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Igx Web CMS Buyers Guide

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Web CMS Buyer’s Guide WHITE PAPER



Introducon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

The amount of digital content and media managed by private What is a Web CMS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 How to Buy a Web CMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Success Factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Web CMS Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Web CMS Use Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Types o off We Web CM CMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Key Web CMS CMS C Cap apab abil ili ies es. . . . . . . . . . . 10 Un Unde ders rsta tand ndin ing g Depl Deploy oyme ment nt . . . . . . . . . 16 Web CMS CMS Im Impl plem emen enta tao on n . . . . . . . . . . 17 Web Web CM CMSS Temp Templat late e Appro Approach aches es . . . . . 17 Buyi Buying ng a Web Web CMS CMS ((Ag Agai ain) n) . . . . . . . . . . 18 Our Best Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

ABOUT INGENIUX A leading provider of web content management soware, Ingeniux empowers organizaons to manage world-class websites and vibrant online communies across web,

and public organizaons has grown exponenally in the last few years. Websites have also become complex. For many organizaons, organizaon s, managing the web requires opmizing online markeng, delivering localized versions of content for country sites, creang online communies, supporng a myriad of mobile devices, and meeng key compliance requirements. Enter the web content management system (web CMS). Web CMS soware empowers organizaons to cost-eecvely manage the web while maximizing results from online programs and communicaons. Web CMS soware is as business crical c rical for most organizaons as a customer relaonship management system (CRM), enterprise resource planning system (ERP), or any other key business applicaon. Yet most organizaons do not have an eecve way to evaluate a web CMS. This is complicated by the sheer number of web CMS soluons on the market, the industry markeng hype, and the wide range of use cases web CMS soware supports. This buyer’s guide is aimed at helping organizaons organizaons understand how to evaluate and buy a web CMS. It outlines the key use cases, features, types of systems, and success factors in selecng a web CMS. While not an end-all guide to the t he web CMS market, it does provide a starng point in understanding web CMS soware and a framework for evaluang the merits of dierent types of systems.

mobile, and tablet plaorms. Discover what Ingeniux can do for you.

What is a Web CMS?

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A denion of web CMS may be summarized as, “Soware that allows non-technical business users to manage content throughout its enre life cycle.” This denion is about the only thing that many web CMS

Ingeniux Corporaon

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soluons hold in common. As this buyer’s guide illustrates, there are a wide range of web CMS soluons and use cases. There is also a wide range of terms and acronyms ac ronyms used to describe a web CMS – from customer experience management (CXM), to web experience management (WEM), to content management system (CMS). This buyer’s guide uses the term web CMS to encompass e ncompass all of the soluons named above.

How to Buy a Web CMS First and foremost, buyers should understand that there is no best web CMS. There is only a best web CMS relave First and foremost, buyers should to buyers’ requirements. It is therefore important that understand that there is no best web buyers thoroughly understand what their requirements CMS. There is only a best web CMS are, based on every user conngency within the company. relave to buyers’ requirements. That understanding should then be mapped to an equally well-dened understanding of currently available web CMS plaorms. This is more easily said than t han done since companies oen have diculty understanding exactly what their users need, as well as what the

dierent web CMS plaorms actually oer. oer. But the guiding principle in the purchase decision should be as close as possible to a 1:1 match between what a buyer needs and what a product oers. Use cases. A praccal approach to tesng the match between requirements and soluons is to dene

use cases. That is, how do those involved in the content life cycle interact with the web CMS. How do they use it? What are their goals? Dening your key use cases is an essenal rst step in evaluang a web CMS. Budget. Before making a decision on what web CMS soluons are feasible, buyers must know what

purchase resources are available. available. It makes no sense to test a $200,000 web CMS license if only $75,000 is available. Similarly, Similarly, even when funds are available, it makes no sense to overspend. Once the web CMS budget is known, buyers should build the business case both to jusfy the expense and to ensure that money is not being wasted. In this acvity, it will be important to get an idea of what the total cost of ownership (TCO) of any potenal web CMS will be over a three to ve year period. Total cost of ownership (TCO). Included in the TCO are several components. The rst important

component is license cost. This is the t he amount buyers will pay to purchase the applicaon for its parcular conguraon (number of servers, content editors, bandwidth, etc). Typically Typically understood as the “price” of a web CMS, the license cost over several years typically represents represents one quarter to one third the TCO. The cost of implementaon is oen equal to or slightly greater than the cost of the license. For a base license of $75,000, implementaon costs typically typically range from $60,000 to $90,000 – or roughly 80 percent to 120 percent of the license cost. Buyers should be aware that implementaon costs vary widely between web CMS products. Annual support and maintenance. For technical support and maintenance, which includes product

upgrades, buyers should expect to pay 20 percent of license costs annually. For a $75,000 license,


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$15,000 annually will be spent on support and maintenance. Buyers uyers Administraon and support. IT resources will be required to administer the system over me. B should aempt to esmate how many full-me employees will be required to do this, and they should calculate the burdened cost of such resources as part of the TCO of the web CMS. Product usability. While not commonly considered a factor in TCO, product usability correlates directly

to user adopon rates. When products are not easily learned and used by content contributors, a common result is implementaon abandonment. This can result in a complete loss of all resources invested in the project. A less dramac impact of poor usability is the increased me – and therefore expense – required to create, manage, and re-use content. Alternate pricing models. In addion to on-premise

The total cost of ownership (TCO) of SaaS oerings tends to be 50 to 60 percent less than on-premise.

soware licenses, some web CMS’ are available as a service (SaaS). SaaS pricing is generally a recurring subscripon fee, either monthly or annually, that includes soware licensing, support and maintenance, and soware hosng. Because SaaS includes all of the applicaon management and hosng services, the TCO of SaaS oerings tends to be 50 to 60 percent less than on-premise costs.

