Content management systems have been around for more than a decade, but still buyers keep getting caught by surprise as they find expected common and out-of-the-box functionality missing in their chosen Web CMS.
One frequently sought solution is to include everything in the Request-for-Proposal to avoid surprises like this, but as many buyers have learned, this solution rarely works in practice as vendors know their way around this process.
While the usual problems with a young and immature industry remain, here is a list of minimum essential functionality that emerged from a recent meeting in the CMS Expert Group.
Essential features for a modern CMS
- Separation of content and presentation
- Rich text editing
- Without compromising separation of content and presentation
- Multi-delivery to different platforms
- Including mobile and printer-friendly
- At least western European charset / UTF8
- Some way to handle sites in multiple languages
- Broken links checker
- Access control lists
- E.g restricting who can view/edit certain areas
- Automatic handling of change in navigation / site structure
- Automatic content import
- Eg. RSS / XML feeds
- Short, meaningful, friendly URLs
- without file extensions (e.g. .aspx)
- and extremely short URLs
How does your CMS stack up?
Did you find the above list shorter than expected? Feel free to add your additional expectations below. Also, please share if and where your CMS came up short.