Content Management System 101 (2005)

How to evaluate a Web CMS

By Karine Joly, College Web Editor — March 2005

Whether you have already crossed that bridge or not, you know that the selection of a web content management system (CMS) is a very big decision to make (or sell to your website stakeholders).

Selecting a CMS can be a difficult and long process.

Most of the time, you will have to ponder about the cost of your choice, plan for potential implementation nightmares and involve as many of the stakeholders as possible (and practical) in your decision process.

When contemplating all the implications of a CMS selection, the induced stress can even make good old HTML editing attractive again.

Fortunately, help is actually available thanks to higher ed web pros willing to share their homework after successfully going through this main rite-of-passage in our industry.

Jay Collier, Dartmouth Associate Director of Web Publishing Services, has published his Web Content Management Discovery Project” documentation developed in 2002 /2003.

Dartmouth Web Publishing Services came up with CMS evaluation factors and defined a very detailed feature list that can easily be used to start up your own process.

If you need even more inspiration, you can check the slides of the presentation Jay gave last year at the EDUCAUSE Western Region Conference: Keeping It Fresh: Sustaining the University Web.

Used by permission. Updated with new links, 8/2008

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