WCMS Options: Separating the Men from the Boys

Creating a great company website that is not only attractive to the eye but one that is geared to your customer’s individual interests can be a challenge. Most Web content management systems (WCMS) do a nice job of sharing product information, helping generate sales, and securing long-term relationships with customers. But in today’s world customers want to go to websites that know them—their buying history, their preferences, their likes and dislikes. While it may be hard to secure a long-term customer relationship, it only takes a minute to annoy the customer so they don’t return to your website.

Choosing a WCMS can be quite a chore. As CMSWire noted, there are many aspects to consider when examining the various solutions that are available today. When considering a WCMS you need to ask yourself questions that go beyond simple features and functionalities. Ask yourself big-picture questions—“what are your goals for the website?”, “How much product support are you going to need?”, “What about training?”

Beyond the basic questions it’s important to be able to answer the question, “what kind of experience do you want your viewers to have?” But just as important question is “what type of experience do you want your internal team (content creators, marketing managers, IT staff) to have?”

In a recent report from analyst firm Gleanster, executives were asked their top priority for companies looking to invest in new CMS technology. Does it surprise you that 88% said that “optimizing the end-user experience” was the top answer? Providing great content, a personalized experience, and support for mobile technologies are just some of the areas that help customer have an enjoyable experience. But that’s only half of the experience. What about the people on the “back-end”—content creators, developers, and integrators? In order to create a compelling website that attracts repeat customers, the needs of both the front-end and back-end users must be considered. These two groups make up what e-Spirit calls the global user experience. Take a look at the recent article I wrote for CMSWire to get a better understanding of the global UX.

While there are many aspects of modern websites that are compelling to the front-end user, the complexity involved in providing a cohesive user experience can be overwhelming. What’s required is an approach that blends the flexibility of personalized content delivery with low resource utilization and high performance and stability. In FirstSpirit, the approach we are using to address this challenge is called SmartDynamics.

So while it’s important to examine features, pricing, and support services when considering a WCMS solution, it’s just as important to look at the entire global user experience. When you are speaking with WCMS solution providers, ask them about if their technology really is geared for both the front-end and back-end users. This is the area that separates the men from the boys.