Many modern government sites are built on a CMS, from open source systems such as Drupal to more proprietary architectures (Ektron) and closed systems.
The right content management system (CMS) makes updating, creating and deleting webpages a simple process for any city or county employee, regardless of technical skills.
Making the Right Decision
With the right vendor, any CMS can work well. The key to making a decision usually comes down to the following:
- If your municipality is already invested in a system and it is working for you, stay on it. The cost of moving to another system may be significant, and you have to include training on the new system.
- If your current system is causing you headaches, you don’t have to be tied to one vendor. Explore options.
- Have your bidding vendors provide a one, two or three year cost for purchasing, implementing and maintaining your system. If budget is a consideration, open source will generally be much more cost effective than proprietary systems.
- If you are looking for a new system, consider open source as an option.
Training, Support and Content Still Matter
Regardless of what system you select, do not neglect the basics:
- Training needs to be part of any system. Your vendor needs to include extensive training and support until your users are up to speed on the new CMS, and provide resources for training later on as new users join and others leave.
- What is the cost for ongoing support? Even when you have your staff trained there are times when you may need additional help to create new templates or add functionality.
- Any CMS needs to be populated with content. Whether you transfer the content you currently have, revise it or add new content, this is often the biggest stumbling block to completing a site on time. 360Civic offers experienced content writers who can interview stakeholders, edit pages for consistency and create/develop content at no additional cost.