5 Must-Have Features we need in our Content Management System (CMS)

Renat Zubairov know-how

Which CMS to choose?

Dear startups of the world, how do you do your web-sites? How do you maintain and keep information on your website up to date?

Our website so far is build on top of a Twitter Bootstrap Theme we bought from wrapbootstrap.com. We took the theme, adjusted the content, put it inside the simple node.js express application and pushed it to Heroku. That’s it.

With this approach we have maximum simplicity and control over how our web-site looks and how it works, however one drawback is – all people editing the website should speak Boostrapish, HTMLish and CSSish or rather LESSish.This wasn’t an issue before as our team was small (do things that does not scale) but as we grow as a company we need to find a better solution – we need a proper Content Management System (CMS).

I have to say there are many CMS out there, the most prominent/well-known are WordPress, Typo3, Joomla, etc. Before we could make a choice (to be honest we already have a winner) here is my line-up of the 5 must-have features we look for in our new Content Management Systems.

5 Important Features in choosing CMS

Feature 1 – No Pages, please

Content is no longer a number of pages – the page structure, navigation, composition should be orthogonal to the ideal CMS structure. We need content pieces that can be placed everywhere, a page, an app, an e-mail. CMS should take care about the content and designers should take care about content composition – pages/navigation/etc.

Feature 2 – Collaboration and Version Control

We use Git everywhere. Non-collaborative, non-versioned way of working is not acceptable. CMS system should support strict versioning and proper release management.

Feature 3 – Clean HTML

You saw it before – WYSIWYG editors that do not produce a proper HTML. I mean HTML which is not renders ok but also semantically correct. One of our preferred solutions right now is a Markdown, just like Github did it.

Feature 4 – Google SEO Friendly

Another important feature. Content is the king. We have to make sure Google can read it.

Feature 5 – Availability, Scalability and Speed

As you might already know that Amazon have found that every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales revenues. The CMS we want shall not only be available and scalable, it should also be very fast (or at least have a good caching architecture).

Apart from the 5 Top Features above there are many other important aspects, like price, i18n, extensibility/hackability, programming platform and programming language support, etc. Read the next blog post where you can see what we found.


About the Author

Renat Zubairov

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Renat Zubairov is CEO and co-founder of elastic.io. He is an experienced hacker, product owner and agile evangelist. Renat is a speaker on international conferences, user groups and active open source community member. During his career Renat was working with world best companies like Nokia, Nokia-Siemens Networks, TCS and DHL. Last 5 years he has been working in product start-ups in Application Integration, Data Integration and Business Process Management areas. Leading development of Application Integration (ESB, SOA) product.


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