Comparison

We chatter a lot here about the importance of CMS selection. There are several great open source CMS systems, but from our development and design perspective, we are especially partial to Drupal and WordPress. For thoughts on CMS selection from another perspective, we looked to the folks over at r2i, a marketing and technology firm that wrote a great blog post on CMS selection. r2i operates on the assumption that selecting a CMS is about more than just a features comparison because, “CMS should be viewed as a foundation, not a solution. You will never be able to install a CMS out of the box directly into production and solve your problems.”

By viewing a CMS as a foundation, it allows us to go deeper into comparisons such as WordPress vs Drupal, and really look at the core benefits available, and how they line up with the client’s current and future needs. The areas that r2i emphasizes in their blog post include:

unrooting the overall vision and goal behind a CMS implementation

Nobody creates a new website without a purpose, that would be bananas (and not the good kind, the overripe kind). Figuring out what the site owner wants to do is imperative to finding the right CMS. r2i explains, “The answer to that question usually ISN’T to simply publish content on a website. It’s more likely there are business objectives such as, ‘drive brand awareness,’ ‘upsell clients on new services,’ ‘promote new products.’  Meeting these needs is not done with an out-of-the-box feature.” Anticipating future needs is equally important, and one reason Drupal features scalability as a primary selling point.

fully involving the IT department in this decision

Once the site is built and running, who is going to maintain or troubleshoot any issues? How do you even know your new content will fully integrate into existing infrastructure. You can save a lot of headaches by consulting with the IT department before making a final CMS decision.

getting priorities in line

Site owners need to separate their budget from their wish list and pay special attention to timing. We’ve heard it said that with enough time and enough money, you can do almost anything. That isn’t how the world works though, so be realistic about what you need, what you can afford, and how long you can afford to wait. Paying attention to reality can keep you from being caged in by one of these traps.

r2i’s ideas all seemed like good questions to ask before selecting a CMS, at least from the marketer’s perspective. What other considerations do you think should be made prior to choosing a CMS?

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