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Choosing a Best of Breed CMS Platform: 2 Paths to Success

Episerver and Hubspot - Best Of Breed CMS Platforms

In our look at planning your digital strategy for the coming year, one of the key areas of focus that we discussed was “leveling up” your content management system (CMS). If your website is running on an outdated CMS, or if you rarely update your website because doing so is too complicated, you should be planning to migrate to a new platform.

Unfortunately, many website owners might recognize that they have a problem, but they don’t know what steps to take to solve it. When looking for a new CMS platform, they often go with a popular platform like WordPress, without understanding whether it will meet their needs. But while WordPress can be a great solution for organizations with small amounts of content, it isn’t recommended for sites which have more than 100 pages of content, companies which utilize eCommerce, or organizations who are concerned about site security.

In cases where clients approach us looking to determine which CMS platform will meet their needs, we usually recommend one of two best-of-breed solutions that provide the highest ROI for their digital strategy. Let’s look at two common scenarios and our recommended solution for each one:

1. A Smaller Team With Less Robust Needs

Organizations who don’t have a large amount of content on their website and operate with a small team of content editors can sometimes struggle with finding the right CMS platform. They’re not excited about the possibility of their site being compromised, so they want something more substantial than WordPress or other free platforms, but they don’t have the large budget to invest in an enterprise CMS.

In these scenarios, we recommend using the HubSpot Website Platform. At the surface level, HubSpot seems to be focused on sales and marketing, but in reality, it is also a robust CMS that allows its users to manage website content along with social media, email marketing campaigns, inbound marketing, and more.

Here are some of the criteria that inform whether the HubSpot Website Platform might be a good fit for a client:

  • Fewer than 1,500 pages of content
  • A small marketing team
  • An annual website budget of less than $100,000

HubSpot is a great solution for these organizations, since as a SaaS platform, it allows for a “set it and forget it” approach, with one monthly fee covering website hosting, CDN scalability, software upgrades, marketing automation, and CRM. For companies who don’t have the bandwidth or desire to concern themselves with the technical details of website hosting and CMS management, HubSpot is the best way to meet their needs, allowing them to consolidate the various integrated systems used in their digital strategy, attain better measurement of ROI, and provide insights that aren’t available with disparate platforms.

2. A Larger Organization With Enterprise Requirements

Many organizations have higher level requirements for their digital strategy, including eCommerce, PCI DSS compliance, change management, workflow permissions, single sign on (SSO), etc. In these scenarios, we look to platforms that offer the most flexibility at the least cost to give them the best return on their investment, and one market leader stands out above the rest: Episerver.

Here are some of the criteria that inform whether Episerver might be a good fit for a client:

  • A variable volume of content
  • Requirements for distributed authorship
  • The ability to control the pace that upgrades are introduced into the system
  • Local or private cloud hosting options
  • A need for advanced versioning and historical content tracking

Of these criteria, the ability to control upgrades can be especially important. For large organizations, upgrades can introduce changes which might or might not require additional training for CMS users. If a company has 100 content editors who need to be trained on a major change to the platform, that training can’t happen after the change has already gone into effect without a major disruption of business processes. With SaaS platforms, website owners can’t control when upgrades go into effect, which may result in confusion and disruption if any training is required.

Hosting is another area that can cause concern, but Episerver provides website owners with a wide variety of hosting options to meet their needs. If an organization is not ready for cloud hosting, they can start using Episerver with on-premises hosting and move to cloud hosting at a later date.

Due to Episerver’s continually expanding features and functionality, including the acquisitions of products that provide omnichannel personalization and campaign management, we recommend this platform for organizations with enterprise requirements. By leveraging Episerver’s continuous release cycle, these companies can ensure that their websites will remain secure, while seizing the opportunities provided by the newest technologies on the market as they become available.

Don’t Go It Alone!

Website technologies can be complicated, especially when integrated with the other systems you use in your digital strategy. Luckily, we’re here to help! If you’re trying to determine which CMS platform is the right fit for your organization, we can walk you through the process of building your digital strategy and migrating to your new CMS platform. If you have any questions, or if you’re ready to get started down the path to success in your online efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

About the Author

Chris Osterhout
Chris Osterhout
Chris rose through the ranks of website development, ASP.NET architecture, project management and team leadership, to overall digital solution strategy management. As VP of Business Strategy, Chris helps clients understand the entire digital spectrum and guides them toward successful online solutions. Chris is a recognized expert on the Ektron / EPiServer CMS platforms and publishes, speaks and provides general thought leadership to clients and the greater web development community alike.
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