Understanding the content is the first step to building a Content Management System (CMS) implementation. Though it sounds self-evident, content is critical, and that's why they call it the Content Management System.
Start by asking yourself a few basic questions: What parts of the theoretical content will you be managing? Who is the audience for this content, and where does the content fits in the CMS implementation? Which section of content is required to be editable, and how frequently does it change? What is the lifespan of your content, and what will be the production process?
Find the answers to these questions to determine your actual requirements. While you might love a particular CMS implementation and think it's the best, your clients might find it confusing, hard to use, and highly complicated.
Don't select a CMS implementation until you know your content and the process used to create it. The critical part is understanding the contents, listing the assumptions and sharing them with your client, and getting it approved before starting any further progress.
Choose the Best CMS Implementation
There are many open-source CMS implementations targeted at different markets, a few examples being WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Silver stripe, etc.
CMS has many advantages when correctly implemented and used. These CMS implementation systems have considerable cost, technology, and complexity variations. A CMS implementation that works perfectly for one client, maybe a total disaster with another client. The goal is to find a system that meets your specific website content, client usability, and project cost.
Look out for additional CMS implementation functionality requirements in your website, and check for CMS implementation feasibility. Find the best CMS implementation that fits your client's business needs and make calculated changes to the site. If you are in doubt about a CMS implementation, then leave it out of your list.
Chosen CMS should have extensive user manuals and frequently visited support forums. The CMS implementation documentation should provide information from essential CMS tools and implementation to customizations and advanced functionality.
Build Your CMS Implementation with Usability and Accessibility
Do remember that this is the most crucial point before CMS implementation. Each section of the CMS implementation should be developed with your end customer in mind. Usability testing can help improve the odds that your user’s needs are met when your new site launches. Any change done by the CMS implementation editor should not break the website.
The coding style and site structure should be very user safe. Editors make life easier for your clients, and though they may not know HTML, they may want to be able to use bold or italic text or use header tags to create sections within their pages. They may also want to add an image or change an existing one.
A good CMS implementation-based website should always have a search option to enable visitors to search for specific content. Admin search provides quick access to the contents that your client is looking to update. So, while it's tempting to focus on the system, you should never underestimate the importance of user-centered design.
Tighten Your Content
Before CMS implementation, take ultimate care to ensure the website’s contents are non-breakable. Use custom fields and widgets wherever required. Divide your page into smaller bits and assign them to each custom field, only wherever needed. Make sure the name of custom fields matches the content, and the clients can easily understand and edit them.
An exemplary CMS implementation should have a standardized and consistent format for each section of the back end. If one team uses a drop-down menu for a selection, then all other areas should not have radio buttons or another selector unless required.
The sections in the CMS implementation should be appropriately named or referred to, similar to the areas on the website. This will help your clients quickly find and edit them. If something is called a ‘testimonial’ in one place and a 'clients speak' in another, that's going to get confusing. The same goes with names like 'sidebar,’ 'second column,' etc., as this will confuse your average user. Do not use any programming code embedded in the editor area or custom fields.
Do Not Hard Code Complete URLs into Your Themes
When you're building your CMS implementation themes, there may be times when images are used for social media icons or RSS feed icons. During these points in your coding, you may want to code the full URL out, but this will cause errors in the website whenever the person using your theme changes their theme folder name.
Apart from this, make a clear distinction between images that are part of the design and images that form the dummy content (i.e., the contents that are placed in the editor). Place these two types of images in separate folders, and use the dynamic URLs to pull these images.
Do Not Use Custom Fields in Excess
Clients prefer filling lesser custom CMS implementation fields, not more than 2 for each post. So, to make things easier for them, minimize the use of custom fields. If you're going to show an image from the home page posts for your theme, write codes in your file to automatically display the post's first image without needing a custom field. Use custom fields only where there is consistency in requirements.
Make Use of Widgets Frequently
For CMS implementation, the widgets should be used wherever required by correctly naming them and structuring them for easy use. Use them, especially where the clients do not have to change much, and the contents are less likely to change. Do not expect your clients to know programming code or even HTML. Use them for your sidebars and various other places. For example, if you have a four-column footer, then digitize it. It's one of the easiest things to do for your CMS implementation themes and will significantly benefit your users.
Get Your CMS Implementation Coding Right
JQuery is the preferred framework due to its excellent usability. Avoid inline js, and merge & minify the use of js files. The elements that require js functions should be included on the page by js. Clients should be able to control the contact forms. It is an excellent practice to create roles and privileges for the admin users.
Once the final CMS implementation system is created, please make a new editor access, and request your clients to use it. The client's CMS implementation access should only have the sections he needs to view or edit. Keep your code well commented clean and avoid any programming hard-coding and keep backups of your CMS implementation code regularly. If you're using a headless CMS, know the trends and best practices for implementation to ensure a smooth start and functioning system.
Do Not Clutter your CMS Implementation with Extras
Keep your CMS implementation clean and clear by sanitizing it. Do not keep adding tons of advanced functionality if it is not required on the website. Always use a CMS implementation that does the one thing you want to do well and forget the other features. Check all the installed plugins, modules, CMS components, widgets, etc., for their actual use on the website. If they are not required for CMS implementation, remove them. This will shield the clients from the complexity of the CMS implementation and make it simpler for them to understand.
Make Your CMS Implementation SEO Friendly
The best way to ensure your theme is as search engine optimization (SEO) ready as possible is to remove the default extensions such as readable URLs, write meta descriptions and titles, and manage site architecture in sites that frequently add and remove content. WordPress has disadvantages and advantages as a CMS. However, many companies widely use WordPress CMS and publishing platform for SEO content.