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As you evaluate content management systems, keep in mind their security features, which will protect your content, business, and website visitors. — Getty Images/shapecharge

A content management system (CMS) is software you use to create, publish, and manage your content. Choosing the right CMS can be an overwhelming task because there are so many options to choose from. Here are seven things to consider when evaluating different CMS software.

[Read more: How to Build a Small Business Content Strategy]

Consider your goals

Before you start researching different software, take some time to determine your current and future business goals. What is the purpose of your content strategy, and who is your target audience? Determining these criteria from the start helps you identify the format and level of functionality you need.

For example, e-commerce businesses that are looking for a scalable solution may want to consider Shopify. WordPress may be a good choice if you’re on a limited budget and want to build a blog to optimize your site for search engine optimization.

Ease of use

When you’re looking at CMS software, you want to consider how user-friendly it is. If the software is confusing and difficult to navigate, it will impact your workflow and ability to collaborate with your team.

Look for an interface that is straightforward and easy to navigate. You should also consider how well the software will integrate with your existing tech stack.

[Read more: 10 Best Ways to Grow Your Business With Content Marketing]

Customization options

Another factor to consider is how customizable the software is. For example, do you have to use the company’s design templates, or can you upload third-party themes to your site? Can you use plug-ins and extensions to extend your site’s current capabilities?

However, a CMS with many customization options may not be as easy to use. If you choose to incorporate more advanced coding options, you may need to hire a developer.

Try to attend at least three different demos before selecting a CMS provider.

Your budget

You should be able to find a CMS that meets your company’s needs and fits within your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, look for a platform that offers a variety of tiered plans.

That way, you’re investing in a scalable solution that can grow with your business. Hubspot even offers a free CMS that comes with a custom domain and premium hosting.

[Read more: How to Write Great Content for Your Website]

Customer support

Few things are more frustrating than tech problems, so you want a CMS that provides excellent customer support. Look for a software provider that offers online resources, community support, and a direct customer service line.

Even if a company promises 24-hour customer support, it’s a good idea to read their online reviews first. This research will give you a better idea of how easy the CMS provider is to get ahold of and how quickly they resolve problems.

Security

Your business needs a CMS with security features to protect your content, users, and website visitors. Before investing in a CMS, find out how much security is provided and what you’ll need to pay for yourself.

For instance, will you have to purchase your own secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate and use additional security plug-ins to make your site safer? Can you create different logins and passwords for each person accessing your site?

Free demo

Most CMS providers walk you through a free software demo, which can help you determine how the software works and how user-friendly it is. When you attend the demo, have a list of questions written down that you want to ask the vendor. For example, you’ll want to find out how much training that vendor offers during the implementation stage.

Try to attend at least three different demos before selecting a CMS provider. Comparing multiple systems will help you determine which one is the best fit for your business.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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