Success Factors Crical to the success of any web CMS purchase decision is buy-in throughout the organizaon. Especially important is top-down support, where the crical nature of managing content eecvely is understood throughout the company. company. Yet it is equally important for content contributors to make their requirements known. In short, every level of the organizaon needs to buy into the crical nature of the business case for a web CMS. As an integral part of the business case, web CMS buyers should strive to arculate as clearly as possible how the web CMS will allow them to engage customers online. The boom line always comes down to how relaonships with customers can be improved. improved. In the case of web CMS, this is normally the online interacon. Improved branding, customer loyalty, loyalty, content personalizaon, personalizaon, and mul-channel management all contribute to a richer experience, and therefore to improved revenues – either directly or indirectly. The importance of web CMS usability cannot be overstated. With it, implementaons have a chance of success. Without it, they do not. Employees who depend on a web CMS to do their jobs simply will not put up with applicaons that impede their eciency. If the web CMS slows them down or impedes their progress, they will simply work around the system. This inevitably leads to implementaon failure. failure. Excellent customer support is essenal to the mely resoluon of crical issues, which can dramacally impact company protability. protability. To take but one example, system downme at the wrong me can


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dramacally compromise compromise the web presence as a whole – think of the markeng campaign that can’t be viewed for the rst several hours aer a press release, for example. If the web CMS vendor does not oer 24/7 customer support, or if technical issues cannot be resolved quickly (within several hours), markeng, sales, and corporate communicaons overall can be impacted. Competors will be happy to take customers. The me-to-market, or speed of execung sales and markeng campaigns, is also cr crical ical to success. Gone are the days when one week was a sasfactory me-to-market for an online campaign, for example. Now it’s more like 24 hours. For that to be a reality, the web CMS must perform well in a number of categories, usability and web engagement foremost among them. Finally, all of the consideraons above become moot points if the web CMS vendor you choose isn’t Finally, fundamentally stable. Buyers Buyers should ask themselves how vendor strategies and market presence will contribute to the vendor’s connued success in the t he market – or even existence – over the next few years. However, However, it is important to note that tradionally the independent web CMS C MS vendors have been the most stable in the market, while larger porolio soware companies have waxed and waned on their support of web CMS applicaons. A small company solely focused on web CMS may have much more stability compared to a larger company that oers a web CMS as a subset of a larger soluon line.

Web CMS Features Web CMS applicaons have been around for nearly 15 years. As such, the technology is relavely mature. While web CMS has not yet become a commodity, commodity, it is true that many of the features and funcons within web CMS’ are common in oerings throughout the industry. Such standard features features include WYSIWYG authoring, visual workow, workow, and template creaon. So, what should buyers of a new web CMS look for? In our opinion, the disnguishing features of current web CMS systems are in the value-added layers that some soluons provide, such as: Product usability. The primary purpose of a web CMS is to empower non-technical users to manage

the web, removing IT resources from common usage scenarios to reduce costs, maximize resources, and improve web content management operaons. The user-friendliness of the web CMS is therefore essenal in the decision-making process. Consider the ease with which a marketer can create an online promoonal campaign or a casual content contributor can create new, new, template-based web pages. Technical foundaon. The languages and technologies with which a web CMS is developed is another

important consideraon in the evaluaon process. This will dene the toolset that can be used to customize a web CMS to specic customer needs. It will also dene the capabilies you will need to support the applicaon, the type of sta you need to hire and manage, and, to some extent, the roadmap for your website and applicaons. If your web team has background in Java development, a .NET soluon may not be a good t. If you do not have in-house technical capabilies you may be best serve by a SaaS-based soluon that includes applicaon management. Flexibility. Web CMS applicaons in the market vary widely in their architectural exibility exibility.. Most were


Web Experience Management




developed incrementally over the course of many years, and their development standards were not consistent over me. Generally speaking, it is dicult to integrate a web CMS that evolved in this manner with other enterprise applicaons, or even to extend their out-of-the-box out-of-the-box feature funconality funconality.. The most exible web CMS systems are those that were conceived as a whole, developed purely within one language based on a well-arculated set of industry standards, and built in accordance with the principles of services-oriented architecture (SOA), meaning the components of the plaorm are designed to operate as self-contained units that can be added and removed from the system at will. Addional value-added features. Beyond these widely-relevant consideraons is a set of user-specic

criteria that will be determined by the customers’ actual use case scenarios. For organizaons with mission-crical web markeng iniaves, the quality and applicability of the markeng tools bundled with the web CMS will be very important. Similarly, Similarly, for online retail enterprises, the ability to analyze user behavior and deliver personalized online experiences in support of overall online sales goals will be crical. For those conducng business across mulple geographies, the ability to manage mulples sites, in mulple languages, delivered via mulple channels will be a key success factor. factor. From an operaonal perspecve, scalability is important both as a web CMS is integrated throughout throughout the business and as seasonal spikes in user acvity put bandwidth/hardware strains on the system (during holiday seasons, for example). From a technical perspecve, the robustness and quality of development tools (oen an SDK) dramacally impact how easily and quickly IT can augment system funconality. funconality. And nally,, a web CMS’ ease-of-administraon nally ease-of-administraon – the resource intensity required to maintain the soware over me – will dramacally aect the total cost of ownership. As an example, the ability to avoid adding even one addional IT person can amount to well over $500,000 in savings over three to ve years. Far more helpful than a feature-funconal checklist comparison, serious reecon on these evaluaon criteria, as applied to specic use cases, will help buyers disnguish between the various web CMS oerings on the market. Recently,, the goals of web CMS implementaons have focused on Web experience management. Recently managing a customer’s enre web experience. These goals commonly involve marshalling all channels of customer communicaon – parcularly web and mobile – for the purpose of craing a stream of engaging, interacve, user-specic, carefully coordinated customer communicaons. Web engagement management (WEM), as we have begun to describe this capability, measures a web CMS’ ability to deliver these opmized online experiences based on the interests of parcular website visitors. This is done by assembling the right content and delivering it at the right me, in the right context, based on the match between permutaons of available content items and the website visitor’s interests. Over me, a good web CMS will help build detailed proles of users, based on pre-exisng explicit data and dynamically-captured dynamically-c aptured online behavioral paerns. Oen these user proles are managed in a separate system, such as a markeng automaon system, and then leveraged by the web CMS in delivering targeted content. In this way, way, a web CMS can become quite good at managing not only the content and the user, but the interacon between these two and, consequently, the experience itself.


