CMS Development

Developing and maintaining a website is difficult for any business that doesn’t have an internal IT staff. Oftentimes, success relies on the ability to provide users the information they need quickly and accurately. A content management system (CMS) is a web application that allows users to author content for your site without the need for advanced technical training.

Choosing a CMS

Umbraco, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Kentico, Ektron, Sitefinity, Volusion, and DotNetNuke. This list represents just a small percentage of the available content management systems on the market today.

Not every system is right for every business, so you will want to select one that meets your requirements and that is easy to use. Click to Tweet

Although it is a time consuming process, choosing the right CMS for your business is key for success. Narrow your search by budget (including yearly licensing fees), functionality, and technologies you wish to target (PHP, .NET, etc.).

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In our experience, you want at least the following items out of a CMS:

  • Flexible Presentation – the look and feel of your site should not determine the CMS you use. The separation of content from the presentation of that content is a core concept of a CMS, so make sure that the CMS you choose can work with any design provided.
  • Asset Management – look for a system that allows you to upload and manage files and images in a user-friendly manner.
  • Search – users need to be able to find relevant content quickly
  • User Roles and Permissions - A good CMS allows you to put the content editors in specific roles that define the content they can view, update, remove and add. You may not want the same users adding news articles also editing the homepage content.
  • Workflow – Another key feature of a CMS is the ability to reject content that was submitted. Look for a CMS that has a fully fleshed out workflow that includes email notifications and workflow steps that are not predefined.
  • Integration – oftentimes, a web application needs to integrate with external or internal systems to meet a business rule. If this is the case, choose a CMS that has the ability to integrate with other systems (Single sign on, merchant services, external blog feeds for news, etc.).
  • Hosting Requirements – do you want to host the code in-house or somewhere on the cloud? Make sure the system you pick fits your hosting needs.
  • Versioning and Publishing – it is important to make sure your content can be “rolled back” if something is posted on accident. Also make sure you can predefine content and have it automatically published at certain times.
  • Multilingual and Multisite – it is important to be able to run multiple sites from the same content in the CMS. Additionally, a CMS needs to support multiple languages.
  • Making this decision is truly a difficult task and will take time and effort. Keep your requirements to a minimum set, and do not let “nice-to-have” features become “have-to-haves.” You want something that will grow with your business as it moves forward, but do you not want to implement something that you will never use. Unidev has quite a bit of CMS experience if you need some assistance in this area.

Unidev’s CMS Choices

The developers at Unidev have been working with various content management systems for well over a decade and have landed on three systems in particular that have met the needs of every client and check all of the boxes above:

  • Umbraco
    • Open source, community focused CMS. Typically used by small to mid-sized businesses due to the fact that it is free; there are also plenty of enterprise level clients using Umbraco (Microsoft, ASP.NET, etc.)
  • WordPress
    • A great solution for small-to-mid-sized business. WordPress is an open source web platform that’s SEO and mobile friendly, with ample plugin-based customization and multiple hosting options. Featuring a large-scale community dedicated to building templates, it’s guaranteed to impress any potential customers who visit your site.
  • Magento
    • A powerful CMS for mid-sized to large eCommerce sites which offers features such as one-click upgrades, easy third-party integrations, and built-in upsells and cross-sells. Magento allows the merchant to define and mobilize their online store to meet the demands of their customers.

There are a few reasons we chose these platforms:

  1. Functionality – These systems provide vast amounts of functionality at their core (permissions, workflow, user roles, multilingual, etc.) which greatly speeds up development time and helps keep costs down.
  2. Flexibility – These platforms allow us to perform complex system integrations or special customizations. We have yet come across a system that we cannot integrate with Umbraco, WordPress or Magento. They also allow us to take any design, even HTML provided by the customer, and use it without losing any functionality.
  3. Content Administration – These systems are basically CMS frameworks that we utilize to build you a customized CMS experience. Each integration we do has a process and user experience that is 100% customized for the client’s needs.

If you want a more basic site, we would be happy to help, but we specialize in implementations that are typically more complicated than your average site.

Umbraco, WordPress, and Magento allow us to perform complex system integrations and implement detailed requirements that you cannot get with other systems.

CMS Implementation

Every CMS we implement goes through our proven custom development process that we use for all of our clients. However, with a CMS implementation, we are not building from scratch, but are leveraging the powerful tools of the chosen CMS. We define requirements, architect the solution, perform the implementation, and provide support after it goes live.

Our custom development team can also provide mobile development services, legacy application ports, and software development. If you need custom design or already have designs and need your comps converted to the latest HTML5. Unidev can provide those services as well.


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