Ease of use and functionality are the most important factors for people looking to buy a content management system (CMS), while price and security come way down the priority list, according to new research from web design consultancy Webcredible.
The firm polled over 1,000 visitors to its site – including web developers, online bosses and web designers – and found that practical factors such as functionality/feature set (22 per cent) or ease of use (21 per cent) were key when making a CMS purchase.
Also popular was the ability to enable users to customise functionality to ensure the longevity of the product. However, price was identified as most important by only eight per cent of respondents, while security was even less popular, with just five per cent rating it an important factor when considering a new CMS.
Trenton Moss, director at Webcredible, argued the results show that many users are frustrated with the poor usability of their CMS tools.
"Good quality user interface design and user research is important but it doesn't happen with content management systems – they're left to the techies to build and they're not good at user interface design," he added.
"Everyone's requirements are different – almost always customisation needs to be done but most CMSs are not built with flexibility in mind, where modules can be swapped in and out."
Moss advised that firms designing their own content management systems should do so from a user perspective rather than trying to meet a list of technical requirements, as the people who end up using these systems are usually not tech savvy.
For IT managers looking to buy third-party solutions he recommended they ask the vendor for a demonstration of the product, so they can try it out and see how easy it is to use.
"The success of a CMS depends on how happy your users are using it," said Moss. "It's absolutely ridiculous if your users have to wait two hours for content to update on a time-sensitive site, for example."
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