Kentico CMS is the content management system we use at Keystone to manage many of the websites we create. But what is a content management system? And why Kentico CMS?
What is a content management system?
According to encyclopedia-like Wikipedia, a content management system (CMS) "is a computer application that allows publishing, editing, and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface."
Why Kentico CMS?
We develop websites on Kentico CMS based on several factors:
- Platform. A CMS (computer application) is built on a 'platform' which consists of an operating system (Windows, Linux.) We're different than most website design firms in that half of Keystone's staff are IT consultants specializing in managing Microsoft Windows-based servers and networks. So our obvious choice of platform is Microsoft Windows. Kentico CMS runs on the Microsoft.NET platform.
- Company. Does this vendor have the vision, products, and services that match our outlook and philosophy in business? When we need, will they be around to support what they sell? With Kentico CMS, that answer is absolutely, yes.
- Flexibility. Does this CMS give us the power to solve the problems our customer's experience? Will it scale for future needs? Can we build add-ons to the core system without difficulty? Will our clients be able to operate the CMS easily? Kentico CMS: yes, yes, yes, yes.
- Product. Does this CMS require constant maintenance and support? Is it going to work when we expect it to work? We prefer to spend money once to save time (which is productivity - money!) during the product life cycle. Free isn't free if it sucks up all your time trying to make it do what it should do out of the box. Check, Kentico CMS.
- Design. Does this CMS enable us to implement any design and is the product designed well? Does it give us the tools to manage the technical aspects of design? Kentico CMS is that product.
What is the best CMS?
Occasionally the question "What is the best CMS?" comes up. There is no "best CMS" just like there is no "best car." If you want to take your kid and four of their friends to see a movie, you have several choices such as a Chevrolet Suburban or maybe a Honda Odyssey. Choosing a Ford Mustang is a bad plan in this case. Don't misunderstand, most of us would choose to drive a Mustang over the Odyssey...but the extra kids won't like riding in the Mustang's trunk. It's a great car that is inefficient for hauling children.
Let's take a look at some of the features of various CMS options and how Kentico differs from its competitors.
We run nearly everything with technology today, and as you might expect, there are people out there who want to either steal it or break it. Kentico, the company behind Kentico CMS, is acutely aware of the importance of security. If you suffer from insomnia, I encourage you to download the "Kentico CMS Security White Paper." While no software is perfect, Kentico CMS takes data security very seriously.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Kentico CMS is great for SEO. Being 'great for SEO' is, in essence, a technical matter that is far too technical to go into for the purposes of this blog post...so I won't do it. Suffice it to say that Kentico CMS has the technical matters down as well as any package.
More importantly, SEO takes work. So if you employ any CMS and don't do the necessary work to show up in Google (and the others), no magic will produce results. WordPress got a lot of credit in the past for its perceived SEO prowess. Well, yeah...people were using it for its designed purpose at that time: blogging. Blogging gets you SEO results. It wasn't ever WordPress, it was the people doing the work.
Just like freedom, no software is free and Kentico is no exception. A "1 Website Base License" is $3,499. Support is an additional annual fee. Fortunately for lovers of great value, Keystone owns really expensive server licenses which enables us to provide Kentico installs at a much lower cost to our customers.
While other systems - such as open source options like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal - tout their very low cost...what they don't tell you is that it takes a lot of resources to fix the 'out of the box' security and functionality problems with those packages. We know – we hear about this monthly, maybe weekly.
Kentico CMS comes with two levels of support: Keystone and Kentico. Keystone is here for you at level one. On the second level of security is Kentico. When a situation arises and we don't know the answer, we've got paid support in the form of Kentico professionals at the ready.
There are plenty of people that know other systems, but there is no one to hold accountable. It’s what they call a 'community of developers,' and it can be difficult to get good business-class solutions. One of Keystone's specialties is "replacing open source mistakes with Kentico."
Kentico CMS does enable you to develop add-on (or plug-in, if you insist) software to complement the base install without exploding mission-critical features of your website when new updates are published. Even better, 99% of the websites we create don't need additional development. Yes, Kentico already has an incredibly robust feature set baked right into the product.
If you are considering an open source system, I highly encourage you to read cmscritic.com's spot on analysis of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. In that piece, the author lays bare the myriad problems with these packages...chief among them the issue with heavy reliance on suspect plug-ins that cause many of the previously mentioned security problems.
Kentico CMS is built for business. I can't stress that enough. It is for businesses that need to communicate with their customers and prospects. Kentico is a scalable, robust, content management system created and strictly maintained by a company with a clear vision for its future. That kind of forward thinking is important if you're planning to use your website as the hub of your digital marketing effort.
You have to ask yourself...are you looking for a permanent business solution that will provide you with value for years to come? Do you want to spend your marketing dollars on business-class solutions? Or a hobbyist's toy?
Kentico CMS, like most content management systems, employ templates. Yes, I know this section is titled "Themes." I'll get back to that shortly. I don't care what anyone tells you, templates are not bad. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if every page in every website had a different layout. Consistency from page to page is a good thing. That's a template.
We build each website with a unique look and feel that behind it, utilizes a template. Chances are, the template shares things with other templates, but that template has been customized to be slightly different to fit your content need, brand, and style. Your website should reflect your organization.
WordPress developers, in particular, often use free and paid themes. It would be patently unfair to say that they're all terrible...but many of them are.
We'd love to show you around Kentico. Heck, we'll even take a look at your existing website and render a free opinion!