Friendly CMS's are a must!
Having a decent CMS is vital to the well being of any website. The CMS empowers the editors to use the website to its full capability. This is incredibly useful as it means that the full power is in the hands of the editor. They can implement any ideas they have or work on any concepts they so wish in order to best market their business or products.
The problem with most content management systems is that they can be overly complicated to the editor. They do not offer enough flexibility and this can cause issues with creating exactly what it is the editor wants. Sometimes CMS systems can be heavily in favour of the developers, taking control away from the user. Sometimes it can be the other way around, with sites such as Wordpress offering usability but removing the freedom of development. It is very difficult to strike gold in the land in between the two extremes.
One of the reasons so many people go with Wordpress as a CMS is because it is free and there are lots of cheap (or free) templates available. Although it does not offer the flexibility needed to create whatever it is the user wants (and quite often a Wordpress site is obviously a Wordpress site due to set templates) it does allow for easy editing and this is a strength rivalled by very few CMS systems. The downside is some themes can complicate things and require editors to know HTML.
The simple truth is though that not all CMS’s need to be complex. They can be simplified, made easier to use, and the usability can be increased to a point where Wordpress no longer sets the industry standard. Imagine increased usability but also ease of use. This is what we are talking about.
Sometimes though, this can go too far. What Wordpress lacks is the complete freedom to create anything due to not being a blank canvas which is easily manipulated.
Take Umbraco as an example.
Umbraco is a blank canvas. It gives nothing out of the box, giving the developer freedom to create whatever they want. There are no restrictions and this gives the developer the power to design the website and the CMS of their dreams. It does not have the limitations of Wordpress or other CMS’s by either being too complex or too simple.
What open CMS’s like Umbraco allow for is the back-end experience to mimic the ease of use of the front-end. By tweaking the back-end experience it is possible to enhance the experience for the editors, making it easy to write and edit content to the specification of the final user. This is invaluable.
What this means is that there is no longer a misrepresentation on the website. It shares control between the developer and the back-end user. Umbraco is perfect for companies who want to maintain some control over their website and ensure that they can tweak content as and when they need it. No more do they have to wait on the developer to change the information for them.
For Underhood, for example, we know our content guys need to upload copy, images, tweak metadata, alter SEO, and categorise content. For this we designed exactly what they needed. It doesn’t overcomplicate things, but it also doesn’t starve them of the control they need in order to create great and sharable content. We have given them a plain text and HTML editor to allow them the best possible experience.
Most CMS’s allow for some form of customisation, and it is highly recommended that marketers request some access and ease of use from their development team.