Buyer's Handbook:

Multidimensional WCM systems are no longer typecast

Web content management tools: What features do you need?

Once upon a time, web content management tools were all about controlling how pages rendered in a browser, on desktops and on laptops, along with curating metadata. Period. End of story.

Today, the purchase of a WCM system involves many more considerations: mobile-first responsive design; search engine optimization features; management of microsites that can form and dissolve at will; up-to-the-moment data security; rich-media streaming and video service; multilingual support; and hooks into third-party content channels, such as Twitter and Facebook, for sharing and promotion.

The right WCM system also must accommodate an organization's workflow and culture and remove barriers to creating and updating content. Current WCM systems should include straightforward editing that allows frontline workers to make quick changes or feed new content into the system without the assistance of a programmer.

Of course, on the back end, modern web content management tools can also track all the versions of the various content assets and manage identities. Not only can "library services" like these limit access and content changes to just authorized users, but they also can track who is working on what, when, and how the content has been changed. And according to rules established by the owner, these services can require, obtain and document approvals to content changes.

All these features and capabilities -- and the open source-or-not argument -- can make winnowing the field of choices difficult for groups charged with evaluating technology and making recommendations to C-suite leadership. Our buyer's handbook on web content management tools organizes, describes and itemizes the different tasks your next WCM system can perform. This guide also provides some ideas and strategies to meet your organization's needs.