Web Experience Management




Web CMS Use Cases To delve more deeply into use cases for web CMS we will look at ve of the most common use case scenarios: public websites, corporate intranets, extranets, community-based sites, and mobile sites. Public websites, which commonly encompass: Digital markeng and lead generaon. This feature of public websites is common to most

companies oering online goods, services, and informaon. How does an airline get web visitors to purchase ckets from them versus a competor? Web CMS’ will commonly have digital markeng and lead-generaon tools built in that allow marketers to increase the speed of creang markeng campaigns, incorporang search engine opmizaon, lead-generaon capabilies, analycs capabilies to monitor user acvity and determine what visitors are interested in, and so on. Product-based sites. Crical to product-based sites is the ability to structure and categorize

content so that inventory can be eecvely merchandised and displayed in dierent secons of the website (for example, an air-condioner sold in “Appliances” “Appliances” and “Heang and Cooling”), and across channels. Also important on this type of site is the ability to combine elements of product descripons. Here, informaon such as product SKUs, bar codes, descripons, user rangs, images, availability availabil ity,, pricing, manufacturer informaon, warranty informaon, related products, shipping informaon, availability availability in nearby stores, etc. become the crical funconal building blocks. Member services-based sites. This contains a fairly broad range of use cases, but generally requires

users to log in for access to services based on ered e red service level agreements. Members may have access to one part of the site but not others. Alternavely Alternavely,, they may be entled to certain benets based on their status level or er level, and may not have access to certain informaon beyond that level. The key for this funconal area of public websites is that services and access to content be based on users’ membership levels. E-commerce sites. This is a common use case scenario for public websites, but the complexity of

use cases varies greatly. greatly. At the simple end of the range are a limited number of goods or services, available electronically, electronically, and delivered immediately at the me of purchase. The most complex e-commerce sites maintain extraordinarily diverse inventories, user proles, content types, and content analycs. Federated websites. Large organizaons such as universies, government agencies, non-prots, and

corporaons oen manage a signicant number of loosely connected websites. These “federated” sites are most easily understood as mulple instances of the four use cases descr described ibed above, with each department of the university or organizaon running one or more of the t he aforemenoned scenarios. Corporate intranets is the next use case for web CMS implementaons. While not necessarily dierent

from public-facing websites in terms of features or funcons, intranets do tend to share a common set of unique features and funcons, which include:


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Human resources service portals. The most common use case for the corporate intranet, the HR

service portal disseminates any and all relevant corporate informaon to internal constuents. This includes corporate policies, benets, pay informaon, access to employee rerement accounts, stock opons, payroll and tax informaon, medical benets, etc. Employee enablement tools. Another typical use for the corporate intranet is the provision of

employee enablement tools, as demonstrated by an intranet sub-site for the sales force that includes training materials, markeng collateral, collateral, price lists, compeve analysis, SLA direcves, etc. Generally speaking, the goal of the corporate intranet is to expose all corporate informaon in order to enable employees and disseminate that informaon. Extranets are analogues to the corporate intranet that extend their funconality to partners and

customers. In this scenario, people outside of the company have log-ins that gain them access to certain informaon within the content repository. repository. Content access control is applied either at the repository or database level. Extranets also allow individuals outside the rewall to join internal workows. Taken together, together, public-facing sites, intranets, and extranets, are enabled by the core features of the web CMS. They are simply dierent permutaons of the features exposed to dierent audiences. Community websites encompass a wide range of features and requirements, including: Social communies. Social community websites are designed to engage customers with social

features such as user-generated content, media, commenng and moderaon, forums, and social networking capabilies. Social communies may be used to support brand engagement as well as many business collaboraon scenarios. Informaon Informao n portals. Primarily serve to disseminate informaon to constuents. Common examples

include state and local governments, nonprots, user groups and forums. Among the more complex instances of such websites are state government services portals in which transaconal services are provisioned to cizens. Managing a community website oen requires soluons beyond a web CMS, although some web CMS soluons do provide community management and moderaon capabilies, including member management, acvity streaming and nocaons, forums and blogs, and business collaboraon for documents and shared workspaces. If supporng communies is crical for your organizaon it will be important to evaluate evaluate whether the web CMS can support the needs of the community or whether you are beer served integrang a standalone community soware package. Mobile websites, including mobile and other compung formats, such as tablets and kiosks, are a

disnct use case for many considering a web CMS implementaon. Mobile websites can support all of the use cases listed above, as well as mobile applicaons. Generally, Generally, a mobile website will deliver a task-based task-bas ed user experience, support opmal layout on a wide range of devices, and feature mul-touch interacons for tapping and swiping elements of the websites. Mobile websites may also take advantag advantage e of device capabilies, such as local storage, cameras, GPS, and other features.


