In this last installment of our 3-parts article about questions to ask yourself before selecting the right CMS for your website, we will delve into specific issues regarding technical support, ecommerce capabilities and of course, overall cost. If you’ve missed our previous related blogs, feel free to catch up.
In the first one we looked at tracking, debugging and extending possibilities of CMS software, automatic sync of desktop and mobile versions (vs having to build both every time), and the most critical search engine optimization.
In our second post, we underlined the importance of a user-friendly interface and learning curve issues, website delivery speed, and finally the ability – or not – to publish news flashes, blogs and updates easily and rapidly.
Today we close our round of questions with three very important items, starting with the actual capabilities of your CMS of choice to handle ecommerce and online B2B. Next we will interrogate ourselves on the validity of technical and community support. Finally, and this will surely be of interest to you, we point out how many seemingly free-to-use CMS software might end up cost you much more that you were led to believe.
If your existing or prospective CMS does not address properly those three important issues, you will penalize yourself with a less-than-optimal tool to drive your online business. Just read on to find out why, and take a look at f you really need a content management software that will let you build, manage and market your business efficiently.
Of course we won’t fail to point out how SeoToaster - our very own free and open source ecommerce CMS - handles all those matters, so that you have all the right cards in your hands to make the right choice!
7. How ready is your CMS for e-commerce & B2B?
Among the countless CMS softwares available, only a few can truly embrace the scope of functionalities needed to build and run a modern, full-featured e-Commerce website.
In this area, a few well-established providers have a made big name from themselves (Magento, Prestashop, infusionSoft, Shopify…). All have their own strong and weak points but are functional and mostly well supported, even if some are proprietary or hosted software with all the associated drawbacks.
Regardless of your choice which is based on your personal, specific needs (or those of your clients), you need to ensure that it carries all important features required to run a successful e-commerce website.
Make sure your CMS features easy payment integration, carrier-specific shipping & tracking modules, enterprise-strength security and other B2B functions such as automated quote engine.
Free of charge and easy to deploy, SeoToaster is a complete open source ecommerce solution that embarks all those features and many more including essential marketing and merchandising functions like email remarketing, or SMS customer services notifications, to let you develop high performance online stores and B2B websites..
8. What technical support can you expect for your CMS?
One often overlooked item in choosing the right CMS is technical and community support.
If you’re contemplating buying proprietary software you absolutely need to check the vendor’s background and its ability to provide adequate and cost-effective technical support.
How often does the vendor updates its software and what is the upgrade process? What are the conditions and rates for tech support? How easy would it be to switch from this CMS to another?
By choosing an open source solution over proprietary software you will not only enjoy lower tech support rates but also benefit from the world’s largest web development community, leaving you with endless cost-effective options to customize, extend and support your CMS software.
Do not settle for second-rate software: SeoToaster CMS cuts down on overall maintenance costs with easy installation, cloud-based upgrades, integrated support module and on-demand tech support provided by expert developers and members of the open source community.
9. How much will your CMS end up costing you?
The one big question that always gets some very murky answers, is that of the ongoing cost of your CMS.
Not just for acquiring its basic version to build your website, but to achieve every single aspect and function you’re entitled to expect from a professional solution.
You will find many CMS software out there claiming to be cost-free. But when comes the time of adding those essential functions and widgets you sorely need to actually bring your vision to life, you will find out that the costs can run quite high and ruin your hopes of ever turn a profit with your online business.
The main reason behind this is that while many software editors provide a free version of their CMS, all add-ons and plugins are developed by external developers. You will therefore need to purchase many different extensions and services which will keep your ongoing costs growing, not mentioning serious support, security and compatibility issues.
By choosing a CMS software that natively integrates all the basic functions you need to get started at no cost like SeoToaster does, you will keep your options open and be able to optimize every single dollar and hour of work invested in your website.
You will also need to pay attention to per-user or per-contact pricing schemes, as they will limit your ability to scale your activity and grow your client base in a cost-effective manner.
More questions & answers on how to build your website with a professional web builder CMS in a couple of days! See you soon!
SeoToaster is the most advanced SEO & marketing CMS and eCommerce platform that can be used right out of the box, with no plug-ins required. SeoToaster features a uniquely intuitive content management system interface, combined with powerful automated marketing.
W3C compliant HTML code generation, no layout restriction, unbreakable theming system, unmatched SEO, or automated merchandising are just few of the many built-in SeoToaster features.
It is an open source solution that is customizable at will and available for use and download free of charge at http://www.seotoaster.com and extensions at http://www.seotoaster.com/website-plugins-marketplace.html.
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About the author
Omnivorous mammal & SEO Samba CEO, I'm a regular speaker at search engine marketing conferences around the world, including Search Engine Strategies London & New York, and a contributor to a number of publications, including Website Magazine, and Feedfront Magazine. I enjoy strategy, coaching, and motivating both customers & staff.