11 Features to Look For in a Content Management System

Which features are the most important?

Lucy Manole
Lucy Manole
Aug 22, 2022
Content Management System Features

Content management systems (CMS) offer businesses great control over the website content, functionality, and design. Did you know that about 74 million websites on the internet are currently based on CMS? The flexibility, ease of maintenance, and excellent support CMS provides help businesses achieve most of their digital goals.

In this age of digital transformation, content management systems allow businesses to create and manage websites with the help of a human-friendly interface without needing a web developer. However, considering the plethora of content management systems available today, it isn't easy to choose the right one for your business.

In this article, we shall discuss the top 11 features a sound content management system must offer its users.

Key Features Every CMS Must-Have

  1. User-friendly interface
  2. Modules and Page Management 
  3. Content Editor
  4. Content staging tools
  5. Content publishing tools
  6. Built-in SEO tools
  7. User management 
  8. Scalability
  9. Third-party integrations
  10. Security
  11. Customer support

1. User-Friendly Interface

The admin dashboard plays a crucial role in simplifying business operations. The CMS businesses choose must offer an intuitive dashboard that helps them manage the entire content production and distribution activities without breaking a sweat. These activities include scheduling content publication, tracking visitors' comments, installing various plugins, reviewing the performance of the content, and more.

A unified dashboard gives users a bird's eye view of the content workflow and streamlines content production by reducing complexities. It also facilitates team collaboration.

2. Modules and Page Management 

A CMS theme or module determines the overall appearance of a website. It is a collection of code files and visual assets that helps businesses deliver a consistent look and feel of their brands across the website. 

Depending on the type of business, you can build a module or theme that depicts your brand. The layout of these web pages can also be saved, allowing you to streamline the page layout designing process every time you publish a new page or article.

Let us consider an example of a restaurant website. The best theme for any restaurant would be one that offers the following -

- Create an online menu and a drop-down list of food items 

- Create a dedicated page for each food item 

- Generate various meta tags for the items

- Add images related to the food items to their respective pages

- Add relevant tags and item widgets to the blog section

- Prompt to add the food items to the cart in case of online orders

Although these tasks may seem minor initially, the workload increases as the content grow. Remember, publishing content takes time, and this process can be quickened with saved modules.

Further, businesses must ensure that their module is responsive and that every page and post published on the website is optimized for all devices.

3. Content Editor/ Rich Text Editor 

Content creation is in itself a time-consuming process. High-quality content that lists facts along with good examples and optimizes the same for SEO plays a critical role in business success. To save time on content publishing, most businesses today wish to have powerful content editing tools in their CMS. 

Competent content editors help businesses compile and present their content on their websites in less time, allowing them to use that time for content creation. From blog posts to landing pages and contact forms, the content/ rich text editor editors help businesses to publish different types of content without any hassles. The CMS you choose must allow you to add content, images, videos, forms, CTAs, code snippets, and more to your website in just a few clicks. 

On demand CMS webinar

4. Content Staging Tools

To keep up with the rapidly-changing design and content industry trends, businesses ought to make frequent changes to the website design while ensuring that the new design enhances the user experience. 

However, many businesses are compelled to pull down their website while making these significant changes. This potential website downtime could cause a bad experience for website visitors. Hence, companies must invest in a CMS that allows them to stage the content and preview the website before release. 

A content staging site helps businesses to test out the changes and ensure the website works smoothly before releasing the new changes on the live website. This ensures the website is free from bugs and delivers a consistent experience to the visitors.  

5. Content Editing and Publishing Tools

The content strategy for any business is no longer about publishing articles on the blog and creating static website pages. It involves different types of content, such as long-form articles, blog posts, short content pieces, landing pages, eBooks, and podcasts that need to be thoughtfully published. 

A CMS with excellent publishing tools helps businesses manage content strategically by following their content calendar. With features such as one-click publishing, scheduler, and more, companies have the utmost flexibility to choose when the content goes live. 

For example, suppose you are running a seasonal promotion on the website. In that case, you can leverage the page expiration feature that unpublishes the said page automatically and redirects the visitors to another page after its expiration. The amount of control this publishing tool offers helps businesses streamline their content publishing efforts and create a seamless experience for website visitors.

6. Built-In SEO Tools

The search engines constantly change their search algorithms, affecting the business rankings. Hence, effective on-page search engine optimization thus becomes the need of the hour. 

A CMS with built-in SEO capabilities will help businesses ensure their websites follow the SEO guidelines while improving their chances of ranking on the search engine results page. It will also help companies to optimize their content by adding page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags for images, and more by providing relevant suggestions.

The built-in SEO tools also generate sitemaps automatically, ensuring search engines crawl the website and index all its pages.

