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5 Tips for Choosing a CMS for Your Website

5 Tips for Choosing a CMS for Your Website

If you are interested in creating a website, you probably want a content management system (CMS). While you can code a website from scratch if you know how, a CMS lets most people easily add content, format their websites, and add and arrange content how they see fit. However, selecting the right CMS can be challenging and many get overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong if you want to use WordPress, but it may not be the best choice for your particular website. Every organization needs something different, whether that difference comes down to personal tastes or what resources are available. Here are some tips and factors to consider for your website so you can get the CMS that is just right for you.

1. Figure out why you want a website

Different CMSs are built for different websites. For example, an e-commerce website should consider Magneto.

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In addition to figuring out why you want to build a website, you need to define what constitutes a successful website. For most websites, simply attracting visitors is enough. But if you are running an online business or charity, you want to measure how much money you are receiving from the business. While this may seem to be a basic step, knowing what you want from your website is the first step to determining what CMS will work.

2. Understand open source vs. proprietary CMS

There are many different CMSs out there, but they can be generally divided into free, open-source CMSs like WordPress or Joomla or paid, proprietary CMS like Ghost or LightCMS.

You may think that the paid CMS will be better than a free one, but that is not the case. In fact, open-source CMSs are generally more flexible, have more design choices, and are more affordable. The catch is that an open-source CMS is a general template that is suitable for a vast array of websites, while a proprietary CMS can be customized for your specific design or business. Also, a proprietary CMS is normally safer.

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Cypress North has a good guide if you are still unsure whether to pay or not. But in general, go for an open-source website if your organization is completely new and you are unsure about what you want the website to look like. Open source CMSs like WordPress are best if you want to set up a blog. Use a proprietary CMS if you are in a more niche field, know exactly what the website’s design should be, and have the cash available.

3. How easy is it to use and restrict?

If you have some computer expertise and are the only person managing your website, then you can use a more complicated CMS. But if you have multiple users and editors, then you need a CMS that is more user-friendly. In this regard, WordPress is a good starting point for your website, as you can figure out what your peers are capable of doing or not doing and adjusting your website and its coding appropriately.

But while you want a CMS that your peers can use easily, you also need to be able to control who can post what as the website grows larger.

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For example, a news website may have bloggers who can post an article, but only after an editor checks over and approves it. Make sure that the CMS allows for multiple roles and different kinds of permissions, enabling you to limit where users can post.

4. Check the search function

When someone visits your website looking for relevant content, they will often hit your website’s search engine to find something they are interested in. It’s most likely that 30 percent of site visitors will use a website’s search bar on their first visit.((Agility: Why it’s Important to Have a Search Bar On Your Site—And How to Leverage It))

This obviously means that you want to make sure your CMS has a search bar option, but that is not enough. Make sure that the search has good speed, checks all of your website to find relevant content, and understand how it shows its rankings. If you are using an open-source CMS, look at search plug-in options that can give users more advanced search criteria or speed up searching.

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5. Understand the relationship between CMS and SEO

Every website wants to attract people, and a strong SEO strategy is critical towards getting viewers. Consequently, any CMS must have options that can help your website on the search rankings.

Some things to consider are the URLs, as you want your web pages to read well. Also check to make sure that the CMS will let you customize page title, keywords, and the meta description. Higher Visibility also has some good pieces of advice for other ways which your website’s CMS can improve your SEO such as breadcrumb navigation and a 301 redirect.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Abogado via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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