With the number of content management systems (CMS) available today, it’s important to consider the features and functionalities you need in a platform upfront, as it can be difficult and costly to switch platforms later on.

To help you select the best CMS for your needs, we’ve put together a list of the top methods for evaluating your options.

1. Start with the End in Mind

When you begin your CMS search, it’s easy to get bogged down with all the functionality and features you could possibly want. To keep your search focused, start by defining your goals.

What are you trying to achieve with your website? What are your most important KPIs? How will your website help you hit those KPIs?

These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself before you start shopping around.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have clear goals and KPIs for your website before you start looking for a CMS. If you don’t, you’ll have a hard time evaluating how well each platform will help you achieve your goals.

2. Get Input from All Stakeholders

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that choosing a CMS is a decision that only affects your marketing team. In reality, your CMS is a tool that will be used by every department in your organizational structure.

Your sales virtual assistant will use the CMS to access content that helps them close deals. Your customer service team will use it to answer customer questions. Your IT team will use it to manage the website’s infrastructure. And of course, your marketing team will use it to create and publish content.

That’s why it’s so important to get input from all stakeholders when choosing a CMS. Each department will have its own needs and requirements, and it’s important to take those into account when making your decision.

3. Create a List of Must-Have Features

Similar to your list of goals, you should also create a list of must-have CMS features. This list will help you rank your CMS options based on how they meet your needs.

This list will also help you narrow down your options if you find that some CMSs are missing key features.

Some features you may want to consider include:

• SEO capabilities

• Integrations

• Themes and templates

• Customization options

• Mobile responsiveness

• Security

• Speed

• Content types

• User roles

• Support options

• Analytics and reporting

Ecommerce capabilities

• Social media capabilities

• Blogging capabilities

• Landing page capabilities

4. Create a List of Nice-to-Have Features

After you’ve listed your must-have features, it’s time to list your nice-to-have features. This could include things like the ability to integrate with a specific tool, a certain look and feel, or even something like the ability to have a drag-and-drop editor.

This list will help you separate your top choices. It’s important to remember that not all of your nice-to-have features will be in one CMS, so it’s important to prioritize them.

In the end, you may find that you need to compromise and decide which of these features is most important to your team.

5. Assign a Weight to Each Feature

Once you’ve identified the features most important to your team, assign a weight to each feature based on its importance. For example, if your team is most concerned with ease of use, you might assign a higher weight to the user interface and a lower weight to the other features.

You can assign a weight to each feature by multiplying the number of features by the percentage of importance. Then, divide the sum of the weighted features by the sum of the weights.

6. Research and Rank CMS Vendors

Once you have a good idea of your budget and must-have features, you can begin to research and rank potential CMS vendors. You can find a list of CMS vendors on review sites and in industry reports.

You can also use Google to find articles and blog posts that rank the top CMS vendors. Be sure to look at the date of any articles you find, as the CMS market is constantly changing.

When you’re researching CMS vendors, you’ll want to look at a few key things:

• Features: Look at the features offered by the CMS and make sure they align with your needs.

• Pricing: Check out the pricing plans offered by the CMS vendor and make sure they fit your budget.

• Customer reviews: Read customer reviews of the CMS to see what other people are saying about it.

• Customer support: Look at the customer support options offered by the CMS vendor and make sure they are adequate.

• Ease of use: Consider how easy it will be to use the CMS.

7. Score Vendors Based on Your Requirements

Now that you have a list of requirements, it’s time to score each CMS vendor based on those requirements.

For each requirement, score the CMS vendor on a scale of 1-10. A score of 1 means the vendor fails to meet the requirement, while a score of 10 means the vendor exceeds the requirement.

Then, total up the scores for each vendor to see how they compare.

This will give you a good sense of which vendors are most likely to meet your needs.

8. Create a Shortlist of Vendors

Once you have a strong understanding of what you need in a CMS, you can start to create a shortlist of potential vendors.

As you look at different vendors, you’ll want to consider things like design pricing, the types of tools and features they offer, and the level of support you’ll receive.

You can also look at things like customer reviews and case studies to get a better sense of what it’s like to work with a particular vendor.

9. Schedule a Demo with Each Vendor

Once you have a shortlist of CMS options, schedule a demo with each vendor. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions about the CMS and see how it works in real-time.

During the demo, be sure to ask about any features or functionality that are important to you. You should also ask about the vendor’s experience and expertise in your industry.

If you can, try to get a live demo where the vendor walks you through the CMS and answers your questions in real-time. This will give you the best sense of what it would be like to work with that vendor.

10. Get a Quote

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to get a quote. Most CMSs offer a free version of their software, but it’s important to get a quote for the features you need.

When you get a quote, be sure to ask about any additional costs, such as installation, customization, and ongoing support. You should also ask about any discounts that may be available, such as multi-year contracts or volume pricing.

11. Make Your Decision

After you’ve gone through the previous 10 steps, you should have a good idea of what your organization needs most in a CMS. You’ll also have a list of CMS options that can meet those needs.

Now, it’s time to make a decision. You can do this by grading all the CMS options you’ve found on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the worst and 5 being the best) for each of the categories you’ve researched. Then, you can add up the scores to see which CMS has the highest total.

You can also use the information you’ve gathered to create a shortlist of CMS options that you’d like to get a demo of. This is a great way to see the CMS in action and ask any questions you might have before making a decision.


There are many content management systems, and they all differ in terms of features, functionality, and cost. When it comes to choosing a CMS for your organization, the best thing to do is take your time, do your research, and make sure you select one that aligns with the needs of your business and your team.

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