CMS Intranets: Making The Right Choice

Introducing a CMS intranet is a big decision for a business. There are a number of issues you will need to consider before making a final choice on the best CMS intranet for your organization. It can be a confusing and daunting task weighing up the offerings of the many CMS intranet solutions that are in the marketplace. How will you know what CMS intranet will be the best fit for your organization? In this article we look at the key features a business CMS intranet should have. We then compare and contrast some of the big names in CMS with a hosted CMS intranet solution.

What Is A CMS Intranet?

In simple terms, a Content Management System (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a website; while an intranet is basically an internal website that can only be accessed by staff and which contains all the tools and information they need to do their jobs.

Key Features Of A CMS Intranet

CMS FeaturesIf you are looking to introduce a CMS intranet, there are some important features that are common to all organizations. You will want the CMS intranet to be:

  • Easy to install and set up: being able to do so without any great technical knowledge would be an advantage.
  • Easy to manage: there should be a simple process for users to upload, download, and edit content. In addition, the search functionality should make it easy for staff to locate information.
  • User-friendly: you will want a solution that employees will find is straightforward and that they can use intuitively so that training costs are kept to a minimum.
  • Supported on an ongoing basis: downloading and installing the software shouldn’t be the end of the process, you will want to be clear about how updates are managed and what happens if something goes wrong.
  • Safe and secure: it goes without saying that you will want to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your company information as well as system security.

CMS Intranet Features Pertinent To Your Business

The list above details the key intranet features that are shared across all organizations. Also, your CMS intranet will have a number of must-have features that are pertinent to your business and the work that you do.

We recommend that before coming up with any shortlist of CMS solutions you set up a project team with representation from across the organization. The project team will be tasked with determining the key features of a CMS intranet for your business. What is it that you want the CMS intranet to achieve? What information and business tools are must-have features that are required by your business?

Once you have an understanding of how the CMS intranet will improve your business processes and task management, then you will be in a much better, more informed position to judge the offerings from potential suppliers.

Providers Of CMS Intranet Solutions

There are a great many options out there when it comes to choosing a CMS intranet. Below we look at some of the big name providers in CMS intranets as well as a cloud-based solution. We highlight some of the advantages disadvantages in order to help you make an informed choice.

WordPress

CMS ProvidersWordPress is best known as a blogging platform, but it can also be used as a CMS for intranets. It is quick and easy to install with an installation wizard, has a core template which is extended by plugins and has built-in image and multi-media support.

The disadvantages of WordPress are that the core template can be quite limiting and certainly bigger businesses may find that they have to use a number of plugins to augment the functionality to meet their requirements.  With over 40,000 plugins available this can be quite a task in itself.

Also, WordPress has been the subject of a number of security concerns with the software being vulnerable to hacking and SQL injections in particular. Some of these concerns have been addressed in subsequent updates. However, it is the user’s responsibility to update the software including any plugins.

Drupal

Drupal is another well-known CMS that requires no specific computer skills. As with WordPress, it comes with a core installation and a whole series of optional modules that add lots of additional features to the core offering.  There is an active online following, so there is support available regarding ongoing operations and other general questions.

As with WordPress, one of the disadvantages of Drupal is the sheer number of modules – some 30,000 – that are available. Many businesses have found that are there just too many making it a difficult and time-consuming process to get the best out of it as a CMS.

Both with Drupal and WordPress to get the most out of them you may find that you need to engage a resource with a web development background.

SharePoint 

This is the offering from Microsoft and as you would expect it integrates neatly with the very latest versions of Office, has that familiar MS feel about it, and it provides a good solution for controlling documents.

However, experience suggests that your average non-technical user finds it difficult to use. Moreover, many companies have found it hard to expand SharePoint beyond document management to encompass the other business tools that you would expect from a CMS intranet.

Hosted Online CMS Intranets

Hosted online intranets offer all the functionality and key features of CMS intranets without some of the weaknesses apparent in other platforms.

choosing cms intranetsAll the key business tools are available in one place without the need for plugins, including:

  • Company calendar
  • Staff directory
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Collaborative work spaces
  • Document management systems

All you need to do is simply log-on and start creating content. There is no software to download or install. The best hosted intranets come with a simple customer interface is straightforward and intuitive to use as well as being easily customizable.

Most hosting companies offer ongoing support so that if there are any operational issues then support is readily available. Furthermore, the intranet hosting company is responsible for all updates which are done for you automatically. And they are responsible for all ongoing security and virus protection so you can be sure that the very latest software is protecting your company intranet.

Make The Right Choice

In short, unlike all the other offerings in the market, the hosted online solution provides a single platform with integrated functionality that is usually easier to setup, use, and manage.

When it comes to choosing a CMS intranet for your business, make the right choice and contact the team at MyHub today.

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