Comparing your current CMS with the capabilities of FirstSpirit™:
A comparison of CMS systems should always be based on a company's actual requirements. We've provided the following items to help simplify the CMS comparison process for you. The links at the end of the text provide additional information to assist you in your CMS comparison.
1) Can your CMS publish centrally managed content on multiple pages?
Content can be used in different places on a website. This way, for example, a company can publish a message that has been created once and centrally maintained in the CMS on both the homepage and the message page. This is one of the simplest and most efficient types of content reuse. Linking between pages is also a simple way to distribute content without having to recreate it each time. When using a professional reuse concept and a central news repository, content can also be used across multiple sites – this way, for example, information on the company history can be published in a consistent form on several hundred product brand websites.
2) Can your CMS publish a source to multiple channels simultaneously?
Companies should be able to utilize all available channels for publication. For example, it should be possible to simultaneously provide published content for intranet, extranet, newsletters, mobile end users, or RSS feeds, or to utilize it for technical documentation. A number of data formats are used for this purpose, including HTML, XML, Flash, AIR, PDF, WML, RTF and ODF, which allow content to be easily distributed over multiple channels.
3) Can your CMS reuse content in multiple languages?
To be able to publish your company web pages consistently, content and media should be managed in a central content management platform that offers multi-lingual support. This means that in any comparison of CMS systems it is important to consider whether all content in the form of text, images, graphics, or other media can actually be managed and published in any desired number of languages and that multi-lingual support does not simply consist of a simulation using copied objects. A wide array of tools should be used to ensure that content can be efficiently reused on global sites, including integrated translation help, track changes for different language versions of an object, support for master languages, fallback strategies for untranslated content, as well as different client languages and options for integrating external translation tools.
4) Can your CMS use media in different contexts and versions?
An integrated digital asset management feature in the editing system enables efficient (re-)use of all types of media. Central administration and editing of image-, video-, and audio files simplifies editing work. With comprehensive tools for image editing (e.g. rotate, flip, crop), automatic scaling of image size, and the option to save different versions for each medium, an image can be published in different contexts and with a different editing status.
5) Can your CMS be used effectively by users, even without specific technical training?
According to an e-Spirit survey of 120 British companies, companies consider user-friendliness to be one of the most important factors in the implementation of content management projects. This was the view of around half of those surveyed (49 percent) and it represents a clear shift in priorities. While in the past content management has tended to be confined to the technically versed IT specialists, now the field of users is expanding with the capabilities of modern content management systems.
Now content is created and managed over many channels. It is therefore becoming ever more important that users in specialized departments, such as marketing and finance, also be able to work effectively with a CMS. Thus a professional comparison of CMS products should also take into account the user-friendliness for the user.
6) Can your CMS meet requirements for performance and prompt availability?
In FirstSpirit™ the creation and delivery of content is based on the principle of "pre-generation" – which means that wherever possible, rather than waiting to combine all content once it gets to the live system, the edited content is instead combined in advance on the FirstSpirit™ server, in other words in the less time-critical offline area. Only the parts of a site, or individual pages, that absolutely have to be generated dynamically are generated at run-time on the live system.
Examples of parts that are always generated dynamically include personalized areas, search queries, or displays of real-time data – all other parts of a website, such as complex (non-personalized) navigation elements or PDF documents, can be pre-processed.
This means that with FirstSpirit™ only what is "online" is actually processed – an invaluable advantage of the live system from the standpoint of resource requirements, scalability, and system response times, even under heavy load conditions. This is another important item for you to consider in your CMS comparison.