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Types of Web CMS In considering the type of web CMS that t hat is right for your business, ve key comparisons to keep keep in mind are publishing systems vs. development frameworks, database vs. le-based systems, soware-as-aservice (SaaS) vs. on-premise plaorms, and open source vs. commercial systems. Publishing systems vs. development frameworks. frameworks. In making a decision for a parcular web CMS,

perhaps the most important decision is whether you need a publishing system or a development framework. Publishing systems systems are characterized by the ease with which they allow for the creaon, management, and deployment of content. Ideally, Ideally, publishing systems are ready to use out-of-the-box, have short implementaon mes, and make managing the content life cycle simple at each stage. Much of the heavy technical liing in publishing systems systems as we describe them here is handled by the web CMS itself. Publishing Publishing systems are also characterized by the scope of requirements they address, which typically begin with content authorship and connue through workow approvals, publishing, re-use, deployment, and archiving. Development frameworks, on the other hand, provide a toolbox with which companies can cra their own soluons. These frameworks place the emphasis on the ability to create highly specic customized soluons, which typically include a complex content staging topology topology,, heavy involvement of development resources for system extensions, extensions, and the associated need to manage the logic surrounding content at each stage of system extension or integraon. Simply put, publishing systems handle an organizaons’ need to create, develop and deploy websites, whereas development plaorms provide an environment in which any number of soluons can be created, publishing among them. We nd that most buyers seeking a web CMS are seeking a publishing system rather than a development environment. Database vs. le-based systems. The next consideraon in choosing a web CMS is whether a system is

database or le-based driven. Database-driven web CMS’ require that content be stored in a highly structured way. way. Each piece of content is essenally stored in a matrix, where each cell contains a “content chunk, chunk,”” and may also have related metadata. The content chunk becomes the most granular level at which content can be processed. And the feature-funconality of the matrix itself represents the limit of what can be done, not only with content within the matrix, but also with integraon in the overall technology infrastructure. In le-based systems, content managed by the web CMS can be stored at the le level within the operang system, and can therefore be accessed freely by other modules and applicaons that run within an operang system, rather than depending on a database. Content managed by le-based systems can be both structured and unstructured, making it much easier to incorporate a wider variety of content throughout the enterprise into the web CMS – whereas in database-driven applicaons, the database becomes the funconal limit. For a le-based web CMS, the operang system itself represents the limit, which really isn’t much of a limit at all.


Web Experience Management




We nd that le-based web CMS’ more accurately represent the way enterprises typically think about their content – that is, Word documents, PowerPoint PowerPoint presentaons, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, and the like. Enterprises don’t typically think of their press releases and events in terms of columns and rows, as such content would be stored within a database-driven applicaon. In a le-based web CMS, content is stored in the applicaons with which they are the most familiar familiar.. Non-technical authors need never know that their PowerPoint presentaon is being managed by a web CMS. consideraon in choosing a web Soware-as-a-service (SaaS) vs. on-premise plaorms. The next key consideraon CMS is whether it is installed on your premises or whether the applicaon is oered as a service, in which actual installaon is remote. Tradionally Tradionally,, buyers have thought of on-premise soware as oering a richer set of features and funcons than soware oered as a service. Over the past few years, however, however, the feature-funconality between these two types of web CMS’ has converged. So the purchase decision now focuses more on the extent to which companies wish to customize their soware, which would favor on-premise soluons, or the extent to which they value automac version upgrades and seamless system administraon,, as in a SaaS plaorm. These are generalies, and they will not exactly describe every administraon prospecve buyer’s decision criteria, but as the need to control all of the minuae within a web CMS soluon increases, the probability of favoring on-premise soware also increases. The types of SaaS approaches have also changed. Tradionally, Tradionally, hosted applicaons have used a multenancy model where mulple customers are hosted on the same servers and applicaons. This model, pioneered by companies like Salesforce.com, is a cost eecve way for soware vendors to add new customers and provide a robust plaorm at a lower cost of ownership. However, However, not all SaaS companies have the resources of Salesforce.com and not all applicaons applicaons t the same model as a web CMS. With the advent of virtualizaon, web CMS buyers now have an opon of using a web CMS managed in the cloud with the same extensibility as an on-premise web CMS applicaon. Virtualizaon provides a complete standalone network that can run a web CMS and integrate securely with other systems and applicaons. As the cost of virtualizaon has fallen dramacally dramacally with the rise of cloud compung, the costs between a dedicated virtualized environment environment and a tradional mul-tenancy web CMS have become about equal. Virtualizaon also provides more exibility. With a web CMS applicaon and website you can move to other hosng locaons or bring hosng in-house, have le-level access to servers, open secure ports for other applicaons, perform upgrades when you want to rather than when the vendor requires downme, and scale the service to oer beer performance. Open source vs. commercial systems. The dierence between most commercial and open source web

CMS soluons goes beyond the license. While open source soware has come a long way in the last few years, there are typically issues and costs associated with managing an open source web CMS, such the necessity for the customer to develop and customize a plaorm, the lack of product support, and the complex user experience and features that may be added to the soware without the same quality assurance and product management oversight of a commercial soware vendor. vendor. Organizaons Organiza ons using open source are oen dependent on a sta that is well versed in that plaorm.


Web Experience Management




When the sta leaves, the organiza organizaon on is faced with tthe he challenge of supporng the system and customizaons. customizaon s. While an open source license does provide some peace of mind in terms of ownership of the soware source code, and in most cases tthe he licensing cost for open source is “free,” the total cost of ownership of an open source web CMS is oen much higher than its commercial counterparts. Moreover,, most commercial soware vendors provide some form of soware escrow service that covers Moreover access to source code in the case of natural disaster or end of business operaons. If you are deciding between and an open source or a commercial web CMS there are several key quesons you need to ask: Do you have the capabilies to manage and extend the applicaon? How crical is customer support to your success? What is the cost of downme and internal support costs? Is open source soware development or management part of your core competency as a company? How crical is source code ownership to your success? Likewise, with a commercial system you need to consider the vendor longevity and viability, viability, the depth of their support services, and the availability of vendor resources to support your applicaon and projects.

