How-To Pick the Right CMS for your Ecommerce Site

 Earlier this month we discussed what a Content Management System is and we talked about how easy they can be to use and integrate with shopping cart software. That all may sound great to you, but you may still be confused on which CMS to use or if it can handle your robust store and a large amount of traffic.  Below are some questions and guidelines that may help you make your CMS selection. 

 

Community
Will this CMS provide the resources I need to nurture my community? These resources may include mailing lists, event pages, and approachability for your visitors.  If you are attempting to develop a community within your ecommerce site you may want to use Drupal as it has some great community features.

  • Forums – While forums are a common feature, not every CMS supports them. The good thing is that forums can be incorporated in a number of ways. For example, they can be custom built into a CMS or implemented via plug-in. If your project requires forums, be sure to do some research and find out how many come included or what method is required to incorporate them.
  • Polls – Polls are another great CMS feature.  If you want to allow your users to vote on specific content, you will need a product that supports this feature.

 

Extensibility
How many add-ons (called a variety of things depending on the CMS you are using) are available? How often are they updated? Are there add-ons that you will actually want and use like the soon to be released Joomla! Component for Cart32? Is there support for this CMS? Whether it’s open-source or commercial, finding a CMS that offers support is vital.  If you purchase a product (template, plug-in, etc) be sure that you can get technical support from the vendor.  If you opt for an open-source product, be sure to select one with an active user community

 

Scalability
Eventually we all would love to have a site with a ton of traffic, but certainly need our site to be able to handle all the traffic.  Knowing that your CMS can handle a large amount of traffic is very important, and most of them can nowadays.  There are many very popular website running Joomla, Drupal, and the ever-present WordPress. However, all three interact with their respective database differently and can cause some issues with a very large amount of traffic hitting your site, which is a great problem to have. 

 

Content Management Systems are simply a tool for a job. Ultimately you will have to decide what you need for your range of duties. Which is the best: a screwdriver, a saw, or a hammer? There is no obvious answer to this unless you know what job you are going to do. Content management systems are the same in that respect, you have to pick the right one for the job. Define your requirements, do your research, and choose the one that works best for you and your business.

 

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