Web content management (WCM) software provides users with tools to create, edit, and publish digital content such as embedded audio, text, and video files for websites. Users who do not have coding skills can easily write and upload the content by selecting pre-built templates to design the web content.
WCM solution also helps marketers, developers, and IT teams create and personalize web pages with the built-in tools available for the website visitors. This solution caters to businesses that deal with various types of web content creation, such as blogs, websites, portfolios, online stores or any other content. Additionally, the software allows users to oversee site performance, activity logs, and configure proxy settings.
There are many options available on the market, making it difficult to decide which software to purchase. In this buyers guide, we’ve provided all the information you need to make the right purchase decision for your web content management solution.
Here’s what we'll cover:
What is web content management software?
A web content management software provides users with tools required for building custom websites, editing and creating web pages, and publishing them. The solution allows businesses to personalize the content for each visitor depending on various factors such as demographics, visitor activity, and more.
Users can also access the software on a web browser by editing the content along with the layout and format using the browser-based interface. WCM software typically has two parts: content management application (CMA) and content delivery application (CDA). CMA is a front end interface on which users can directly work and make changes without getting involved in coding. CDA provides a back end interface which converts all the commands and actions done on the front end into a functional website.
Dashboard in WordPress (Source)
Common features of web content management software
Most web content management systems have the following features in common:
||Allows team members to communicate, share media files, and work together. Editors have the ability to review and approve the content before pushing for publication. Supports simultaneous access and edits by multiple users on a specific content.
||Lets you control, manage, and plan the distribution of the content through various platforms or channels online.
||Provides users with sample pre-built templates of web pages that can be customized as per their need or usage. Content creators can use these ready-to-use templates rather than designing their own.
||Helps users create and plan a set of actions in order to complete marketing specific goals. Create and track messages for sending out to potential leads through surveys, social media, emails, print materials, and giveaways.
||Collects information about your customers such as keywords searched, location, ads clicked, etc. to create a personalized experience for content delivered across the network for each user.
|Drag & drop editor
||Drag and drop images, icons, widgets and prototypes from the desktop, apps or central library.
||Stores, manages, edits and places different types of media such as video, images, and audio for the website content.
||Facilitates search engine optimization as well as better ranking on Google Analytics for the associated content.
|Social media integration
||Integrates with social media platforms to push your website content on apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., or to include your social media content on your website.
|Website accessibility tools
||Fixes/remediates issues or optimizes site elements to improve accessibility for visitors with disabilities or unique needs.
What type of buyer are you?
Most buyers of web based CMS platforms belong to either of the following categories:
- For startups (1 - 100 users): These organizations have a limited ask and budget to cater to their clients. If you belong to this category of buyers, you will want a software that offers core functionalities such as collaboration tools, campaign management, and content delivery management. These businesses are growing in nature and prefer solutions that offer different capabilities as different modules so they can opt for more modules or move to suite-based pricing going forward. Startups generally need a limited range of services to offer to their clients and would restrain opting for a full product suite.
- For midsize businesses (101-250 employees): These buyers tend to choose best-of-breed products because they have established major parts of their businesses. They often look for solutions that offer core features along with security features, integration capabilities, and CRM tools. This segment of buyers have an in-house tech team of editorial writers and website developers.
- For large enterprises (250+ employees): The companies that have a huge workforce and focus on highly appealing websites. They look for solutions that offer scheduling of updates, posts, and content without much oversight from the employees. It would also create bandwidth for them to focus on developing the tasks rather than managing them.
Benefits of web content management software
- Simplifies collaboration and version control: Assets are all stored in the same central location and can be manipulated by multiple people. Users can approve, review, and leave comments on assets, and version control constantly updates instances of the asset for everyone working on it. This software makes it easy for multiple users who need to collaborate on the same content. It allows the team to collaborate with the use of built-in tools. For instance, marketers can put a planner of the important date, writers can create content, while a graphic designer can create and insert the required images and so on.
- In-depth analysis of website performance: No matter your industry, monitoring the campaign effectiveness is important. It helps businesses to keep track of what is working for them and what is not. They can track the engagement metrics across various platforms to understand data insights so that you can adjust the content accordingly. For instance, CMS software that is equipped with analytics and reporting features can provide actionable insights from your content in real time. With this data, your team of content creators will know what content and which platform would produce the best result.
- Multi-site publishing: A web content management system should offer users the ability to create, manage, and deliver the content on multiple sites simultaneously. It helps users choose the set of content and its format for each platform. For instance, users may want to publish a specific news story on a public website using one format and another format for posting on the company's intranet webpage.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a web content management software:
- Multichannel support: This would include the capability for hybrid approaches to deliver content across multiple platforms and/or channels. The CMS software should also have the capability to support ongoing interactions with multiple individuals and target audiences while they are mobile. The solution that allows you to create custom campaigns tailored to each channel will save you time and resources.
- Digital experience: At the minimum, a web content management software should offer the support for responsive web designs in order to accommodate mobile browsers. A web content management system should not produce a full-screen display on mobile apps or mobile browsers. Instead, it should divide the digital content into discrete content blocks which dynamically assembles at runtime to enhance customer experience. For instance, the users who are traveling would not have the patience to scroll through to find the required content. The WCM tool should make your full-screen and mobile layout highly usable.
- Content accessibility: Your content management system should have the ability to assign tags to web forms and web blocks. It should offer tags management to define, organize, and prepare a glossary of all the tags used in the webforms of a project. Tagging the content blocks makes it easier for the search engine to locate the relevant information according to keywords searched. This will, in turn, fetch more accurate results for the users.
- Integration with social media platforms: WCM solution has become a great way of marketing, collecting surveys, and building brand presence. Whether you want your social media post to be featured on your website, or you want your visitors to share digital content from your website, the CMS solution should have capabilities for all such scenarios. Integration with platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr will benefit your business to build a strong web presence and increase the reach to the right audience. The web content management system should also provide a content Application Platform Interface (API) your external applications can connect with to pull content from the content management software.
Market trends to understand
- Application of artificial intelligence to WCM is the future: As companies continue to automate their processes and software functionality in order to reduce costs and time associated with certain workflows, the rise of intelligence-based content services is revolutionizing the way businesses create and manage content. According to a survey by Gartner, CEOs who are investing in projects to improve the user experience journey with their business consider AI as the top priority. Wherein AI can be leveraged to create and automate content for content autoclassification, content translation, and metadata management etc. AI can also help in making content pieces granular and reusable across various channels. This AI capability can automate the conversion of one type of content into another based on customer segment, day and time, and delivery channel.
Note: The applications mentioned in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.