Key Web CMS Features and Capabilies While the features and capabilies vary widely between web CMS plaorms, there is a core set of feature-funconality feature-fun conality that all prospecve web CMS C MS buyers should include in their requirements. This secon is not intended to be a complete list of web CMS capabilies, but rather highlights many of the essenal features of web CMS applicaons, the absence of which would be a deal-breaker. deal-breaker. Content authoring. Web CMS systems should provide a content authoring environment

that is easy for everyone to use, technical and non-technical. The web CMS should provide a WYSIWYG content editor, editor, which is essenally a word processing-like applicaon that runs inside a standard browser. The user interface of WYSIWYG editors is very similar to word processing applicaons in which users can select spacing, alignment, text aributes, hypertext links, colors, images, spell checking, etc. The web CMS should also provide the ability to edit e dit content in-context of the page preview as well as in a forms-based view that supports addional structure and metadata.

The content authoring environment within a web CMS should be easy for everyone to use, technical and non-technical.

Browser-based Browser-b ased clients. Browser-based clients refers to an applicaon running inside a browser, browser, as

opposed to an applicaon that needs to be installed. Using a web CMS with support for browser-based clients is important in order to maximize the number of potenal content contributors. Assuming that everyone has browser access, browser-b browser-based ased clients ensure that everyone can use the web CMS.


Web Experience Management




Whether a client is browser-based or not, it is important to understand which web browsers the soware can run in (Microso Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.) as well as the supported operang systems, such as Microso Windows or the current Apple OS. Content re-use. Content re-use is oen considered the number one factor for return on investment of a

web CMS. Good web CMS’ ensure that source material is available centrally, centrally, and when changes are made to the source, updates are disseminated to every instance where source material is used. For example, if a company changes the locaon of its headquarters, updang the corporate address inside the web CMS would ensure that every me the address is published on the website – or in printed materials, or anywhere else – the updated address is used. Some web CMS’ are based on XML, or similar technology technology,, and developed to meet a wide range of content re-use scenarios. This may include exports for elements such as tles, abstracts, and thumbnail images in order to create c reate content indexes and navigaons, navigaons, the ability to support mul-channel content deployment to desktop web, mobile, print, and kiosk “channels, “channels,””, and the ability to re-use content across mulple websites. Workow. All web CMS’ should provide for the

assignment of content authoring by individual or role. That is, a supervisor may decide that Joe Smith should author an arcle, in which case a task is sent to Joe Smith’s email inbox. Alternavely, the same supervisor may decide that anyone with the tle of markeng manager should author the arcle, in which case the workow would send the assignment to anyone with the tle markeng manager.. Once the task is accepted and content manager is authored by the appropriate individual, individual, the arcle is sent back to the supervisor for approval. Workows may include any number of approval

 A web CMS should provide for for the assignment of content authoring by individual or role. Nontechnical users should be able to set up workows.

stages and, once complete, content is published to the appropriate desnaon. Workows may also include individuals outside of a company company,, such as business partners or content translators. translators. Non-technical users should be able to set up workows without the involvement involvement of IT. This means that workow tools should be visually-based and should not require coding. Versioning. As documents, web pages, and other les are updated over me, the web CMS should

maintain all previous versions, and allow for version restoraon, or “rollback,” at any me. In addion to the simple maintenance of previous versions, the web CMS should indicate who was responsible for every change. This ensures that previous versions are always available, available, and also allows for accountability. accountability. Many web CMS soluons also provide red-lining or version comparison capabilies that highlight the changes to each version of the page.


Web Experience Management




Version history is crical in industries such as nancial services, health care, and life science that have Version compliance and reporng requirements. These organizaons generally need more sophiscated audit trail capabilies that show who made content changes and track which versions of the content have been published. Taxonomy. A web CMS should maintain a standardized taxonomy, which is essenally a lexicon that

denes what terms mean and their degree of relevance to other terms. Taxonomies allow you to organize and deliver content by category and make it possible for users to search for specic content without knowing the exact term used by the content author. author. For example, if a user searches for “lawsuit” when the original author used “ligaon,” “ligaon,” the taxonomy taxonomy would establish relevance between the two terms that would return content for “ligaon” based on a search for “lawsuit.” “lawsuit.” Taxonomies Taxonomies are especially helpful in conjuncon with metadata and can be crical in managing customer experience though segmentaon and targeng of key audiences, guided or faceted navigaon, navigaon, and beer search se arch experiences. Asset management. A web CMS should provide a

means of not simply storing and retrieving content assets, but also a way of eding or modifying them. For example, an image source le may be quite large (greater than two megabytes). When such images are used as thumbnails on a web page, the web CMS should automacally re-size them to a predetermined size. For images that are not used as thumbnails with a predetermined size, the web CMS should provide an image editor to re-size an image without having to use a thirdparty applicaon. This is only one example of asset management, but it provides an analogy to many other use cases.

 A web CMS should provide a means means of not simply storing and retrieving content assets, but also a way of eding or modifying them.