Improve your SEO ranking

7. User Management

Regardless of the type of business, a team generally works on any website. There are content writers, editors, designers, content managers, SEO specialists, and others who work together to achieve the goals of the content team. Hence, controlling who can access the content and back-end of the website is critical to prevent mistakes. 

The CMS you choose must offer excellent user management capabilities. It should enable you to add your team members and allocate them role-based permissions. For example, a content writer should have access to create and edit posts on the website, while an SEO specialist must be able to view and manage the entire site content.

Choose a CMS solution that allows you to allot role-based rights to the team members. It must also offer the flexibility to add more users and expand the team per business demands.

8. Scalability

With many companies adopting omnichannel marketing strategies, delivering content to different channels, such as websites, social media, landing pages, email newsletters, and more, becomes essential. A headless CMS helps you provide content to various channels, interfaces, and devices efficiently, without any hurdles. 

By separating content elements from its presentation, a headless CMS offers you a 'create once, deliver anywhere' type of functionality. It helps businesses scale their content distribution efforts by allowing them to add new channels to the system and load the existing content on the same effortlessly.

If you are looking for a CMS that helps you reach customers across many digital channels, using a headless CMS offering multichannel scalability would be beneficial.

9. Third-Party Integrations

Not every CMS is designed to carry out everything a business could need in-house. Hence, it relies on robust third-party integrations to carry out specific tasks in the content workflow. These integrations facilitate seamless data flow between applications, helping businesses craft an excellent content strategy.

Here are a few integrations businesses should look for when choosing a CMS.

  • Social media integration- With over 4.70 billion users worldwide, social media is one of the best platforms to interact with audiences. Ensure that your CMS integrates seamlessly with various social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. For instance, check whether the CMS offers you the flexibility to include social media sharing buttons on the posts or if you can display your Instagram feed on the website homepage.
  • Detailed analytics-Tracking the performance of the content plays a significant role in determining the effectiveness of the content strategy. Check if your CMS integrates with well-known analytics tools like Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and more. Gather and gain insights into the key performance indicators and refine your content strategy.
  • Marketing automation - Marketing automation tools help businesses serve tailored content to website visitors and drive sales. Integrating the CMS with a marketing automation platform complements the content strategy and helps companies make the most of marketing automation.
  • Customer relationship management tool (CRM)- Every website has contact forms, blog subscription forms, lead generation forms, and more to capture the details of the visitors. Integrating the CMS with CRM helps businesses capture and manage the leads seamlessly and engage them with the brand. It establishes a personal connection with the visitors, who are more likely to convert into loyal customers.

Besides integrations, businesses can install various plugins to improve CMS performance. These plugins are short software programs that facilitate customizations on the websites. YoastSEO, Akismet, Jetpack, and ExactMetrics are some of the most commonly used plugins.

10. Security

Although technology has simplified operations for many businesses, it has also put them under the radar of cyber attacks. Cyber crimes, such as data breaches, email frauds, financial frauds, cyber extortion, and more, have increased exponentially worldwide. Many businesses are investing in cybersecurity to protect their companies against cybercrime. 

Cybersecurity spending worldwide is forecasted to reach $346 billion by 2027. Hence, choosing a CMS that offers outstanding security for protecting the business data and customer information from online exploitation is mandatory. Besides, it also helps businesses maintain their brand reputation in the eyes of their audiences.

Modern Techniques for a Secure Digital World

Understand what built-in security features the CMS offers, such as SSL certificate, firewall, CDN, vulnerability and security scans, and more. Choose the one that offers maximum security and evaluate the amount of work that needs to be done on the website to achieve the desired security standards.

11. Customer Support

Customer support is another essential aspect when choosing a CMS for your organization. This is true, especially if your company does not house a dedicated IT team. 

Most open source CMS, such as WordPress and Drupal, do not offer any support. Businesses must tap into their extensive documentation or the engaged community to find the answers to their queries. The issues could take weeks to get resolved. However, CMS like AgilityCMS offers world-class support, consultation, and training to businesses in bringing their website to life.

Choose a CMS that offers priority support to its users based on the complexity of the issues they face.

Final Thoughts on CMS Features

The content management systems are evolving to accommodate the new feature demands of the customers. 

This article highlights some core features business owners should look for when choosing a CMS for their businesses. Select a CMS platform that offers multichannel scalability with built-in SEO tools, third-party integrations, and extensive publishing control. This will help you build a website that attracts and delights your visitors. 

Take advantage of modern technology to build a successful business website.

Get Your Free Account Today

Try the power of intuitive Headless CMS with Page Management.

TRY AGILITY CMS FOR FREE
Back to All Articles
Back to All Articles
Aug 22, 2022

11 Features to Look For in a Content Management System

Which features are the most important?

