Written by UKWDA on 14 August 2012
We conclude our CMS review series by highlighting the features and benefits of four UK market leading content management systems. In a global market, many of the companies that create web products for the UK market are based overseas, so it’s great to see British-based companies developing content management systems that compete on a level playing field with US/foreign products.
A self-managed website can be an effective business development tool that reaches new customers beyond local boundaries. In the UK, the Internet economy is set to grow by 10% to reach 10% of GDP by 2015. The roll-out of superfast broadband services across the UK has supported the growth of a wide range of applications from internet shopping to social media, and has facilitated increased use of UK developed web products and services. A recent study by AT Kearney showed that every £1 spent on internet access and CMS in the UK, supports the creation of £5 in revenue for the rest of the digital economy.
Choosing a UK CMS rather than a US produced CMS can only help to grow our home digital economy. Also remember that the main selling point of any CMS is its ease of use and the ability to be used by people who are not tech-savvy, so a CMS provided within your home country enables faster support services and access to a UK-based support community.
Let’s review four CMS systems currently seen as market leaders in the UK:
Sitekit has been setting the standard for UK content management systems over the last couple of decades. It seems to be the chosen CMS product for UK clients in the corporate, healthcare, travel, media and finance sectors, amongst many others. A primary reason for choosing the Sitekit CMS is its simplicity of use, power, and super-ability to deliver large amounts of complex content to diverse audiences seamlessly.
Sitekit has four full version launches a year supported by frequent version upgrades. It has great functionality; built on a modular design, users can scale their solution at any time, and with the Sitekit Software Developer Kit, a development team can have a fully supported platform on which to build custom applications for high-end website performance. Sitekit makes the ability to share information easy with access and sharing made possible from any location, any system and presented in the correct manner. All extensions and enhancements of the Sitekit CMS have added with search engine visibility in mind, and so this built-in site optimisation ensures every page, every heading, and every snippet of content is easily found by search engines.
- Frequent and regular version updates
- High visibility & optimisation
- Strong online community and support network
- Supports multilingual sites
- Reduced administrative costs relating to the exchange of data
- Ability to export your content to other systems/ control over consistency of content
- Organisations need to update their version regularly
- Array of features may make it difficult to master initially
- Fairly expensive
Again, Jadu is a CMS designed for and used by organisations (‘Enterprise CMS’) of varying sizes within government, higher education, and commercial and not for profit sectors. Jadu is great for non-technical content contributors to publish information easily, with workflow control and web standards compliance. It has visual template design tools for designing powerful web interfaces and key pages for your site (section homepages, landing pages, marketing pages), by dragging and dropping different elements into its visual editor from where content can be added and styled. The Jadu CMS is accessible from any web-enabled device and optimised for search engine visibility. Jadu CMS's publishing workflow includes metadata tagging requirements that conform to official standards. Jadu creates taxonomy-driven sites which enable seamless joining up of related content items throughout the website site, including pages in different site categories displaying additional relevant information across all the common tabs: downloads, FAQs, online forms, blogs, news, events and directories. All the URLs in the website are visible by search engines thanks to dynamic sitemap creation which comes as standard.
- Excellent sitemap navigation
- Well suited to organisations of all sizes
- No technical knowledge required
- Enables seamless user content generation
- Integrated customer experience management platform
- More suited to organisations
- Not as scalable as a solution because of the diversity of its features
Easysite does what is says on the tin. It makes managing complex websites easier. Easysite CMS is most commonly used by councils, social enterprise/not-for-profits, and other public bodies as well as business individuals. Perfectly suited to non-technical users, Easysite provides a great authoring experience for the writer, and makes new content workflow a seamless process with features like true inline and in context editing, a drag and drop layout builder, and content quality checking. There is plenty of design and development flexibility with Easysite, sites can be delivered in HTML5 or XHTML, with a complete CSS layout builder, built-in jQuery and your preferred frameworks can be added as required. Easysite is particularly good for building directories, portals, blogs, forums, calendars, glossaries, and ecommerce stores, and enables creation of collaborative, personalised and social websites with all the necessary social media apps integration.
- Highly suited to non tech savvy users
- Provides an excellent authoring experience for content generation
- Inexpensive for organisations/ single licences under £1,000
- Secure asset management features for documentation and versioning
- Not enabled for multilingual sites
- Fairly restrictive server requirements for optimal performance
- Choice of only XHTML or HTML5 doctypes
Contensis’ key philosophy is to design easily upgradeable systems. Developers can use Contensis’ pre-built template layers to extend or enhance these features to meet the user’s specific needs. There is a system in place for upgrading the development server without the need for any server admin support. Contensis really pioneered the development of the ‘single intuitive interface’: users at every level soon become familiar with the controls and even non-technical users are able to undertake tasks by themselves. The WYSIWYG editor docks below the main toolbar and is only available when in edit mode and its appearance will be familiar to users with just a basic knowledge of Microsoft Office®.
Contensis has a variety of publishing options, with full publishing schedules, aliases and the “disconnected publishing model” which ensures that your content is live when you want it to be with a single click. Contensis CMS is highly geared towards search engine optimisation, visibility and accessibility. A menu tree provides a hierarchical navigation system that can be used to create the URLs and sections of a website, so wherever you create an item; the item will ultimately appear on the live site. Contensis comes with a whole range of navigational controls that are generated automatically based on the navigation controls provided to any user with the privilege.
- Great navigation management
- Single click publishing of content
- Popular with leading UK brands and organisations
- Cost effective
- Strong support network
- Geared towards enterprises rather than sole traders/single users
- Not enabled for multilingual features and content
- Not suitable for micro sites, e.g. blogs