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What makes a "Real" CMS(Content Management System) "Really Good" and which System is right for me?

As the market floods with CMS solutions offered by a hundred different companies, one may start thinking "How in the world am I going to find a CMS that will firstly gives me what I want and need now and secondly will that system be able to provide me with what I am going to need in say 4 to 10 years from now?". Finding a CMS that fills this category can be the single toughest thing you can undertake in your quest for CMS bliss!

I have been developing CMS solutions for various companies for the last 10 years so I have learned a thing or two about what is most important in a CMS and what makes a CMS stand out from the crowd, so if you are in the market for a CMS solution consider the following:

1. Can the system you choose be extended. What does that mean? Very simply can the CMS you choose change with your needs, can new modules or page elements be added/developed?

2. Is it Search Engine friendly? Many CMS's use content out of a Database or content repository, this content is often accessed with session variables or URL parameters. I am sure that everyone of you have seen those URL's I am talking about, things that look like this in your browser http://www.somecmssite.com/page.cgi?page=3&session=987988987655& someparam=whatever&anoutherparam=65&wherewillthisend=idontknow& idontthinkitwill=true these types of URL's are not Search Engine friendly they will not get indexed by Search Engines at all. The CMS you choose should have human readable URL's like http://www.somecmssite.com/somepage.xml

3. Also ask yourself: Is the system you have choosen "Future-Orientated" by this I mean, is the vendor of the CMS in question dedicated to its product or is it just a side thought or extra product/service listed? Will this system be developed further? And how are you going to benefit from the future development, are there any features listed on the "In Development" page of the vendors web-site that you would like and is it going to cost you to receive these features when they are finished? Also make suggestions to the vendor as to features that may be "Nice to have" and judge their response, was it a positive response andwill they seriously consider developing these new features, or was it just a blow-off?

4. Support Support Support. What kind of support do you receive? What is the vendors policy on bug-fixing? Can you report a bug and how long will it be before you receive a response/solution? This is one of the most important questions when choosing a CMS so ask the vendor about how their product is supported.

5. This is a very important point that not many give a thought to: Can the system you choose publish pages to different formats? All Web Content Management Systems can publish pages as HTML but very few can publish that same content to a PDF file, Word document, WAP enabled devices or even to SVG(Scalable Vector Graphics). Why is this necessary you ask? In answer to this I ask, how many variations of the same document do you want to keep up to date? How many different programs do you use and have to learn to create all these documents? How do you even keep track of all these documents, as they are most likely going to be stored in different locations... The concept that I like to refer to as SDMOF or "Single Document Multiple Output Format" is a growing requirement for many businesses, imagine making an online advertisement in HTML and being able to publish that same article to a PDF file which you may send to any number of customers or even send that article to a print company which may then be mailed to customers mail boxes! With the system that I am proposing the same document could be viewed by someone surfing your site with a WAP enabled mobile phone... The possibilities are unlimited. So maintain one document not many.

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6. What kind of content authoring environment does the CMS provide? Most CMS's provide browser based content authoring, this kind of environment is very limited in functionality, also for any changes to a page the browser must connect to the server before proceeding with anything else... And you may only work on one thing at a time... This can be a slow and tedious process. One thing I have found out about browser based content authoring: It is not possible to upload multiple images/documents, either you must leave the browser and start up a FTP program or upload each image/document separately, now who wants to do that? Browser based content authoring can also lock you into a particular browser or Operating system, so what happens if in your company the management department is using Windows and the Graphics department is using Macintosh? All of this can be solved by a content authoring environment which is developed using Java/Swing, which will if properly developed run on just about any system, not only that but you will be using a rich, responsive and friendly content authoring environment.

7. Is the system you choose an all-in-one solution or are you required to purchase or install any other special software for the system to run... A good CMS does not require you to purchase any other software, as this can become an expensive and complicated way of running a CMS.

8. If you choose a commercial and license based CMS what kind of license model are you getting. Some CMS's have time based licenses which you must renew every year or so, some have a user based license model(Which can become very expensive very quickly), some use a per-cpu license which can also become very expensive. Very few CMS's have a simple licensing structure which lets you purchase a license and that is it, for example CuppaWEB(http://www.cuppait.com/cuppaweb/index.xml) has such a license structure which has no time limit, user limit, cpu limit or even any other Software/Database to purchase. Think about your budget very carefully and don't get in over your head but don't try to save money where you shouldn't.

