If you’ve ever published anything on the internet, you’ve used a web content management system (or CMS) to do so (unless you’re a brilliant developer and built a site from scratch, which is very impressive, but highly time-consuming and impractical). These days, more than half of all websites are built, updated, and maintained via CMS portals, and that number is only increasing. 

What does web content management software look like? 

CMS portals — also referred to as web content management software, content delivery managers, and content hubs — look slightly different depending on the type of site they service (personal blogs require different functions than a B2C retail site, for example), but retain some similarities across the board. Your CMS software will have a menu that lets content creators and managers create and edit web pages such as landing pages, blog posts, and contact forms, ideally with only a few clicks. Creators will log in to the portal, find the appropriate page from an index tab, make additions or edits and … voila! Content managed. 

Why should you use a CMS? 

Content management systems like the Content Composer in HCL Digital Experience are major development time savers, since marketers and other content creators can easily go into the platform themselves to create and publish content. Digital asset management systems, which, if you’re lucky, are part of a CMS, also let you create, manage, and deliver rich media (video, images, animations, and text) to partners, customers, and employees.  

Workflow is often built into a CMS, or customized at the organizational level. Different users can be allowed various levels of autonomy within the platform, so that, for example, an intern can add text or edit a blog post, but a marketing manager can be assigned to approve any published changes. When the whole team is working directly within a CMS platform, requests and approvals can be made seamlessly, reducing the back-and-forth of external email communication and the risk of a task getting lost in Slack or email notifications. 

CMS portals also help ensure that brand guidelines are automatically adhered to in every new web page, since developers can implement brand colors and logo imagery within the platform itself. Templates and drag-and-drop capabilities are a big part of the redesigned content tools within the most recent version of HCL Digital Experience, and let teams quickly and intuitively build and organize content.  Teams that use CMS portals will still need to have a developer or team of developers to make high-level coding edits that content creators might not know how to do, but the dev team won’t have to manually build every new website change, freeing up their time for higher priority projects. You can deliver time-sensitive news and resources through your site without having to wait on IT. 

How can you find the best enterprise content management software? 

Ultimately, finding the right CMS for your organization is a strategic choice based on how easy the platform is for your team to learn, the unique features one might have that stand out to your team (Do you need strong retail capabilities? Are you a creative agency that needs a visually stunning site?) and the level of design capabilities that you need. Before committing to a CMS, make sure that the features that are a priority to your organization are available and user-friendly, and that the integration and learning curve required isn’t one that’ll overwhelm your team members. If your organization is one that is complex and has multiple systems and backend repositories of data that manage business-critical functions, you need a platform that doesn’t go down and can scale to meet the needs of the business.  

Features of strong content delivery platforms 

Besides the general abilities that content management systems need to include (the ability to create and publish content, add image assets, and add tags to blog posts, for example), it’s worth looking for a content delivery network that offers features such as: 

  • Integrating data and workflows/ your current tech stack 
  • SSO and security that’s working even when the platform is at rest 
  • Tools and an interface that’s intuitive to marketers/content creators
  • Flexible deployment scheduling
  • Role-based user access
  • Reliable, scalable technology 

With these guidelines in mind, content creators can find the CMS that best serves the needs of their organization and manage their content delivery as efficiently as ever. HCL’s Digital Experience is a great place to start if you’re looking for an intuitive, multi-faceted solution. 

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