A content management system or CMS is the behind-the-scenes area of your website where you can change content.
It’s where you add the words that go on your homepage. It’s where you go to add an image or change a photo. It’s where you go to make tweaks to wording on your about page. It’s where you go to add blog posts and news updates.
If you spend a lot of time making changes to your site, adding new content, updating old content, etc. then even little things with the CMS can drive you crazy. One little extra step in a process can be frustrating, but it can also affect your bottom line.
And it might not be just you. Anyone that works with your website uses your CMS and if something in the process slows them down every single time then that time will add up and it will cost the business.
Let’s look at some of the common ways your CMS might be costing you money.
1. Lack Of Intuitiveness
It’s difficult to do most things if you haven’t done it before and if you don’t do it often. That’s just a fact of life.
However, some people understand the importance of people being able to figure something out on their own and quickly. The classic example now is someone that picks up an iPhone for the first time and knowing that you swipe right to get into the system.
It’s not easy to make things intuitive and that’s why some content management systems are very confusing. They’re confusing when you first start using it and it really doesn’t get better even if you use it often.
2. Too Many Functions or Inability To Hide Functions
Content management systems have a lot of features. Those features are there because a lot is required to make a website work. There are lots of things to control and change.
However, all these functions can cause confusion and frustration.
A good CMS will allow you to hide functions so that you’re only seeing the ones you need to do your job. The CMS will allow for roles so that certain people see what they need while others see only what they need.
The ability to hide functions and to create roles speeds up the process because you’re not sifting through or scrolling through a bunch of features and options that aren’t important to the processes you’re going through to do your job with the website.
3. Too Many Clicks/Steps
This is an obvious one. If you’ve only used your system you might not even realize what’s going on, but you might be losing time.
I upload blog posts to various systems and you can always tell when a system requires one or two more clicks to upload and add an image. It drives you crazy, but if you don’t realize that it could be better you just go with it and lose time and money.
Even one click here and there add up in a process. And it can happen to all those using the CMS.
The best way to figure out if this is happening is to audit your CMS by testing other systems and doing the same processes you and your team do. If you change the menu on your website, for example, try doing that on a different restaurant website with a different CMS. See if it takes an extra click or two or maybe it takes fewer.
4. Slow Server or Bloated System
It’s crazy how even a few milliseconds can add up. If you’re using a slow Internet connection or have a slow server or have a website that’s bloated then you’re losing time and money. It might be your CMS. The system itself could be bloated by having too many features or maybe just not being setup for speed and efficiency.
You might be fast and updating content, but if you’re waiting for the page to load even a second here or there then you’re losing time. Figure out where the loading speed issue is coming from and look for a way to fix it.
It might require a CMS change.
5. No Preview
Being able to preview is incredible because you don’t have to push the content live, which is obviously good so that visitors only see what you want them to see. What’s new lately is the ability to be able to see changes as you’re making them. You can see what the page will look like as you change code or as you change elements in the backend. Being able to see that saves time from clicking back and forth between tabs or windows.
This is actually something I need to use more often. I am in the habit of switching between tabs to preview and it costs me time when I’m working on blog posts, adding images, etc.
6. Difficult To Create New Pages With Existing Page Templates
A lot of websites require new pages often. In many cases the new page will be similar in looks to a previous page. The obvious thing would be to use that already existing page to create the new page. A good CMS will allow you to create a page template and use that over and over again for new pages. It saves time with coding and formatting and all that good stuff.
If your CMS doesn’t have a page template system or if you’re not using it then you’re likely taking too much time to create new pages. There are shortcuts with templates so be sure to use them.
7. Not Adaptive To Major Add-ons, Plugins
Some systems aren’t adaptive to add-ons or plugins. These things can make it easy to perform a function on the site. Good plugins and add-ons can make a site much more efficient. You have to be careful that a plugin doesn’t bog down your site, but in general they are good because they take care of something and usually make a process quicker and easier.
Some systems, however, aren’t adaptive to add-ons and plugins. You’ll usually see this with proprietary systems.
8. Challenging Updates
Updates are pretty easy with some systems. You just hit a button and the update goes in. You can test it in a test environment and then do it on the live site. But it’s not always that easy. On some systems it takes more steps and even if it takes a couple extra steps it can hold you back especially if there are frequent updates, which there can be because software companies are always looking for ways to make things better and more secure.
9. Not Widely Used By Developers
Some systems are proprietary. For example, some agencies have their own CMS for all their clients. That can be good in some ways. It might give the agency more control and maybe the ability to keep things secure.
But it is challenging if the system is not widely used. In general, the more people that use a system the more bugs will be discovered and fixed. The more inefficiencies will be found and fixed and so on.
Also, if your system isn’t widely used by developers then you’ll struggle if, for whatever reason, you stop working with your current developer. It can be a challenge to find a new one to work on your site.
Finally, it’s good to have a CMS that can adapt to different languages. We live in a great time because we can collaborate with anyone just about anywhere in the world. But we obviously use different languages throughout the world so it’s important that nothing gets lost in translation because that can cost time and money.
How are things with your CMS? You might know a few things that are taking longer than they should. But the scary thing is that you might not know what is slowing you down unless you try another system to compare. So see if you have someone with another CMS and ask if you can try a few things on their site. It’s a good way to know if you’re working with a CMS that is costing you money.