How choosing the right CMS will save you time and irritation

Author

Merijn Hoogeveen

published

2019-03-16

Share

When you’re thinking about getting a new website or making a big change in design, you might not be thinking about the CMS that you will be working with. However, in your day to day life, having a CMS that is the right fit for you will save you a lot of time, and hassle. In this blog we will tell you all about the differences between CMS’, and the advantages of using a headless CMS opposed the more traditional ones.

What is a CMS?

Let’s start with the basics: CMS stands for Content Management System. What do you need a content management system for? Well, do you have a website where you would like to be able to change images and lay-out yourselves, or upload your written content easily? If you do, you need a content management system. This is what manages all the so-called content on your website (it’s all in the name!). Logical next step is to work with a CMS that is the right fit for you. Maybe you’re already familiar with some CMS’? They usually provide templates and themes you can use, but other than that: not the most flexible of systems. Why? If you have chosen a template, you have chosen the way your website will look and work. There are limited options available in the way your content is shown. Hence, no flexibility.

Odyssey

Let’s take a closer look at the system we use here at Strangelove, with the name Odyssey (Homer wrote an epic poem by this name. We use an epic CMS by this name). The user interface of this CMS is very intuitive, as it is created with the user (content creator) in mind. This means that all content is build up in blocks, that you can move and scale as pleased. It makes editing a page or adding/deleting content something you can play around with yourselves, instead of something that you have to call your developers for. (Want to know more on how we create these blocks as a developer? Check out this blog.)

Below you can see what Odyssey looks like (we don't wanna give spoilers, so this is just a really small part, but it really is this simple):

 

CMS Odyssey preview

Device friendly

Using a decoupled CMS (which our headless CMS is) also makes it much easier to display your content on any device you please, in whichever form you want it to. Traditional CMS’ were built to manage the content for your website, but in our new digital era you might wish to create an app where you content is shown. With a headless CMS this can be done easily as this system manages your content only, and you are very free in deciding where and in what way it is shown.

You’re also much less likely to mess up an entire page when changing one thing, as the only functionalities that are added to the CMS are the ones you actually need. So, more people can work with the system without making your pages looking like something from a horror movie.

Headless or not, always have this in order

It doesn't really matter if you work with a headless CMS or not, we advise you to always have these two things in order while working on your website.

Staging environment 

In order to prevent messing up a page entirely, it is a good idea to work with a so-called staging environment. This is basically a copy or a new design of a page that you can test in an online, but ‘invisible’ way. Therefore the visitors of your website don’t see you messing around before you’re finished.

Google Analytics 

Also, if you’re implementing a new page make sure you have your Google Analytics in order, so you can see if people are actually visiting your new page, but also if they are bouncing from it. This means something isn’t working right, and you can fix it. If you don’t use analytics, you might have a page live for months that isn’t working the way it should.

Obviously; we’re great fans of Odyssey. But the choice for a CMS is always up to you, as it needs to fit your needs. We’re more than happy to help you make a decision in what is right for you. But, we can tell you, living headless isn’t as bad as you would imagine ;).