Generally, a content management system is portrayed and sold as the silver bullet for all website problems. Well, not only portrayed – it is created and developed to ease the life of users dealing with publishing and distributing content on the website as well as managing the content, arranging it, proofreading, updating and so on. Yet when the CMS is finally implemented throughout the company or organization, the excitement frequently wears off very quickly. Moreover, users get upset with the system that creates new problems instead of solving them.
Who is to blame in this case? A CMS vendor, who sold the system needing improvement or the user who simply doesn’t want to spend a few hours learning the basics? Let’s step aside for a while and attempt to sort things out here and find out the reasons why people hate their content management system.
It’s Too Complicated
Another point that makes people dislike the CMS in use is a huge discrepancy between the expected system and the real one. Vendors tend to sell their solutions as very easy to use, when in fact this should rather be perceived as “easy, compared to updating the site without a CMS”. Folks that are in charge of publishing content generally believe that an easy to use CMS is no more complex than a text editor, and mastering it is a matter of a few minutes. In reality, even the CMSes recognized as most user-friendly, like WordPress, still require lots of learning.
No Best One
Picking the CMS for the business, especially if it’s the first system, has a common feature – people tend to look for “the best one”, or search only among the most popular systems. However, this approach in most cases leads the following scenario – either the CMS possesses the functionality that is never used or needed, and confuses users (something like choosing Drupal for a personal blog) or it lacks the necessary flexibility and the feature set leaves much to be desired.
As a rule, a CMS is implemented to let many employees or team members contribute to the website. On the one hand, why not? This frees IT-guys to perform serious tasks, while the site is maintained by less qualified workers. However, if too many people use the CMS for various tasks, they can find themselves familiar with only a small part of its abilities and totally ignorant about the rest. This is annoying, especially if employees had had the training on how to use the new CMS and forgot the most part due to the lack of practice. It might be a good idea to have a few team members trained and in charge of the content updating activities to save company resources – and their sanity.
All in all, what comes out clearly is the idea that it’s not just about the CMS. Looking over the problems listed above, let’s make a list of things to do in order to fall in love with your CMS:
- Define what you really need in details (if you are non-technically savvy, find people who are and ask them to “translate” this into the CMS language).
- Think how skillful and experienced you are (or those about to deal with the CMS) and whether they are willing to learn.
- Find the solution that looks good and give it a good test drive before making the final shot.
- You think you love it? Then, implement it and live happily ever after.
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