9. If you do choose a "Free" CMS what kind of support do you have? And ask yourself; am I trading cost for what I really want? Will this "Free" system do everything you want and how easy is it to learn? When you have a problem who can you turn to, will it be an expensive consultant? If so how are you going to save money with this "Free" system? Even before you can start entering content the system must be installed and configured, can you do this yourself? If not this could become an expensive "Free" system! I have tested many of these "Free" CMS solutions and I have found that they are not always what you would expect from a professional CMS. So be careful and think about this before deciding. I would prefer to spend a little more money to save time, as time in any businesses is your greatest asset.

So in conclusion, do your research and take your time in selecting a CMS, don't make trade-off.'s and ask the vendor many questions including those listed above. And really consider will the CMS you choose be sustainable and is it Future-Orientated

About the Writer of this Article

Scott Taylor - Head Developer, Internet Consultant and Owner of CuppaIT(www.cuppait.com).

Scott has 10 years experience in the CMS and software development field, he has worked in Europe and Australia for companies like Siemens, Deutsche Telekom and O² Germany he has recently founded a company in the South West of Western Australia and developed the Content Management System CuppaWEB.

Are content creators in danger?

A few days ago Goarticles.com, perhaps the most popular article database online, declared war to many "Content Creator scripts" and "article crawlers".

For those new to this concept, this popular scripts crawl article sites, extract the content under a certain cathegory and then publish it on the script owner's web site... hundreds at a time.

You may find content creation scripts all over the Internet, ranging from $67 to $200, and most support Goarticles.com as one of it main sources...

Unfortunately they are encoutering big problems since the article site giant started to ban hypertactive IPs a few weeks ago. Now Goarticles have introduced an anti-automatic crawling protection similar to the one used by Google to prevent non manual site submissions.

If you are planning to purchase some piece of software or script that claims to build tons of pages based on article content, do ask the vendor if they use Goarticles.com as their main source, or if they are planning to upgrade their script to solve the problem.

On the other hand, it seems possible that other article sites such as Articlecity.com, may decide to implement the same anti crawling protection in order to preserve the high value of their service, while keeping a flow of "real" visitors to their site. Content creators can access thousands of articles, and publish them, without even having to open their web browser. This should be hurting article sites quite enough.

About the Writer of this Article

"How to -without the big time hype- set up
a web site, promote it and walk down to the
bank for real, cold, Internet Money!"
http://www.marketing-master-course.com
By: Jose L. Gonzalez

12 High Readership Content Ideas!

1. How To Articles: they include detailed step by step instructions. Examples: how to publish your e-zine, how to promote your business, how to attract visitors to your web site.

2. Tips: they are usually small pieces of information about the size of a paragraph. Examples: tips on using a product, tips on doing your taxes.

3. Top Lists: they are a group of tips listed in order, usually numbered from first to last. Examples: top 7 ways to get to the top of search engines, top 10 ways to market your product.

4. News Articles: they can include news about your industry or company information. Examples: joint ventures, new product releases, special events, overseas activity

5. Interview Articles: they could include interviews from customers, employees and experts. Examples: interview an employee that won an award, an expert related to your industry, a satisfied customer, people profiles.

6. Publications: they include information that's bundled together to take with the person. Examples: ebooks, reports, software, auto responder information.

7. Business History Articles: they include information about your business. Examples: years in business, goals your business has accomplished, community affairs, financial information.

8. Product Articles: they include information about your product or services. Examples: new products, improvements to existing products, new accessories.

9. Visual Content: they include visual helpers that help explains, shows or supports an example. Examples: charts, photos, graphics, graphs.

10. Entertaining Content: they include humorous and off beat information. Examples: contests; quizzes, trivia, puzzles, games, cartoons.

11. Excerpts: they include information used from other resources for different purposes, but can also support your business. Examples: journal articles, transcripts of seminars, reprints, speeches, press releases.

12. Technology Content: they are new technologies you can use to present your content. Examples: audio clips, streaming video, MP3 files.

Larry Dotson. Get 1239 FREE Internet Business eBooks when you visit: http://www.ldpublishing.com As a bonus, Bob Osgoodby publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter visit his web site to subscribe and place a FREE Ad! http://adv-marketing.com/business.

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