The web CMS should also manage all types of digital content, including images, video, and documents. An important queson is not only the type of assets managed, but where they are managed. Many web CMS soluons require that assets be stored in the CMS repository. repository. While this may be a good soluon for many organizaons, oen large les like video would be beer served ser ved on a media server. server. Documents may already originate out of a central repository like Microso Sharepoint and it may not make sense to duplicate this content. Federated asset management is the ability to store dierent types of assets in dierent locaons and is supported by some web CMS soluons. Templates. Since pages within a website typically follow similar structures, web CMS’ should provide the

ability for users to create a new page based on an exisng design. These designs are frequently called “templates” or “page types” and they should be readily accessible by non-technical content authors and editors. To To learn more about templates, refer to the “Web CMS Template Template Approaches” secon.


Web Experience Management




Analycs. A web CMS should provide a means of

tracking how website users interact with content  – how many mes they’ve accessed a page, the clickstreams used to navigate content, the ads that were most eecve, etc. Analycs modules are the means of doing this. Web CMS soware generally supports analycs one of two ways: a built-in analycs module or support for a third-party analycs provider. provider. While the integrated analycs of a built-in module is a nice feature, analycs is a soware category of its own and has a much broader features set than can typically be supported by a web CMS.

 A web CMS should provide a means of tracking how website users interact with content. Analycs modules are the means of doing this.

In our opinion, the beer approach to supporng analycs is the provider model. With this approach, customers connect their exisng analycs systems with web CMS dashboards that provide context to the t he content. Providers for analycs may include Google Analycs (usually free to use), WebTrends, WebTrends, Omniture, and other systems. Search. A web CMS should provide search tools

for the content repository. Search tools should oer opons for content retrieval, relevance, and any number of other criteria appropriate for

faceted search (“facets” referring to criteria such as le type, le size, color color,, date, region, price, brand, etc.). A web CMS generally uses dierent soluons for an internal content or repository search and an external public web search. A public web search is oen served by a thirdparty search applicaon, such as Apache Lucene, Microso Enterprise Search Server, Google Search Appliance, or the like.

 A web CMS should provide search tools for the content repository.

Reporng. A web CMS should provide reporng

tools that make understanding content consumpon quick and easy. These are typically dashboards that display content usage summaries. Beyond a set of standard reports, such as audit trails, pages in workow, workow, etc. the web CMS should provide the ability to create custom reports. The ability to export a report as a Microso Excel or CSV le is also important. Mobile device opmizaon. Mobile may be the most important feature or set of capabilies in

evaluang a web CMS today. Mobile is outpacing desktop Internet growth by a wide margin.


Web Experience Management




Since content will be delivered to a wide range of mobile devices, the web CMS should opmize content for delivery to those devices. In order to do this, the web CMS must be able to detect which device is making a request and deliver the right amount of content in the right screen format, checking for possible content incompabilies, such as Adobe Flash content delivered to an iPad. When planning for mobile it is also important to consider whether you need to develop a separate website or app from your desktop website, or add another layer of presentaon to your exisng website to support mobile users. While about 90 percent of mobile websites are deployed on a dierent domain or sub-domain today, today, there is a cost associated with branching mobile because the inbound trac to your website from outbound email campaigns, adversing, search, and social media is directed at your desktop website URL. The web CMS should be able to forward users to the appropriate view of the content based on the device user agent or to provide a mobile view of the web page using the same URL. Another consideraon is how the web CMS can support mul-touch user inacon to enhance the customer experience on smartphones and tablets. Web CMS soluons with strong mobile capabilies support app-like mobile experiences and deliver touch-based interacons using HTML5 and frameworks such as jQuery Mobile. Applicaons. Since websites typically include a number of common elements such as calendars,

newsleers, blogs, mulmedia, user forums, etc. a web CMS should provide each of these applicaon types as a part of the basic product. Beyond the set of modules, web CMS soware should provide a public API that supports integraon with external applicaons. Web services support, using SOAP or REST-based REST -based protocols, as well as connectors to external databases, may be crical in integrang an organizaons’ organiza ons’ line of business applicaons and legacy systems. Generally a web CMS’ ability to easily integrate with applicaons and data is referred to as the “extensibility” of the CMS plaorm. While extensibility is oen one of the most dicult aspects of a web CMS to evaluate, extensibi extensibility lity may be a crical consideraon is gaining the business eciencies and capabilies required in a website or project. SEO is a mix of various features in the web CMS that support best pracces to help elevate search engine

rankings for websites. Support for SEO should include: Search engine friendly URLs. Web addresses for each page that describe the topic of the page, show

where the page is organized in the website, and do not use any special characters, such as queson marks, to denote dynamic content. SEO metadata. The web CMS should make it easy to add descripve metadata for tles and page

descripons. It should also provide the ability to auto-populate metadata by default. Addional “bot” instrucons, such as “no index” and “no crawl,” crawl,” should also be available. XML site maps. Site maps are connected directly to leading search engines, such as Google and

Microso Bing, and nofy search engine crawlers of new or updated content and its priority in terms of indexing frequency. frequency. Automac redirecng and forwarding. When pages are renamed, moved, or deleted, the web


Web Experience Management




CMS should automacally issue a permanent redirect so people using the old links can nd the new content or be directed into other pages. Canonical URLs. Every web page should only have one authoritave address. Canonical URLs

redirects users from every variaon of a web address to a single address. This may include adding (or removing) the www. before the domain and redirecng for various extensions (such as .htm, .aspx, or .html). publish web content content Mullingual.  The ability to publish in dierent languages and for dierent geographic regions is crical for many organizaons. A web CMS should streamline the mullingual publishing process, making it easy to dene a locale – a combinaon of language and region, for example French (Canadian) – for dierent sets of content. Typically, a web CMS can support mullingual in two dierent ways: as a version of each page, or as a clone of each page. Versions make it easy to track each translaon for a page; however, however, the source page and each translated version of that page are bound together, together, so it becomes dicult to organize a dierent set of navigaons and site structure for each language version of the site.

