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Published on October 19th, 2016 | by james

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Choosing the Right CMS for your eCommerce business

eCommerce HostingNowadays any serious business venture needs a professional-looking presence on the internet. This means using a content management system CMS. A short investigation of the options out there will quickly demonstrate that there are many different kinds of CMS available.

What Is a Content Management System?

The term may seem like technical jargon, but it simply describes an advanced software package designed to upload and manage online content. The majority of CMS programs include web building tools, but the best ones allow you to create your own designs using source code. This gives you a flexibility of construction not offered by the simpler software packages; you can go beyond the limitations of templates and build e-commerce functions such as shopping carts and inventory management into your website.

How Do I Get Started?

To make things easier finding the right kind of CMS for your needs just follow these 5 basic steps.

1. Initial Assessment
Assess the structure and type of business. This influences the type of CMS you choose. Decide on the type of functionalities you will require, e.g. an online shop, order form, blog, etc. Keep the list in mind as you develop your website and look into the various options. How much time and effort can you afford to invest in your website? The answer will dictate the complexity and maintenance parameters of your CMS choice.

2. Accessibility
The question of accessibility is important but it’s easily overlooked. Think about who will be using your website – clients, customers and other end users accessing the system as well as yours and your staff’s needs – and choose a CMS system that fully meets their requirements. Failure to go through this process properly will guarantee problems in the future.

3. Research
Research thoroughly. Look into the options – there are well-established CMS providers such as Shopify, Big Commerce. Compile a pros and cons list for each provider you look at, and then draw up a shortlist of possibilities. Some providers offer free trial periods, and it is well worth taking advantage of these facilities to test your systems before finally deciding which one you will adopt.

4. Getting Help
Do you want to be 100% certain that your CMS has been properly installed and that everything is running at optimum utility? Then be sure to engage the services of an IT professional at the initial stage at the very least. This will ensure that your website will be established on a reliable foundation. Of course, it may well be that you are confident enough in your own IT skills to do the job yourself and save money, and this can be a good way to go just so long as you really do know what you are doing. If you are going down this road, be sure to take full advantage of any technical support supplied by your provider.

5. Monitoring the System
So now your CMS is finally on line and running smoothly. Then it’s all done and dusted, right? Well no, not quite. It is wise to evaluate your system from time to time. Not only does technological development not stand still (all kinds of upgrades to your system may – and indeed probably will – become available, and it would be only sensible to take advantage of them), but even the best CMS can become glitchy. It is also advisable that you get a dedicated server from a company such as Web 24.  If you find your system’s performance is not what it should be, or that there are aspects of it that could be improved, then consult your IT professional and/or the CMS support people to sort things out. If this does not bring about the results you seek it is probably time to change one or the other or maybe even both. If so, you will of course have to go through the entire process all over again: a tedious task, perhaps, but absolutely necessary. Yet with a bit of clear thinking and care in implementation it shouldn’t come to that. Taking these straightforward measures at the outset should save you time, money and hassle.

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