Having a business that wants to tap into the global economy requires careful consideration when it comes to choosing the right Content Management System, or CMS, for your website. Whether international expansion is your company’s goal today or in ten years, it’s never too early to start thinking about scalability and your web strategy.

So what is a CMS, anyway, and how can choosing the right one impact your business? In this article we’re going to lay out everything you need to know, from popular CMS features such as scalability, API integration, and website translation solutions, to questions you’ll want to ask yourself to gear up for expansion to a international market.

CMS Hunting: What to Consider

A content management system is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a software application comprised of programs that help create and manage web content—so choosing the right one for your business is crucial as it will play a key role in facilitating your website’s functionality and features.

Here is a breakdown of some important CMS features and offerings:

  • Scalability and performance. This is a biggie. You want a CMS that offers high performance and the ability for your growing business to scale as more opportunities arise.
  • Ease-of-use. Most businesses, big and small, want to use a CMS platform that’s not overly complex or difficult to use. The CMS you choose should be intuitive and user-friendly, with quality documentation and support.
  • Integrations and APIs. The ability of a CMS to seamlessly integrate with other applications and technologies is key. While some some offer everything you need right out of the box, many also are primed to integrate with third party apps to boost functionality. Ideally you’ll want both—native functionality along with convenient plugin/app integration.
  • Advanced security. Hackers are going to hack, and as technology evolves, so too does digital mischief, so it’s important to stay secure. A reputable CMS will protect the integrity of your data and prevent breaches. If you’ll be taking payments through your system, this is even more vital.
  • Flexibility in Design. The last thing you want is a generic, cookie-cutter website. When searching for a CMS, you want plenty of room for flexibility, website design and customization to ensure your brand stands out.
  • Marketing and Ecommerce. Always remember, your website is ultimately a tool to convert leads and make those sweet sales. You’ll most likely be working with marketing integrations, social media management, lead generation tools, and ecommerce features. A solid CMS will come with its own eCommerce and marketing capabilities or integrations with popular products.

What Kind of CMS Do I Need?

You’ve probably heard of some popular CMS like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, to name a few, but there are tons out there. So where do you start? After considering some key features your CMS should have, you also want to ask yourself some questions, such as:

What is the goal of your CMS and what do you want it to do?

This might seem obvious but it’s important to lay out the requirements and key points right from the get-go. Ask yourself what features are high priority, and what the needs are vs the wants. This will help when it comes time to researching which CMS to use.

What type of site are you building?

If you care about international expansion, for example, you’ll probably want your website to be available in multiple languages and even support translation plugins, like Argo Translation’s CMS Connect which removes the complexity of website translation with the click of a few buttons.

What about eCommerce – will you be selling products online? Will your site have 5 pages or 5000? Will you be needing more advanced functionality? Remember, things like scale and global expansion will quickly amp up your need for more complex functionality.

Who will be using your CMS?

You want to consider who the CMS user will be and get their input. Some things you’ll want to consider are how many people will be using it, will they need some form of version control when making updates, will you need different levels of access, are these tech savvy users, and so on.

What does your budget look like?

Establishing a clear budget for your CMS is one of the first things to do before considering your options. There are many solutions out there that can fit nearly any budget. Once you crunch some numbers, you can start evaluating what you want and what you can afford for your CMS.

Bottom Line

Once you have all of these questions answered, the next step of researching the best and most appropriate CMS for you will be much easier. Whether it’s an open-source CMS like WordPress or Joomla—75% of websites use an open source CMS—or closed source platforms like Shopify or Squarespace, there are countless advantages to working with a CMS for your website.

Need some help figuring out what the right CMS is to create a translated website for your international business? Get in touch with the team at Argo today.

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