The right content management system (CMS) makes updating, creating and deleting webpages on a utility or water district website a simple process for any employee, regardless of his or her technical skills. Many modern utility sites are built on a CMS, from open source systems (Drupal, WordPress) to more proprietary architectures (Ektron) and closed systems.
Making the Right Decision for Your Utility Website
With the right vendor, any CMS can work well. The key to making a decision usually comes down to the following:
- If you are already invested in a system and it is working for you, stay with it and avoid what could be a significant cost in moving to another system. Plus, you’ll avoid having to retrain your personnel on a new system.
- If your current system is causing problems, you don’t have to be tied to one vendor to find a better solution. Explore your options.
- Have your bidding vendors provide a one, two or three year cost for purchasing, implementing and maintaining your new 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 for all of your personnel until they are comfortable with the new CMS. The vendor should also provide resources for training later on as new users join and others leave. These could include a manual or videos of the initial training sessions.
- 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.