Content management system re-platforming: it isn't just a technology fix

In the professional services arena, the website serves as the center of the digital experience and powers important pieces of the buying journey.

Creating exceptional online client experiences requires a strong connection among strategy, design and technology. I am sure we are not the first to tell you that this is more important than ever since the pandemic transformed how we build relationships and foster existing ones.

With technology changing at a rapid pace, we are hearing a lot from firms struggling with their content management systems. In a matter of only two to three years, firms are finding themselves with a content management system that requires an expensive upgrade to perform optimally, one that turned out to be more than what was needed, or one that is difficult to maintain without the help of an in-house technology team.

To make matters more interesting, many firms aren’t quite ready to fully redesign their websites as their CMS is failing them, and they find themselves wanting to “lift and shift” their current website onto a new content management system. The reality is that strategy and design must be considered in a content management system change. Below are some things to take into account when you are faced with a content management system re-platforming. Often, firms end up throwing good money after bad by trying to re-platform without considering the following things.

New CMS functions and features. You may find that your new CMS has new features and functions that will improve the user experience of your website. For example, predictive (or type-ahead) search is a function in certain content management systems. You will want to designate time in the project to design what that search will look like and how it will function specifically for your organization.

Existing user experience. Think about when your organization’s website was last redesigned from soup to nuts. The user experience and functionality were likely documented for the website development much like a blueprint is used to build a house or redesign a kitchen. If this documentation is out of date or unable to be located, you’ll want to ensure your agency can re-create or update it to ensure the website functions as it does today when it’s re-platformed.

Getting the most out of the investment. Even after only two or three years, website needs can certainly change. If you find yourself needing to refresh the design and user experience of the homepage, the biography page, the industry and practice pages, and the careers page, for example, you may want to look at redesigning or refreshing the website fully with the re-platforming. Refreshing pages on an ad hoc basis can begin to get costly and detract from the full experience of the website.

Want to talk more about how to connect strategy, design and technology? Get started today by scheduling a meeting with Dawn Michalak, Director of Business Development.

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