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CMS Do's and Don'ts

January 21, 2005

Have you made peace with your Content Management System yet? If you’re like most CMS users, the answer is ‘no’ (or a steady stream of expletives that could easily be understood as a ‘no’). For many, CMS has become synonymous with the word ‘failure’.

There seems to be a widely held perception that CMS is a losing proposition. As a result, many corporations and government agencies have hesitated to make a commitment to CMS. A surprising number of corporate and government websites use no CMS at all, or a mixed up assortment of homegrown tools that can only loosely be referred to as a CMS.

Depending on their circumstances these organizations may not be able to resist the lure of a true CMS for much longer. There are hundreds of CMS vendors competing for the available market share. If you are not yet using a CMS it’s only a matter of time before a key decision maker in your organization gets sold on the idea. You know how it is when management latches onto buzzwords.

CMS doesn’t have to be synonymous with failure. There is no doubt that the right CMS, properly implemented, can offer real benefits to organizations of all sizes. The catch seems to be that it’s not always easy to find the right CMS, let alone a qualified team with the skills needed for a proper implementation.

As businesses of all sizes embark on their first CMS project they need to realize that they are venturing into territory that in many ways is unique. A CMS implementation is not quite like any other technology project. If for no other reason because the end result is a system that is used to manage what will essentially become the public face of your organization.

With this in mind I offer a few do’s and don’ts that could help you minimize your chances of joining the ranks of those who are unhappy with their CMS.

DO:

DON’T:

Conclusion:

There’s more, of course. But in my experience these seem to be the most common mistakes that hamper the successful implementation of a content management system. Focusing on these key areas should at least set you on the right path and will hopefully allow you to avoid the pitfalls that so many others have fallen into when undertaking a CMS implementation.

posted by kirkb @ 7:25 pm under
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