It pays to outsource or hire an external CMS programmer or CMS web development company to develop a custom CMS to help you manage your site. Rates are important no doubt but the capability of the CMS web development services company is even more so. It pays to view testimonials, cross-check and also ask interview questions in order to satisfy yourself that the CMS programmer can deliver what you need. Your interview of the CMS developer should include, among others, these interview questions.
Which platform will be used for CMS?
CMS today is built on proprietary platforms like Sitefinity or Advantage CSP. However, the better and more popular method is to use open source platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, PHP-Nuke and Wolf CMS. Each platform or tool has its advantages. Joomla is ideal for a variety of websites and applications. PHP-Nuke allows CMS through a browser interface besides allowing News Feed and private messaging. Magento is ideal for e-commerce sites. Drupal may be the perfect tool for large websites and online communities. WordPress is the most popular since it is robust and suits a variety of purposes. Ideally, your CMS web development company should employ specialists in any of these tools and help you decide which one to use going forward so you have ease of use, flexibility and scalability. Quotes may vary depending on whether you want a simple CMS or a CMS website or integration into an existing site. In any case, it pays to quantify services you expect and get rates. It is time to go into more details.
Can you come up with a CMS that can be used at the same time by various people to upload contents quickly?
In order to save time and effort a CMS web development service may include only single point access. This means if a CMS website needs to be updated or managed, then only one person can do it. Ask if they can provide access to various people to update your CMS website while maintaining uniformity of looks and theme.
Will it be easy to use even by non-IT people?
The true expertise of cms website development company lies in being able to make the CMS easy to use, even by non-IT people. Each user may be assigned a login ID and given specific access. The interface needs to be intuitive and it should allow users to type in contents or upload contents and apply formatting rules with ease.
How easy is it going to be to manage existing contents, archive contents and even retrieve old content?
With the passage of time, a lot of content can be uploaded to your site. Over time you will have a need to archive contents and yet make them available on the site.
Can the CMS programmer take care of integration or migration?
Hire CMS programmers from CMS web development company on an outsourced basis by all means. Do not forget to ask if the CMS integrates into existing software for ease of user and better productivity. If you have an existing CMS and need to migrate to a new one you may expect the programmer to migrate data without loss.
Are they familiar with best practices SEO and do they integrate it into the CMS?
Some platforms like WordPress have SEO integration while others may not. In any case, it helps to get this issue clarified and opt for a programmer of CMS who actually understands SEO and how to integrate it into your CMS. Apart from that, the CMS should allow you to input meta tags, descriptions, titles and keywords and create friendly URLs. It should be easy to find and replace duplicate content and update the site map. The CMS you get developed must-have features that make it easy to create alt tags, incorporate H1 and H2 headings and meta description among others. If a content writer has not followed norms the CMS may make suggestions on selected passages of text.
Video and image integration – can they do it?
CMS does not mean only text. Web pages these days have rich content comprising of infographics, photographs, line art, animation, sound and video. The CMS you plan to get developed should have capabilities to incorporate video into content and display it properly besides helping to create tags and metadata for such graphical content. This way, when you do archive multimedia data it should be easy to access and retrieve.
How good are they at plugin integration?
With so many plugins available, most of them for free, a CMS programmer may include on which is convenient but that plugin may create issues such as slowing down a site. Expect your CMS website development company to have knowledge of plugins and which ones to use to avoid issues like to slow down or security vulnerability.
Can they come up with a scalable CMS?
Your needs are certain to increase with growth. Even if you start with a low-cost CMS website to suit currently limited requirements, there should be inbuilt flexibility to scale it up when you want to do so in future without the need for extensive rework.
Do they provide training?
Users in your enterprise may take time familiarizing themselves with the CMS. It helps if the CMS web development service provides training to people who are connected with maintaining and updating your site to know just how to use the system and get the most out of it.
What about support?
If you opt for custom CMS web development then you will need support. Ask about support and how it available. You need support at all times, not just during office hours. Support can range from clarifying an issue a user has or it may mean a breakdown of the system that must be got up and running without loss of time. The CMS programmer must be available through phone, email or even in person if so required.
Costs are something that must be discussed but first, you need to define what you want and the CMS website development company must outline what it offers. Then there are little but important things such as:
- Costs of support – are they included in the package and, if so, for how long?
- Cost of updates and maintenance – Open source platforms like WordPress are upgrading software and your CMS/website must be updated in the interest of security or better performance.
- Do they include training in the cost or is it extra?
- Do they offer the CMS as a one time purchase or do they operate on a license basis?
The right CMS development company may provide all the right answers and be capable of delivering on what it offers. Still, answers lead to more questions and it is best to get these clarified before you give them the go ahead.