Let’s say your business has been doing pretty well recently, and there’s now an opportunity for you to grow. That’s great! But growth comes with challenges, which include figuring out what to do with your website.
After all, you need a website capable of sustaining your growth. And to many businesses, that often means upgrading their content management system (CMS).
Yes, there are plenty of options in the market. But each business has unique needs — what works for you may not work for others.
So, rather than pitting CMS software against each other, let’s explore the key features to look out for when choosing a CMS to scale your business.
As a business owner, ask yourself: will your CMS grow at the same rate as your business?
Most businesses don’t consider getting scalable content management software at the startup stage. And that’s okay. Sometimes, all you need is an easy-to-use CMS that solves the immediate pain of creating a website for your business.
Although useful at that time, a simple CMS solution doesn't cut it when you begin to scale. Once you reach critical usage capacity, it may break, hurting your growth trajectory.
However, asking yourself the above question isn’t enough. You should strive to understand your unique business needs to choose a scalable CMS that fits. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a CMS that can easily accommodate your growth:
Traffic and Usage
Ensure your CMS can handle a sudden spike in traffic and website usage. You want a CMS that can sustain massive web traffic without slowing down.
Remember, most users are unforgiving with slow loading times. Anything longer than four seconds and your visitors will leave — and probably never come back.
Complex Use Cases
CMSs can be used as blogs, eCommerce platforms, and others. Opt for a CMS that offers a stack of services that support complex usage, web content management, automation, integrations, and multisite workflows.
It should also support different types of content and perform complex tasks like processing transactions, scheduling, and tracking customer accounts if needed.
Suppose your business grows beyond the borders of the U.S. Can visitors from foreign countries access your website? Is your user interface multilingual and accessible to new markets?
Beyond multilingual support, consider choosing a CMS that complies with Europe’s GDPR and other regional data privacy laws.
Customer Support and Communities
Many CMS platforms enjoy the backing of robust customer support and strong community forums. Having a spot where you can reliably find information is crucial when playing around with features or issues arise.
A secure CMS should be a top priority for your business, especially in 2022. Over 22 billion customer records were exposed to attackers in the past year alone — and that’s just the result of 4,145 publicly disclosed cybersecurity breaches.
In this same period, the average data breach cost was as high as $4.35 million for all the surveyed businesses, according to a study by IBM.
You are responsible for safeguarding company data and records from malicious attacks and tying up any loose ends on your web pages. The goal? Reducing the risk of malicious brute-force attacks on your CMS, data theft, and ransomware attacks.
Here are some security features a CMS must have to ensure your website stays impenetrable:
Ensure your CMS supports malware scanning. That’ll help keep your business safe with automated threat detection.
Use a Website Application Firewall (WAF) to monitor HTTP traffic and prevent application layer attacks such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting.
Select a CMS that supports content delivery networks (CDNs) with servers around the globe. CDNs sit between your web servers and users, meaning most threats will be addressed before they reach your website. They also deliver your website content quickly.
Use a CMS that supports frequent website backups to protect against data loss.
A CMS that has frequent core security and maintenance updates and support.
Pick a CMS that enforces secure passwords for all website users. You may also use multiple-factor authentication and restrict backend user permissions.
Use a CMS with plenty of secure and up-to-date plugins and extensions.
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3. Internal and External UX
Internally, bad UX cost Citibank as much as $500 million. Externally, website visitors are 88% less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.
No matter which side of the coin, a bad UX experience can make or break your business’s profitability.
Choose a CMS with an intuitive user interface. Attractive front-end design, high-quality theme templates, and multisite functionality can improve the quality of your traffic and conversions.
Do you need a developer to maintain your CMS? If so, make sure the process is as simple as possible. Choose a CMS your developers can learn to use and manage with ease. That way, anyone with sufficient knowledge can make significant changes to the CMS UX without breaking your business website.
Opt for a CMS that comes with a user-friendly website builder that uses drag-and-drop functionality to customize the appearance of your website. Sometimes, a WYSIWYG website builder may be the key to a successful UX strategy.
4. Large Storage Space
Do you host videos on your own server? Does your website support the upload of user-generated pieces of content? Do your customers stream media from your website?
If you fall under any of these three categories, you need a CMS that can manage vast amounts of stored digital content.
Suppose your user base expands. You need CMS software that can accommodate thousands of user accounts and data. Also, ensure your CMS can manage user files and documents systematically.
Large storage capacity can also be useful if you offer cloud storage services to customers and businesses.
5. SEO Capabilities
Besides security and scalability, search engine optimization (SEO) is another essential feature in a CMS. In other words, for your website to rank well on search engines across the internet, your CMS should have built-in SEO tools and capabilities to help you improve SEO.
Here are some technical SEO features your CMS should have:
Robot.txt file, which allows search engines to index your website
SSL certificates for enhancing security
XML Sitemap files
Standardized URL structure
Content publishing tools
Why is technical SEO so essential? Because without it, your content is invisible on search engines. It won’t matter how well-researched or engaging your content is.
Also, choose a CMS that supports good on-page SEO. On-page SEO gives search engines and your audience a better understanding of your page. That way, search engines and end users can find your business on search engine results pages for relevant keywords.
On-page SEO includes:
Heading tags (H1, H2, etc.)
6. Analytics and Reporting
If you choose a suitable CMS to grow your business, you’ll have a dynamic tool that collects data on the behavior and actions of visitors to your website.
Analytics and reporting can offer insightful reports on how well your business performs. This capability also helps you to identify new opportunities to improve your products, services, and marketing as you scale your business.
Real-time traffic sources (paid vs. organic)
Best performing products
Most searched keywords
Number of purchases
Most popular products
Social media marketing metrics
7. Third-Party Integrations
There’s no single CMS that comes fully loaded with features. However, excellent CMS options support third-party apps and integrations that can extend minor or major functionality. For example, you can add a proprietary firewall plugin to your website to enhance its security.
Third-party integrations and APIs allow you to add new tools and features to your existing CMS without needing a developer to build custom solutions. They cut the cost of production and help you save capital to scale other aspects of your business.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
Google Analytics and Meta Pixel
Funnel and landing page builders
Social media integration
Final Thoughts: Top 7 CMS Features To Scale Your Business
Although there are always more features to look at, you can make a pretty solid decision about your next CMS by exploring the seven above. As your business breaks new ground, ensure your new CMS can keep up with your pace, no matter your choice.
If you want a tool that covers all of the above CMS features, check out HubSpot’s CMS Hub. From a fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) platform to beautiful themes and excellent SEO, HubSpot has everything you need to scale your business to new heights.
That includes support for multiple languages, integrations, customer support, and easy customization to fit all your needs. Try it out today.