Essential Guide

Browse Sections

Build a WCM architecture that supports business needs

Last updated:July 2014

Editor's note

Designing a truly effective WCM system is about much more than choosing the right tool. The overarching goal is to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time. As the turnover of online information speeds up, building a successful WCM system requires a solid grasp of specific business goals and ongoing observation of customer experience.

When you lay out a Web content management architecture, consider the trends that are shaping the way we consume online information. The volume of content on the Web is growing at a rapid rate -- not just text, but rich media like images and video that must be managed differently. And while plenty of people still use laptops and even desktops, chances are they also want to access content through their mobile devices. The mobile trend is only gathering power, so companies need to be prepared with responsive design, and possibly a mobile-first mind-set for Web content.

All this ties into the growing importance of customer experience management as a way to create authentic relationships with website visitors and promote the company's brand. At a time when we are drowning in information on the Web, companies with a keen understanding of customers' experience with their websites and an ability to tailor Web content accordingly will have a better chance at survival.

1Expert advice on architecting WCM

The most important aspect of designing a WCM system is aligning the architecture with business goals and content strategy, which typically center on getting the right information to an audience as painlessly as possible. With an understanding of your audience's needs -- such as the devices they use, their locations and languages, and the types of information they seek -- other elements start to fall into place. Then it's time to build taxonomies and tagging systems that structure content in a way that makes sense for your audience.

2Tips for evaluating WCM tools

Once companies have a handle on the major trends that are driving Web content today and have outlined a WCM strategy supported by specific business goals, they might find it's time to select a new Web content management system or to add tools. Here are some final considerations companies should make before they decide to buy a WCM system.