 A web CMS should streamline streamline the mullingual  publishing process, making making it easy to dene a locale locale  for dierent sets of content.

In the cloning approach, content is branched from the source page, but also remains linked to that source page. The cloned page may be organized into a dierent site structure. When one version of a page is updated, the owners of each of the other clones are noed of the changes. We nd that for most organizaons cloning is a beer approach, as companies oen oer dierent products and services in dierent countries. The ability to support variaon is essenal. A web CMS should support translaon, either side-by-side in the CMS, or through an external translaon service bureau using an import/export system. Web Web CMS clients ulizing mullingual features need to support foreign character sets, such as double-byte characters and Unicode, as well as bidireconal (BIDI) text for Arabic and other languages. Lastly Lastly,, it is oen essenal for web CMS soware to provide localized versions of the soware so users in dierent countries can work in their own language. Mul-site publishing. A web CMS should provide the ability to manage and deliver content for mulple

sites. Again, like SEO and mullingual, mul-site publishing is not as much a feature as a collecon of features in support of best pracces. Publishing targets provide the ability to choose which sets of content are deployed to which locaon and site, as well as determining the format the content is delivered in. For instance, a news story may be


Web Experience Management




published to the public website using one look and feel and to the company intranet using another another.. Similarly, a web CMS should support managing content in dierent environments, such as test, staging, Similarly, and producon. Content may be promoted between these environments to ensure that it is properly tested and approved before it goes live.

Understanding Deployment For the purpose of explaining deployment opons, let’s assume that the opmal set of content for a website exists within the content repository. repository. There are a number of ways that content can be delivered. The rst consideraon is that of binding. That is, when does the content on a web page actually bind with the page? When a web page always consists of the same content – such as a press release, for example – that page is said to be stac. The content on the page never changes. When a website visitor views the web page, the press release will always be the same. In this case, the content of the page has “bound” with the page at a very early stage. In other instances, website content does not bind with the page unl the website visitor requests the page. Suppose that a visitor clicks on current events. Within the repository are events that happened last year, year, this week, and event that will happen next month. Therefore, the current events page will have content that changes on a daily basis; in this case, the page and the content bind only when a user requests the page. This is called “late binding” content, and such pages are made possible by the dynamic capabilies of the web CMS. Instances where late binding capabilies are important include those where companies will want to oer content based on user preferences. Retail Retail enterprises may want to present a parcular color or size of clothing when a shopper clicks on the current specials secon. This may be dependent on product availability, availability, which the web CMS may also wish to check just prior to delivering the content. When considering the purchase of a web CMS plaorm, buyers will want to understand in detail what the capabilies for the early and late binding of content and pages are. In most cases, there will need to be some ability to combine early and late binding content, such as a press release as part of a page that contains several other content objects. The collecon of objects obje cts on this page would be late binding. Another website deployment consideraon is whether to use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN provides mirroring and caching of web content across mulple servers se rvers placed in data centers worldwide. CDNs provide very fast content delivery and are ideal for delivering images as well as streaming media les. With a CDN, you can easily scale content delivery without adding addional hardware by ulizing nave cloud services. Because content is redundant, a CDN helps ensure maximum upme for websites. The challenge of working with a CDN is that it is dicult to support dynamic content. Some CDNs support a short list of server technologies, but deploying dynamic or data-driven content on a CDN adds addional complexity and can be expensive. CDN deployment oen requires using a stac, decoupled deployment of HTML, or the “pull” approach, where the content is pulled in by the applicaon pages from stac content.


Web Experience Management




Web CMS Implementaon The implementaon of web CMS systems commonly presents as many challenges as the selecon of the web CMS itself. itself. While various web CMS’ require dierent levels of proprietary product experse, all products will require specialized knowledge of best pracces for implemenng that parcular system. Therefore, implementaon almost always involves involves some combinaon of internal and external experse. Some companies opt to perform per form the bulk of implementaon themselves, taking a DIY approach, and only enlisng the help of external experts for parcularly problemac areas. Other customers hire thirdparty system integraon rms to perform implementaon. This is oen a company with close es to the selected soware vendor, vendor, such as a cered partner within the vendors’ services network. In other cases, buyers opt to let the vendors own professional services team perform the implementaon. In each scenario, there are do’s and don’ts, such as the following: know, web CMS buyers oen embark upon an implementaon DIY. Not knowing what they don’t know, with no reliable idea of how many IT resources or how much me will be required to implement their project. They typically commence such projects with esmates of three to six months, and they typically conclude projects within three to eighteen months. Somemes their esmates are accurate, and somemes they aren’t. And because the devil really does live in the details in web CMS land, it is not uncommon for a DIY implementaon to take take two to three mes as long as planned. It is advisable in such projects for web CMS buyers to enlist the aid of an external implementaon expert, at least for the inial planning phase. A lile insight into the implementaon do’ do’ss and don’ts goes a long way. Third-party systems integrators. integrators. Third-party integrators integrators oen represent a good choice for combining

specic web CMS product experse with industry-wide best pracces. While the vendor’s professional professional services will certainly oer guaranteed product knowledge, they may not be as compeve as thirdparty integrators at oering bleeding-edge implementaon pracces relevant to specic business use cases or objecves. However, buyers must be thorough in their assessment of a third-party integrators’ product knowledge of the web CMS they have chosen. Buyers must also be cauous when allowing a systems integrator to make the web CMS purchase decision. Because integrators typically integrate integrate a limited number of web CMS’ (typically two to four), they will advise clients to buy one of these systems even if another product would be a beer t. Vendorr professional services. As menoned above, vendor professional services are a guaranteed way Vendo

of geng up-to-date product experse. But in specic industries, third-party integrators may have more up-to-date implementaon experse than vendors.

