Evaluating your CMS may give you the opportunity to move to a robust platform that can resolve problems and prepare for the future.
It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategy and process, a replatforming project can help you to stand out in an increasingly saturated digital environment and deliver new ways of creating intelligent, future-proof user-focused solutions.
What is CMS replatforming?
CMS replatforming simply means migrating from one CMS to another.
The process of replatforming involves moving all assets, content, modules, templates and integrations to a new CMS solution. The benefits of replatforming, rather than a just series of redesigns, extend further than just a “fresh start”. Replatforming is a chance to lay the foundations for quality implementations and strategy (whilst cutting unnecessary overheads). Conducting the move collaboratively between your organisation and a digital agency will ensure your CMS is future-proof and your business is equipped with an invaluable strategy that considers the experience of every user, now, and for years to come.
Who cares if I replatform?!
Who are you considering replatforming for? If the answer is “the browsers of my site” you may want to reconsider. A successful replatforming project should carefully consider every end user to ensure your organisations sufficiently prepared to quickly adapt to the demands of today’s customer.
An “end user” is anyone that uses, or is intended to use your product. In the case of your website, your end users might be:
- Content editors
- Existing IT infrastructure teams
- Browsers of your site (today’s customer)
The replatforming process.
Collaboration and Agile practices can be found at the centre of a successful replatforming project.
Why? Choosing a partner that is happy to collaborate with your in-house team will ensure that knowledge is shared widely (promoting high levels of productivity) whilst reducing costs for things such as training. Collaboration and quick feedback loops (typically found in the agile project cycle) encourage meaningful, frequent conversations between project managers, content editors and stakeholders that consistently strive to understand what end users really want.
So, the route to replatforming is just as important as the CMS you choose to move to; both the process and the CMS solution itself should be compatible with your business, your budget and your vision.
Reasons to replatform?
(A few of common reasons)
1. Duplicate content pages.
If you’re experiencing issues with duplicate content pages, it’s likely your CMS is becoming unmanageable. These types of issues (often down to a series of ineffective implementations) can have the unwanted knock-on effect of reducing SEO efficiency and content manageability for content editors.
Often SEO implementations are practiced by external parties, such as SEO agencies, so it's important to have access to an intuitive CMS user interface to avoid implementation of unwanted content.
2. High platform and license costs.
Commercial or proprietary CMSs often require their users to pay a mandatory license fee, solely for access to the CMS (before any implementations are done). It might seem obvious, but cutting this cost is a common motivation for an organisation to replatform.
Of course, no replatforming project is free. Regardless of the CMS you choose, it'll cost to configure and implement changes. However, many organisations may lean towards choosing open source (CMS) Content Management Systems coupled with a specialist agency as project "bills" only include items that provide longevity organisation’s ROI, such as software implementations and digital strategy that improves (UX) User Experience or (IA) Information Architecture, for example.
3. Poor implementations.
In general, there aren’t really any “bad CMSs”, but there are implementations that can do more harm than good. A series of unfortunate implementations, such as poorly written code, inadequate hosting, caching problems and configuration issues, contribute to a slow running website, regardless of the system you choose. Quality implementations and good old fashioned strategy are the foundations to improve responsiveness when moving to a new CMS.
4. Lack of integrations.
The usage of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is snowballing rapidly. Essentially created as an aid to help integrations, APIs make it possible to build anything on top of your existing CMS. Although more widely supported by open source solutions, API integrations allow commercial (or proprietary) solutions to explore more freedom and flexibility between technology stacks.
An API-ready CMS can reach a wider audience through the usage of custom integrations. One great example of a useful API addition could be a custom dashboard that allows moderated content to be published inside your CMS by a trusted partner contributing to a guest blog. API programs are a crucial element in supporting digital transformation and agile business processes, so it’s wise to choose a CMS with API capabilities to ensure you don’t get left behind.
5. It’s just not working out…
Sometimes. It’s just not working out! For a CMS replatforming project to be successful, it can be useful to think about compatibility:
- With your system.
Are you working primarily with .NET? Java? PHP? Choose a CMS that allows you to make the transition without an expensive overhaul of your existing IT infrastructure.
- With your process.
How do you work? Kick-start a replatforming project that seeks to understand your internal process, so communication happens with the right people at the right time.
- With your vision.
An intuitive, friendly editor experience creates a better front-end experience. This means the right CMS can move you quickly (and efficiently) toward your organisation's goals for your employees and customers.
...Thanks for reading, if you want to read more, get our FREE Route to Replatforming guide!