Choosing the right CMS for you and your business.

Content management systems (CMS) have come a long way in a very short amount of time. With endless options ranging from open source and free solutions to expensive enterprise-level subscriptions.

But which is the right partner and solution for you and your business?

The simple answer is that its best to choose what suits your business needs and goals. Many companies get bogged down on technologies, plugins or user reviews. However content management systems (CMS) normally have a clear unique selling point that distinguishes them from the competition.

There are many types of CMS, Amplify always advise our customers to take a time and consideration when choosing and break down the pro’s and cons of each. Each customer requirement is different and things can become often overlooked, or assumptions can be made that there is a workable solution or plug in available. This is not always the case and choosing the wrong product can result in high subscription fees and the need to custom code, this adding further costs to your project. 

Where do you start?

The first question to ask yourself is what is the requirement? Are you looking to just power a website or mobile app? Or are you looking for a full omni-channel digital transformation that requires one CMS to connect to multiple end front ends ranging from Apps, websites to Amazon, Facebook, Digital signage etc. Do you require multiple geographic regions, locations and languages and how do you plan to scale over the next 3-5 years? Is there a need for connecting the CMS to some of you in-house softwares? Eg, HR, Customer Database, product catalogue, price list or reward scheme?

A fully automated CMS (sometimes referred to as headless CMS) will connect all of your frontends, this can save a huge amount of time when deploying content in an Omni-channel world. Not only decreasing staff costs but allowing a business to grow fast and scale to new locations or regions or even franchise, without the risk of brand damage.

Budget recommendation

The budget recommendation and market leader for corporate websites is WordPress. The open source community is improving annually and plugins are cost effective and themes abundant. It allows for an e-commerce plugin to be added called Woo commerce that can also give a low budget e-commerce shop and the CMS. The backend can be a little complicated for new users and the CMS has multiple layers and requires external 3rd party plugins that sometimes require annual fees. It is important to keep these websites plugins up to date to stop hackers exploiting the site and errors on the frontend.

WordPress is easy to manage with many themes including a visual editor that allows you to edit the images, videos or text directly on page. There are also good plugins for SEO. You will need to host the website and this can sometimes be a hidden cost and complicated for novices. 

Enterprise Solutions

Should you require a strong online presence or need an enterprise solution with the ability to sell online there is many options available, ranging from Big commerce a SAAS subscription based solution through to Shopify. (WordPress does have an Enterprise subscription but the cost is huge so we have chosen not to add it).

Shopify has made great strides recently and is one of the most popular choices for our customers and entrepreneurs who are looking to launch an online business or take the their eCommerce website to the next level. The CMS is a lot easy to use than WordPress Woo commerce and has many more features that make it a stand out product. However there is a monthly/ annual recurring fee (although it does include hosting). Another good advantage is that is offers good fulfilment rates within the subscription and basic visual data reporting which is not bad for an out of the box CMS. The platform is not so easy to edit and adding new pages and additional unique pages within the theme would require the expertise of a developer. Another advantage of the CMS is the ability to quickly connect to a merchant, however be aware in the MENA region Arabic language and payment gateways can take months to connect. Stripe is currently the quickest and fastest integration and offers a competitive currently rate that is deducted from any sales. Shopify is more expensive to run than WordPress and WooComerce, however the features can be worth the extra investment longterm.

Big commerce is a huge player in the USA and is popular with some of our enterprise accounts, but not so common in the MENA region as yet. The CMS has a powerful offering and is marketed as a headless solution, meaning it has the ability to connect and scale fast with API’s that can connect to mobile apps, Amazon and social platforms that enable brands to sell online to B2B, or direct to consumer (DTC). The fees are higher than Shopify however the CMS offers unique options that are not available out of the box in Shopify and with multiple filter ability and B2B inbuilt without the need for Plugins. Although Stripe and Checkout are marketed as working with the CMS we would advise caution as we are aware of many issues with the platform talking to payment gateways.
If your looking for a true headless CMS then Contentful maybe an option we will be writing a blog on this CMS soon…

Would you like a free consultation?

Why not speak to one of our account managers or consultants about your project, we offer a free 30-minute consultation to all new clients, either in person or over a Teams or Zoom.