Looking to build a state of the art B2b website? You'll need the right technology. Today, best-of-breed B2B websites use open source content management systems (CMS). These systems allow non-technical staff to easily update content and add new functionality without writing a line of HTML code.
They are modular and extensible. For example, adding a blog in most CMS’s is as easy as turning on a radio button. Adding Google Analytics tracking is as simple as adding and configuring a module. They even have modules that allow you to publish your website content to an iPhone.
With an open source CMS you can take full control of the website content. All of the leading CMS platforms have an easy-to-use web-based interface that allows content publishers to easily update content on any part of the site. Deploying a CMS will also keep the internal IT team happy. Today’s CMS’s are scalable, extensible and they remove IT’s responsibility for maintaining the website content for the marketing team. Most importantly, a CMS will greatly reduce your long-term web development costs. In the old days, you needed to call your agency or web designer to make even the smallest change to the site.
With a CMS you can do it yourself.
Currently the leading open source content management systems are Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. Each of these CMSs has its advantages and disadvantages. When you select a system, your evaluation should take into consideration the skills and expertise of your internal IT staff, IT consultant and/or your web design firm. If you have a very limited budget and staff, consider using a hosting company that provides turn-key CMS Hosting. For example, Wordpress.com offers this capability. On the other hand, if you are a mid-sized company and have the resources, you’ll want to evaluate some of the more sophisticated CMS options.
One of the key considerations you need to evaluate is the ability of the CMS to integrate with your existing systems. Are you a Salesforce.com user? Do you have a marketing automation system? Do you want to have e-commerce capability? If so, you will need to evaluate the functionality of the modules that are available. As part of that process, you must take into consideration the number of sites using the module and the online reviews of the module. The more sites using a specific module, the more likely the module will be robust.
Want to learn more? Download our 2011 guide to building B2B Websites