CMS features: the 10 essential features

Whether you want to create your professional website, your showcase website or even a blog to present your activity, you may need a CMS. We explain the essential CMS features.

Alexis Le BaronAlexis Le Baron

Alexis Le Baron

Developer at Snoweb
Published on 23 June 2021 (Updated on 25 February 2022)

A CMS is a very good tool to create your professional website, your showcase website or even your blog to present your activity. We explain to you the CMS features that we find essential.

The CMS (Content Management System) is a tool that allows you to create and update easily a website and that includes a lot of features.

There are several CMS that can help you initiate and deploy your online presence! We can mention among the most famous: Wordpress, Wagtail, Shopify, Prestashop...

The big advantage for your project with a CMS is that you don't need to know a web language. All you need to do is follow a training course or use the services of an independent company.

Nevertheless, not all CMS are equal depending on your needs. In this article, we describe the ten essential features that a CMS must have but also other interesting features that can be useful!

This will help you make your choice!

It is important to realize that all CMS have features in common. Some make them more or less accessible or affordable.

What does this mean and what does it imply in the choice of your CMS? We break down for you each essential functionality of a CMS.

1. Writing and editorial management made easy

This is the basic option of all CMS: you must be able to easily create, modify and publish content (texts, photos, videos, links).

Often, you can also defer the publication of a content in time by scheduling it or put a content in draft before a later validation.

Generally, the CMS interfaces are based on the codes of word processing software and this is a good thing! Indeed, the easier it is to enter texts and integrate images, the more time you will have to devote to your business and its development.

2. The design edition

With a CMS, you don't need to have any knowledge in web design or even in web development.

Moreover, behind a CMS are hidden different languages most of the time: HTML and CSS for the design. For example, on your homepage, you want to display the latest news with a short extract of these news. But you would like only the news that belong to your "Product News" category to be visible?

The CMS will allow you to do this very easily! You will just have to indicate your display preferences on the homepage and the CMS will automatically calculate the information it should display.

If you were to create a website by hand, you would have to create a dedicated code on each news item to indicate that it should appear on the home page!In fact, all CMS work through "templates" (or page models) that you will customize.

So, once your CMS is well configured, the design is drawn beforehand and all you have to do is add content via the text editor to bring your design to life.

You will notice that there is a very large number of templates for each CMS!

This can allow you to create a website that looks like you and especially that does not necessarily look like your competitor's!

With Snoweb CMS you can customize your website 100%: color palettes, icons, fonts, gradients.

Moreover, thanks to your CMS, you will be able to create content blocks that will be common to several pages at the same time.

This is the case of the header (top of page) which will contain a menu. It is also the case of the footer which contains secondary information or a link to your legal notice.

snoweb createur de site internet avec cms

Find out which CMS is best suited to the features you want

We compare the 3 most famous CMS: Wordpress, Wix, Wagtail.

See the table

3. The responsive web pages

One of the great advantages of CMS is also that you don't have to worry about adapting your template (or theme) to be read on a small or large screen.

In fact, most of the time today, we forget that at the beginning of smartphones, some web pages were not "adapted" to the phone. As a result, you had to zoom or scroll to the maximum to see the information.

Since then, designers and creators of websites have generalized the creation of responsive websites. That is to say websites that automatically adapt to all screen sizes and all devices:

  • mobile
  • tablet
  • desktop computer

This feature that seems commonplace is essential and very practical! Most CMS offer "templates" that are responsive.

So you don't have to worry about adapting your page!

4. Optimizations for natural referencing

Another very valuable feature of a CMS is the ability to get your website or e-commerce website in the top results of search engines.

How can this be done? First of all, thanks to the possibility of filling in important information for your natural referencing: what we call metadata.

This is the essential step to take to take care of your SEO: fill in the "Title" tag and the "Meta description" tag.

Then, of course, SEO is a complex science and you will have to learn about it to create relevant content or make technical optimizations... And finally achieve your SEO goals!

5. User permissions

One of the native features of CMS is also the possibility to give access to the back office to different users. This is called defining and managing user roles.

This is very practical when your company is growing and you surround yourself with a real Communication/Marketing team.

You can have a team of contributors to your website who have different rights depending on their role and responsibility: some can have access to the platform but not create articles, others can simply correct articles...

For example, if you have an editorial director in your company, he or she will be able to connect to the platform to review all the articles prepared by the writers before publishing them.

Similarly, your developers or SEO consultants will have access to all the technical parts of the CMS without intervening on the articles or pages written.

In most CMS the roles are the following (the names and designations can change according to the CMS):

  • content editor: he can modify a text page or an article written on the website.
  • content manager : here, it is possible to create, modify and publish a content page or a blog post.
  • administrator: the administrator has access to all the options of the CMS: he can copy, delete, create new pages and access the technical options.
  • custom role : here is a role that you can adapt according to your needs : for example if you have an e-commerce website, you can simply give access to the products to traffic managers of your team.

6. Secure pages

Create a website for your business and see it disappear a few weeks later ... It would be discouraging for you most likely but also a real problem with your customers and the data you use on your website!

That's why most CMS guarantee you a secure interface: that is to say a CMS that evolves thanks to updates when necessary or a CMS that offers a powerful authentication system to avoid hacking.

It is important to choose a secure CMS that will be able to protect your data and the data of your customers.

For this you must be able to easily register your database and be protected against hacking.

This argument is crucial today: if it is not put forward by your CMS distributor, then you can seriously wonder about the tool and its security...

7. Interoperability capability

An interesting feature for your CMS will be to make links between your marketing or technical tools already in place. This is called CMS interoperability.

For example: to be able to connect your CRM to your CMS and thus direct your customers to your website. If your customer registers, the data falls directly into your CRM!

When you choose your CMS, think about it:

  1. Will I be able to connect my CRM or my ERP?
  2. Will this API that is essential to my business be able to connect?

8. Multilingual

You have the ambition to develop your brand internationally, that's exciting! But does your CMS allow you to publish and translate content in several languages?

Some CMS offer this option natively in their solution.

You will be able to translate all your texts and easily manage the administration of photos and images.

For some CMS, you will have to download an additional module (plugin) to perform this task.

9. KPI management

Your website is newly online and you want to follow your KPI (Key Performance Indicator), in other words your statistics?

This is possible on CMS that offer you analytical data on your pages or your articles:

  • how many people see them
  • how long do they spend reading your content?
  • and many others

It is an option that can be interesting to improve your pages!

The 10 essential features
Drafting and modification of texts
Customization and layout
Visibility on all media
Metadata and optimized code
User role management
Update and authentication
Connect your usual tools
Management of several languages
Monitoring of statistics and conversions
Internal search engine
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