15 Crucial Features when choosing a Content Management System for an Enterprise Website

Read the list and watch the video on the main features for an enterprise web project.
When it comes to elementary features of a CMS, the needs of the smallest company and the biggest enterprise are very similar. But this basic list of features quickly grows in length as the company grows in size.

It’s beneficial for any small to mid-size business to start using an enterprise-ready CMS right at the beginning. They can acquire a basic and therefore cheaper edition of the product, allowing the company to leverage the same basic but now perfected features, scale the website following company growth and quickly adopt new trend technologies. What your business might not use today could be a crucial facet tomorrow. The following list shows features determined by enterprise business requirements.

Key features for CMS when the size of the business matters:

1) High Performance and scalability

Caching is one of the key attributes for improving your website’s performance. Your CMS should offer multiple levels of caching and each level should be easily and fully customizable. Higher performance can be achieved by leveraging the web farm support. If you need to have more performance available on request, you should look for a CMS that is able to run in a cloud environment. In any case ask your chosen content management system vendor to provide you not only with a performance report, but also with some real live examples of high performance websites.

2) Extensibility and integration

The CMS of your choice should easily integrate with other technology and platforms, as different CRM systems, ERPs, Social Networks, Mobile Applications etc. Ready-to-use connectors for most common platforms are a plus and significantly decrease development costs.

3) Stability of the system

Stability is a feature which is only assessable through prolonged use of the product through various scenarios.  But you can check the list of quality-assurance processes that your CMS vendor has and read reviews of their current clients which will offer a user perspective.  

4) Easy-to-use for content editors and site administrators

You may consider “ease of use” to be a commonly-required feature for any size business and thus shouldn’t be in this list. But the bigger the company is, the further the content editor is from the implementer, so the system must not just be easy to use, but also intuitive, with all elements easy to find.

5) Advanced security management

With the increasing number of content providers to your website, an advanced security management must be in place. This can be achieved by fully customizable content permissions, module permissions and user roles. Mature CMS’s should also provide multiple prebuilt authentication options.

6) Advanced workflow and approval process

You CMS should offer a fully customizable workflow process with configurable workflow scopes. Workflow should be followed with versioning to track the records and allow you to revert to previous versions of the document.

7) Online marketing tools

A whole range of integrated online marketing tools should be on offer to you, and they should be integrated to deliver and optimize real-time customer-centric marketing across multiple channels.

8) Multisite support

Gone are the days of the solo company website.  Besides the corporate website, enterprise businesses now also have on-line stores, community websites, blogs, intranets and at least a few microsites to target a narrower audience and support their main website with additional links and traffic. The main advantage of leveraging multisite support is in sharing the content/users across multiple sites and managing content from a single point.

9) Multilingual support

You can hardly find a language-homogenous country or market, so having the ability to speak to your site visitors in their native tongue is a must. While many CMS’s aren’t able to offer multiple languages, an exceptional  few are even able to work with right-to-left languages, such as Arabic or Hebrew or Eastern languages, such as Chinese or Japanese.  Fewer still will have advanced multilingual features such as Translation Management, Automatic Time Conversion or Side-by-Side Translation Comparison. 

10) Support for mobile devices

Whether you want to go with a mobile responsive Web design or a separate mobile website, your CMS should be able to support both approaches. Flexible CMS should be able to hold different mobile websites or applications.

11) Training services available

The more editors there are using the site, the more training you must conduct. Of course your time is limited, so choosing a CMS vendor with additional training services in place is a must.

12) 24/7 highly responsive support

Mission-critical websites needs to be backed by support available at any time from any place on Earth. 24/7 support may be standard for most CMS vendors, but it says absolutely nothing about the quality of support offered. Reliable CMS vendors provide free support even to evaluators – so don’t hesitate to do some “mystery shopping” by calling in with a pop-quiz at midnight. 

13) Reliable bug fixing policy

The good news is that most bugs are revealed during the development phase, prior to project launch.  Even so, if the CMS vendor doesn’t have any bug fixing policy in place, and your team does find a bug, your web project may be stuck for months.  

14) Easily upgradable and clear upgrade path  

New features and technologies need to be adopted ASAP, giving you the advantage over your competitors and not the other way round.  But even some major CMS players have launched new versions of their product that the client wasn’t able to upgrade to due to lack of continuity, leaving those clients tagging along behind their competitors who had a seamless upgrade from another vendor. Be the one out in front and look for a CMS vendor whose product is, and always will be, upgradable.  

15) A solid reputable vendor supporting the system

Will your selected CMS vendor be around in 3 years? While answering this question might seems a hard task, here are some hints:
  • Check out the history of the company – how long have they been on the market?
  • Do they publicly inform about their financial health?
  • Are some of their very first clients still using their CMS?
  • Is their focus spread through multiple geographical markets/industry verticals?
  • How big, reliable and mature is their partner network?

What are the features of a CMS that enterprise businesses need, and how does Kentico CMS fit them?

Case study on enterprise website implementations done by BlueKey:

Share this article on   LinkedIn

Petr Passinger

Petr is the Senior Business Analyst, responsible for the mapping and optimization of the sales funnel and revenue cycle leveraging the Kentico Customer Experience Management solution for online marketing activities.