Questions to ask Before Selecting a New Content Management System (CMS)
Navigating the increasingly option-filled landscape of Content Management System (CMS) selection is no easy task. For better or worse, nonprofit organizations will need to keep up and make smart technology decisions with more limited resources. But investing in your CMS and keeping an eye on how it can help you develop stronger relationships with your donors and supporters is probably one of the most important decisions you can make.
Lucky for you, Heller Consulting and Firefly Partners teamed up to create the paper CMS Platforms: A Guide for Nonprofits to guide your organization through the process of selecting a new content management system solution. As a part of this paper, they put together a great list of questions you need to consider or ask your consultant before you decide on a CMS solution.
Top questions to ask a CMS vendor or consultant:
- Beyond the annual license fee (if there is one), what other costs should I anticipate for the upkeep of my site? Will those be one-time, periodic, or annual costs?
- Do you provide periodic backup of my site’s data? How can I ensure that the CMS system in question will not disappear into the night and take all of my site data with it?
- How does the CMS vendor or consultant handle ongoing support of the system? What amount of support is included? What different levels of support are available for your customers? Are there online tutorials or help files available?
- How do you handle bugs or feature requests from your customer base? How do you handle site security and system upgrades?
- How is the data stored in your CMS? Is it relatively easy to get it out when/if I ever need to move to a different platform?
- How easy is your system to use for non-technical users? Can a non-technical user easily make edits to all elements on the site or do some pieces require a developer to update? How customizable is the system?
- Does your CMS integrate with any CRM or online marketing tools? How deep is that level of integration? Can data pass back and forth between those systems or is it only one direction?
For more help on deciding which CMS solution is right for your nonprofit organization, download the CMS white paper from Firefly Partners and Heller Consulting. There is even a worksheet at the very end to help you figure out which features your organization wants or needs the most.
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