Lucy Manole

Topic

CMSCMS
SHARE POST
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Get Started

Content Management System Features

Content management systems (CMS) offer businesses great control over the website content, functionality, and design. Did you know that about 74 million websites on the internet are currently based on CMS? The flexibility, ease of maintenance, and excellent support CMS provides help businesses achieve most of their digital goals.

In this age of digital transformation, content management systems allow businesses to create and manage websites with the help of a human-friendly interface without needing a web developer. However, considering the plethora of content management systems available today, it isn't easy to choose the right one for your business.

In this article, we shall discuss the top 11 features a sound content management system must offer its users.

Key Features Every CMS Must-Have

  1. User-friendly interface
  2. Modules and Page Management 
  3. Content Editor
  4. Content staging tools
  5. Content publishing tools
  6. Built-in SEO tools
  7. User management 
  8. Scalability
  9. Third-party integrations
  10. Security
  11. Customer support

1. User-Friendly Interface

The admin dashboard plays a crucial role in simplifying business operations. The CMS businesses choose must offer an intuitive dashboard that helps them manage the entire content production and distribution activities without breaking a sweat. These activities include scheduling content publication, tracking visitors' comments, installing various plugins, reviewing the performance of the content, and more.

A unified dashboard gives users a bird's eye view of the content workflow and streamlines content production by reducing complexities. It also facilitates team collaboration.

2. Modules and Page Management 

A CMS theme or module determines the overall appearance of a website. It is a collection of code files and visual assets that helps businesses deliver a consistent look and feel of their brands across the website. 

Depending on the type of business, you can build a module or theme that depicts your brand. The layout of these web pages can also be saved, allowing you to streamline the page layout designing process every time you publish a new page or article.

Let us consider an example of a restaurant website. The best theme for any restaurant would be one that offers the following -

- Create an online menu and a drop-down list of food items 

- Create a dedicated page for each food item 

- Generate various meta tags for the items

- Add images related to the food items to their respective pages

- Add relevant tags and item widgets to the blog section

- Prompt to add the food items to the cart in case of online orders

Although these tasks may seem minor initially, the workload increases as the content grow. Remember, publishing content takes time, and this process can be quickened with saved modules.

Further, businesses must ensure that their module is responsive and that every page and post published on the website is optimized for all devices.

3. Content Editor/ Rich Text Editor 

Content creation is in itself a time-consuming process. High-quality content that lists facts along with good examples and optimizes the same for SEO plays a critical role in business success. To save time on content publishing, most businesses today wish to have powerful content editing tools in their CMS. 

Competent content editors help businesses compile and present their content on their websites in less time, allowing them to use that time for content creation. From blog posts to landing pages and contact forms, the content/ rich text editor editors help businesses to publish different types of content without any hassles. The CMS you choose must allow you to add content, images, videos, forms, CTAs, code snippets, and more to your website in just a few clicks. 

On demand CMS webinar

4. Content Staging Tools

To keep up with the rapidly-changing design and content industry trends, businesses ought to make frequent changes to the website design while ensuring that the new design enhances the user experience. 

However, many businesses are compelled to pull down their website while making these significant changes. This potential website downtime could cause a bad experience for website visitors. Hence, companies must invest in a CMS that allows them to stage the content and preview the website before release. 

A content staging site helps businesses to test out the changes and ensure the website works smoothly before releasing the new changes on the live website. This ensures the website is free from bugs and delivers a consistent experience to the visitors.  

5. Content Editing and Publishing Tools

The content strategy for any business is no longer about publishing articles on the blog and creating static website pages. It involves different types of content, such as long-form articles, blog posts, short content pieces, landing pages, eBooks, and podcasts that need to be thoughtfully published. 

A CMS with excellent publishing tools helps businesses manage content strategically by following their content calendar. With features such as one-click publishing, scheduler, and more, companies have the utmost flexibility to choose when the content goes live. 

For example, suppose you are running a seasonal promotion on the website. In that case, you can leverage the page expiration feature that unpublishes the said page automatically and redirects the visitors to another page after its expiration. The amount of control this publishing tool offers helps businesses streamline their content publishing efforts and create a seamless experience for website visitors.

6. Built-In SEO Tools

The search engines constantly change their search algorithms, affecting the business rankings. Hence, effective on-page search engine optimization thus becomes the need of the hour. 

A CMS with built-in SEO capabilities will help businesses ensure their websites follow the SEO guidelines while improving their chances of ranking on the search engine results page. It will also help companies to optimize their content by adding page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags for images, and more by providing relevant suggestions.

The built-in SEO tools also generate sitemaps automatically, ensuring search engines crawl the website and index all its pages.

Improve your SEO ranking

7. User Management

Regardless of the type of business, a team generally works on any website. There are content writers, editors, designers, content managers, SEO specialists, and others who work together to achieve the goals of the content team. Hence, controlling who can access the content and back-end of the website is critical to prevent mistakes. 

