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Avoiding distractions

From: CMS Fundamentals

Video: Avoiding distractions

I have one final piece of advice for you before we end this chapter. I know we've discussed a lot of different processes, workflow considerations, and migration strategies regarding content management systems; however, it's really easy to get caught up in the nuances and minutiae of choosing and integrating a CMS and lose sight of what's really important, the functionality of your site. Never lose sight of the fact that you or your organization has specific goals in mind for your site, and that a CMS should assist you with those goals, not get in your way, create inefficient processes, or obscure your content behind features that, frankly, you don't need.

Avoiding distractions

I have one final piece of advice for you before we end this chapter. I know we've discussed a lot of different processes, workflow considerations, and migration strategies regarding content management systems; however, it's really easy to get caught up in the nuances and minutiae of choosing and integrating a CMS and lose sight of what's really important, the functionality of your site. Never lose sight of the fact that you or your organization has specific goals in mind for your site, and that a CMS should assist you with those goals, not get in your way, create inefficient processes, or obscure your content behind features that, frankly, you don't need.

Now this saying has been around for a long time regarding the web, content is king. Regardless of what kind of site you're managing, the content in content management needs to come first. Remember that people are visiting your site for your content, not the latest widget or your cool dropdown menus. As such, you need to stay focused on your content throughout the entire process and avoid common distractions along the way. When choosing a CMS don't let the impressive feature list of one CMS distract you from another CMS that offers a better workflow for your needs.

It's also common to get so enamored with a specific feature that you convince yourself that your web site can grow into it or that your visitors will really appreciate the extra feature set. Both of those things might be true, but if adopting that feature comes at the price of less flexibility for your content and a less efficient way to present it, then it's not a good trade-off. Also while all the analysis, processes, and workflows I've mentioned up till now are very important in successful CMS implementations, don't let them become a distraction from the quality of content that your site needs.

If you find that a specific workflow becomes too restrictive to content creators or that you don't have enough freedom to publish content in a timely manner, then change workflow. Make sure that no matter which CMS you choose you have enough flexibility in how you work to make tweaks to it if it's going to result in greater quality and greater focus on your content. Make sure as well that the workflow and processes that you adopt are suitable for your team's size and their abilities. All the site analytics in the world won't improve your site's quality if you spend the majority of your time bogged down in workflow checklists and web analytic tools.

Those processes should support the creation of content. And if they get in your way, find a way to scale them back and modify them in a way that allows you to keep your focus on creating great content. I guess the best way that I can sum this up is to be very clear about what you expect your CMS to do and what you expect from your team. Be realistic in your goals and don't expect a CMS to be a cure-all for every workflow problem that you encounter. A content management system is just another tool in your chest, and its role is to help you build and maintain engaging online experiences.

As with any tool, it's only as good as the artisan that wields it. Take the time to learn your CMS's capabilities. Make sure you clearly state your goals at the beginning of the project and stay focused on the user experience and quality of the content. Those three steps alone will do more to ensure a successful CMS integration than all the checklists in the world.

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This video is part of

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CMS Fundamentals

44 video lessons · 23975 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What CMS means for this course
      1m 44s
  2. 22m 52s
    1. What is a CMS?
      2m 47s
    2. The evolution of CMSs
      4m 4s
    3. CMS types
      6m 7s
    4. Basic CMS capabilities
      5m 4s
    5. When is a CMS right for you?
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Comparing CMSs
      4m 28s
    2. Core features to research
      4m 41s
    3. Commonly overlooked issues
      4m 12s
    4. Properly assessing needs
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing when to seek assistance
      4m 15s
    6. Choosing a CMS for designers
      4m 45s
    7. Choosing a CMS for organizations
      4m 12s
    8. The pros and cons of hosted solutions
      2m 58s
    9. Hosted solution examples
      5m 51s
    10. The pros and cons of open source solutions
      4m 36s
    11. Open source CMS examples
      7m 6s
    12. Proprietary CMSs
      7m 48s
    13. A closer look at Drupal
      5m 7s
    14. A closer look at Joomla!
      4m 0s
    15. A closer look at WordPress
      5m 33s
    16. Resources for comparing CMSs
      9m 2s
  4. 43m 58s
    1. What is an open source CMS?
      3m 4s
    2. What is a LAMP stack?
      2m 53s
    3. What are WebDAV and FTP?
      2m 39s
    4. What is MySQL?
      2m 24s
    5. WYSIWYG editors
      3m 56s
    6. Understanding users, groups, and permissions
      4m 12s
    7. What is metadata?
      5m 19s
    8. Understanding taxonomy
      3m 35s
    9. What is version control?
      4m 23s
    10. What are themes and templates?
      3m 30s
    11. What is SEO?
      4m 42s
    12. What are web analytics?
      3m 21s
  5. 36m 31s
    1. Content management as a process
      4m 38s
    2. Properly defining roles
      5m 3s
    3. Planning a content strategy
      4m 1s
    4. The importance of taxonomy
      5m 7s
    5. Controlling content lifecycle
      6m 22s
    6. Challenges for CMS migrations
      3m 45s
    7. Steps for migrating content
      4m 16s
    8. Avoiding distractions
      3m 19s
  6. 2m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 24s

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