How to Evaluate a Web Content Management System

November 26, 2018   /   by  Michael Westafer

Select a CMS to Empower Your Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re getting ready to redesign your company’s website for 2019, it’s also an ideal time to revisit your Content Management System (CMS).

Your CMS is the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, and if the one you are currently using is not meeting all your marketing needs, difficult to use or cumbersome to integrate, there are better solutions available.

You need a tool that will empower your team to create relevant, personalized and engaging cross-channel digital experiences for your customers.

Here at Roger West, we work with a wide variety of CMS’s – from the ubiquitous WordPress to the more robust SiteCore. We’re also a Gold-level Sitefinity partner, with over 40 Sitefinity implementations, Sitefinity-certified developers and two-time winners of Sitefinity’s Website of the Year award. See Top 7 Reasons Why We Chose Sitefinity CMS.

But it’s important that your business finds the CMS that is the best fit for your specific goals and challenges, and one size does not fit all.

You need a solution that not only accomplishes your digital marketing goals, but also satisfies the requirements of content creators, designers, developers and site administrators.

A Benchmark for Evaluating a Web Content Management System

Here are five key capabilities that a next-generation web content management system should have to ensure your digital marketing needs are covered:

  • Usability – The CMS should empower your team members (content creators, designers, developers, marketers, and site administrators) to collaborate effectively. Look for an intuitive interface with key features such as:
    • WYSIWYG in-line editing tools
    • Drag-n-drop interface
    • Built in spell-checking
    • Generic content blocks
    • Simple landing page and form builders
    • Workflow management
    • User roles and permissions
    • Control over URLs & SEO metadata
    • Design templates
    • Multi-site management
  • Digital Marketing Tools – The CMS should include out-of-the-box digital marketing tools that allow your team to deliver a more personalized and engaging digital experience. Look for features such as:
    • Content personalization
    • Email marketing
    • E-commerce
    • Social media integration
    • Web analytics
    • SEO capabilities
    • Community building
  • Mobility and Cross-Channel Publishing – The CMS should give your team the ability to publish content seamlessly across all digital channels (web, mobile, email, social) and across all devices (desktop, tablet, mobile). Look for features like:
    • Built-in responsive design engine
    • Built-in responsive design layouts
    • Preview for mobile devices
    • Screen size detection
    • Mobile application builders
    • Email marketing
    • Social media integration
  • Extensibility – The CMS should give your development team the ability to extend features via web parts or other controls. Look for a CMS that offers:
    • Open API
    • Custom Fields
    • Widget Editor
    • Templates for Rapid Development
    • Module, Control and Other Builders
  • Integration – Likewise, the CMS should give your development team the ability to integrate with other systems, like:
    • Identity services for authentication and single sign-on
    • Portals, intranets and extranets
    • Enterprise applications, like CRM, e-commerce, etc.
    • Databases
    • Web analytics
    • Social media 

Additionally, when choosing a CMS, it’s important to get a real-life, hands-on demo so you can try out the tool in action. Don’t just watch a generic video or listen to a sales person.

Need help choosing the best CMS for your business? No sweat. We’ve already researched, tested and worked with dozens of leading web content management systems and can help you find the best fit.

Let’s Talk.

Michael Westafer

Michael Westafer


As the CEO and founder of Roger West, Mike brings over 25 years of marketing, leadership, and business strategy experience to our team, clients, and partners. Under his leadership, the Roger West has grown from a scrappy startup to a full-service, award-winning agency. He believes in getting things done, making big things happen for clients, and delivering expert fist-bumps.