As the name suggests, a CMS, as the abbreviation for “a content management system” should be helpful in dealing with content that needs to be added to the website. Modern CMSs go far beyond just managing content. They allow creating websites, changing their appearance and adding virtually any functionality you can think of. Anyway, their basic task remains the same – assist in adding content to a website without any developer’s skills or coding.
The market is thriving with the number of CMS solutions tailored to cover all kinds of business and personal needs. Nevertheless, however robust and customizable a platform may be, if adding a new post or making some basic changes turn into a battle with the software, and mastering it resembles obtaining a Master’s degree in rocket science, then probably it’s time you did something about it. So, in our today’s post, we shall deal with CMS user experience – concerning both editors/contributors and site visitors since this issue is very important for both categories.
Signs of a good CMS user interface
Backend or admin area of your website is something visitors don’t get to see. Still, it doesn’t mean that you should be content with cluttered and complex UI that is putting spokes into your wheels rather than helps. So here are the signs of a user-friendly interface that promises an awesome UX.
If after logging into your admin/editor/contributor account you don’t need to start looking for where to start but seem to be instantly “at home”, the CMS is definitely worth delving deeper into.
2. Semantically well organized
A good UX means that things have a clear structure, and are easy to understand without even the previous experience. For example, when you’re making a new post, you get a number of fields to fill in, starting with the title, then description, post body, keywords etc, not to break your workflow.
Under this section, we understand that the documentation is well-written, clear and available for each aspect of content management that you might require. Nevertheless, it is best that you refer to the help section as seldom as possible thanks to concise inline text or short hints, explaining what this or that field/tick/function are about.
The points above make sure that even a newbie will be able to quickly grasp how to do the basic things with the CMS and save hours of training in case of delegating or sharing responsibilities with new users/editors/contributors etc.
Tips for outstanding visitor experience
A sure-fire way to repel visitors is to make them wait. It’s not minutes we are referring to, it’s seconds and milliseconds that play the part. So, the faster your website is loading and responding the better. Avoid hefty images or fancy backgrounds that take forever to load, take every single step you can think of to make your website super fast. It is better to sacrifice some sophisticated design trick than a big part of your audience.
This one probably doesn’t need singling out, but we’ll remind you, just in case. So, since mobile devices have already overtaken PCs and laptops in Internet usage, make sure your website looks great on each screen. No rocket science here, just choose a good responsive theme.
Remember those huge subscription boxes that pop out of nowhere and block the most part of the page you’re reading? Well, while they are ok for the first-time visitor (still, making them a bit less conspicuous won’t hurt), it is very annoying and distracting if you keep seeing those every time you visit the website. Even if a visitor doesn’t want to subscribe or register an account with you, respect their choice.
You don’t feel like exploring a website if it looks like it roots back to the previous century? So do your visitors, so give their eyes a rewarding experience by implementing the latest design trends and keeping everything clear and readable.
Want visitors to stay on your site? Show them the way around! Use breadcrumbs, clear categorization, and other means to easily understand their current location. Make sure search is well configured so that each query provides relevant results.
Today, adding a new functionality to your site with some CMSs is no more difficult than installing a new app on your smartphone. This way, you keep pace with the latest developments and your users will surely be grateful for it. But if making a minor change means having to call your developer and spend a big sum, probably your UX leaves much to be desired.
While all of the above-mentioned tips seem pretty straightforward, some content management systems don’t let comply with them easily and give their users lots of pain with improving the user experience both for end-user and a website visitor. Luckily, there are numerous alternative solutions on the market, as well as technologies letting replace the old CMS with a new one without losing content or SEO.
P.S. Willing to migrate to a new CMS or at least check out a new one for your site? aisite can help, set up a free demo on one of the test sites to see how fast and easily your dream CMS can turn into reality.