Web CMS Template Approaches To make clear just one technology decision, we will discuss briey several approaches to site templang. Four common opons are HTML, applicaon server technologies (.NET, PHP...), XSLT, and Apache-based approaches.


Web Experience Management



HTML. The language used to create and dene templang

standards. While this approach has its pros and cons, it usually works well for primarily stac sites (“early binding” sites).


S P O T L I G H T O N M I C R O S O F T. T. N E T Microso.NET is one of the most popular development frameworks for web CMS applicaons and sites. Today there are two

Applicaon server technologies. This opon tends to be

forms of .NET development: the tradional

the best templang approach for sites on the “late binding” side. This approach is oen complex, but it oers the highest level of personalizaon. The details of this approach will vary depending on which applicaon servers are used and can range from industry standards to completely proprietary. Applicaon server technologies may include Microso .NET, .NET, PHP, Cold Fusion, and Java.

forms-based development model, and the new MVC (model view control) framework.

XSLT. This approach is based on transforming transforming content within

XML documents based on denions in a stylesheet. This approach is widely used, and is among the most extensible and exible of all templang methods. Apache-specic opons. This includes two examples: Tiles

and Velocity. Velocity. Tiles is based on the Struts framework, and, very generally, generally, allows for the denion of page fragments that can be dynamically assembled into a page at the me it is requested. Velocity is a Java-based open source templang framework, based on the MVC model, which emphasizes the best pracces-focused, independent development of applicaon code and page design.

With forms-based .NET development, the web CMS and its integrators develop a set of server controls that output HTML and other formang. With MVC the developer applies formang to content that uses standardized standardiz ed design paerns that support open standards like XHTML and CSS. While many .NET web CMS applicaons are built around Web Forms technology, and there are more developers skilled in Web Forms, Microso itself has advanced the MVC model. MVC also provides beer support for deploying web content to support dierent browser standards, support mobile devices, and ensure beer brand and design standards across websites.

Buying a Web CMS (Again) Today many organizaons buying a new web CMS are upgrading from a legacy system. Organizaons change CMS soluons for a wide range of reasons: the user experience may be too complex, the soware may have been implemented incorrectly and requires addional investment, the old CMS may not oer the current c urrent features required to deliver a compelling web experience, the cost of upgrading to a new version warrants an evaluaon of other soluons, or the system has become too expensive to support. For buyers upgrading from legacy systems the outlook is good. Web CMS soware has improved dramacally over the last few years, while costs have fallen. You can get more from your web CMS investment than ever before. While upgrading does not fundamentally change the process of buying a web CMS, it does introduce addional criteria. Foremost is how the exisng content and applicaons may be migrated into the new


Web Experience Management



web CMS. While many vendors provide migraon or site import ulies, the fact is that migraon always requires some investment and level of eort. A content inventory is generally a best pracce in migrang to a new web CMS. In a content inventory the content owners should dene which pages need to be created, refreshed, maintained, or rered and priorize those updates. Integraon of exisng and planned applicaons required understanding the web CMS technology plaorm, extensibility, extensibility, and deployment model.


The savvy buyer knows it’s not what the CMS can do, but how the CMS supports each feature and use case.

Second-me web CMS buyers are oen guided by the pain of their exisng system, rather than the opportunies of the new system. If the legacy web CMS was slow to publish, or made it dicult to support mulple environments like staging and producon servers, evaluators evaluators tend to focus on these issues above all other criteria. While we would not recommend purchasing a web CMS that does not meet key requirements, it is also important to not miss the forest for the trees. The focus should be on the features and support that can help you execute your business strategy. Lastly,, every web CMS is dierent. The savvy buyer knows it ’s not what the CMS can do, but how Lastly the CMS supports each eac h feature and use case. Even experienced web CMS buyers can fall into “checkbox” evaluaons where the emphasis is on the breadth of features, rather than the overall value of the soluon based on the quality and depth of the features, the usability, and key criteria such as performance and scalability. scalability.

Our Best Advice We encourage web CMS buyers to remember that t hat choosing a web CMS is a praccal maer maer.. While it may somemes be useful to discuss the academic nicees of various content management-related management-related topics, the business use cases that mandate a soluon cannot be postponed. Prospecve web CMS buyers are generally very good at arculang their web CMS problems, and we encourage them to make use of these dilemmas as a starng point toward choosing a content management soluon. As anyone who has ever tried to tackle the web CMS problem can tell you, eecve content management is an ongoing project. To help approach a web CMS purchase, we advise prospecve buyers to: •

Assemble a list of current challenges that stem from content-techno content-technology logy,, content-people, content-people, and content-process content -process issues.

Dene issues that are are likely likely to arise in the next next year year..

Dene overall overall web strategy and taccs, as well as the metrics that will be used to measure success.

Use this criteria as the basis for evaluang evaluang content management systems and vendors. vendors.


Web Experience Management




If a web CMS can successfully address these scenarios, within budget – and you as the buyer believe in (a) the vendor’s vendor ’s viability, viability, (b) the potenal for posive long-term return on investment, and (c) the likely sasfacon of your users with the web CMS plaorm – we believe you have found the right soluon for your business. Get the party started!


Discover what Ingeniux can do for you.

About Ingeniux

A leading provider of web content management soware,

Call (877) 445-8228 to 445-8228 to speak with a soluons expert

[email protected] to  to request more informaon Email [email protected]

websites and vibrant online communies across web,

Visit www.ingeniux.com www.ingeniux.com to  to learn about Ingeniux soluons

as a hosted service (SaaS) or on-premise applicaon.

Ingeniux empowers organizaons to manage world-class mobile, and tablet plaorms. Ingeniux soware is available Ingeniux delivers unparalleled service and support to customers worldwide.


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