The CMS you choose must offer excellent user management capabilities. It should enable you to add your team members and allocate them role-based permissions. For example, a content writer should have access to create and edit posts on the website, while an SEO specialist must be able to view and manage the entire site content.

Choose a CMS solution that allows you to allot role-based rights to the team members. It must also offer the flexibility to add more users and expand the team per business demands.

8. Scalability

With many companies adopting omnichannel marketing strategies, delivering content to different channels, such as websites, social media, landing pages, email newsletters, and more, becomes essential. A headless CMS helps you provide content to various channels, interfaces, and devices efficiently, without any hurdles. 

By separating content elements from its presentation, a headless CMS offers you a 'create once, deliver anywhere' type of functionality. It helps businesses scale their content distribution efforts by allowing them to add new channels to the system and load the existing content on the same effortlessly.

If you are looking for a CMS that helps you reach customers across many digital channels, using a headless CMS offering multichannel scalability would be beneficial.

9. Third-Party Integrations

Not every CMS is designed to carry out everything a business could need in-house. Hence, it relies on robust third-party integrations to carry out specific tasks in the content workflow. These integrations facilitate seamless data flow between applications, helping businesses craft an excellent content strategy.

Here are a few integrations businesses should look for when choosing a CMS.

  • Social media integration- With over 4.70 billion users worldwide, social media is one of the best platforms to interact with audiences. Ensure that your CMS integrates seamlessly with various social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. For instance, check whether the CMS offers you the flexibility to include social media sharing buttons on the posts or if you can display your Instagram feed on the website homepage.
  • Detailed analytics-Tracking the performance of the content plays a significant role in determining the effectiveness of the content strategy. Check if your CMS integrates with well-known analytics tools like Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and more. Gather and gain insights into the key performance indicators and refine your content strategy.
  • Marketing automation - Marketing automation tools help businesses serve tailored content to website visitors and drive sales. Integrating the CMS with a marketing automation platform complements the content strategy and helps companies make the most of marketing automation.
  • Customer relationship management tool (CRM)- Every website has contact forms, blog subscription forms, lead generation forms, and more to capture the details of the visitors. Integrating the CMS with CRM helps businesses capture and manage the leads seamlessly and engage them with the brand. It establishes a personal connection with the visitors, who are more likely to convert into loyal customers.

Besides integrations, businesses can install various plugins to improve CMS performance. These plugins are short software programs that facilitate customizations on the websites. YoastSEO, Akismet, Jetpack, and ExactMetrics are some of the most commonly used plugins.

10. Security

Although technology has simplified operations for many businesses, it has also put them under the radar of cyber attacks. Cyber crimes, such as data breaches, email frauds, financial frauds, cyber extortion, and more, have increased exponentially worldwide. Many businesses are investing in cybersecurity to protect their companies against cybercrime. 

Cybersecurity spending worldwide is forecasted to reach $346 billion by 2027. Hence, choosing a CMS that offers outstanding security for protecting the business data and customer information from online exploitation is mandatory. Besides, it also helps businesses maintain their brand reputation in the eyes of their audiences.

Modern Techniques for a Secure Digital World

Understand what built-in security features the CMS offers, such as SSL certificate, firewall, CDN, vulnerability and security scans, and more. Choose the one that offers maximum security and evaluate the amount of work that needs to be done on the website to achieve the desired security standards.

11. Customer Support

Customer support is another essential aspect when choosing a CMS for your organization. This is true, especially if your company does not house a dedicated IT team. 

Most open source CMS, such as WordPress and Drupal, do not offer any support. Businesses must tap into their extensive documentation or the engaged community to find the answers to their queries. The issues could take weeks to get resolved. However, CMS like AgilityCMS offers world-class support, consultation, and training to businesses in bringing their website to life.

Choose a CMS that offers priority support to its users based on the complexity of the issues they face.

Final Thoughts on CMS Features

The content management systems are evolving to accommodate the new feature demands of the customers. 

This article highlights some core features business owners should look for when choosing a CMS for their businesses. Select a CMS platform that offers multichannel scalability with built-in SEO tools, third-party integrations, and extensive publishing control. This will help you build a website that attracts and delights your visitors. 

Take advantage of modern technology to build a successful business website.

Get Your Free Account Today

Try the power of intuitive Headless CMS with Page Management.

TRY AGILITY CMS FOR FREE
About the Author

Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.

Topic

CMSCMS
SHARE POST
BlogBlog

What is the Best CMS for Developers?

Read More
What is the Best CMS for Developers?
BlogBlog

Why Marketers Need a Headless CMS

Read More
Why Marketers Need a Headless CMS

Try Agility CMS!

Finally, a Headless CMS That Gives You the Best of Both Worlds

Get Started

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