When we started this series on ASP.NET Web CMS, we said there were four key differences between ASP.NET CMS platforms. But there's one more important difference you must look at before you make that final decision.
When companies are looking for a new CMS, the technology always seems to take precedence. And I'm certainly not saying that it shouldn't. But there's something else that is very important and deserves more than a simple checkmark and cursory response on an RFP form - the Support Model.
Building a new website and/or web application takes a lot of work and it's fraught with challenges. Yes, you will have issues, and you will need your CMS provider to help you. Hence the support they typically provide.
But all support models are not alike. While many may tout a platform that is agile, they don't also provide agile support. When you are under the gun and need to get help, you don't really have time to look at how many incidents you are allowed, or whether or not you've used all up the critical, or priority, tickets. And there will be times when you want a real voice on the phone.
Be very careful to understand the support model a CMS provider offers and if meets your needs. A new team will need more support than normal. A team working with a very new development approach (maybe you are switching from Web Forms to MVC) will require more support. If you are moving to structured content and struggling to figure out how to implement your content model in your CMS, you'll need support.
There are a wide range of reasons you'll want quick and easy access to your CMS provider's support team. So ask about turnaround times, number of priority tickets allowed, and access to phone support, community forums, and more. If content is critical to your business you want to have an unlimited technical support plan with both phone and online service, and a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with guaranteed response times (ideally one hour or less for critical issues), and access to developer support. If you are using a hosted or SaaS solution, it is essential to have 24/7 support and monitoring.
Making the Web CMS Call
We've given you fives things to consider when evaluating your next Web CMS platform. From a technical perspective, there are four key differences between ASP.NET CMS platforms, and they all affect how you create, manage and deliver content. We've also pointed out that support models shouldn't be an afterthought because you will need it from CMS vendor; make sure it's the right support for you.
We hope you enjoyed this post series on ASP.NET Web CMS. Here's the full list of posts in the series.
- ASP.NET Web CMS Architecture: Decoupled vs Tightly Coupled
- ASP.NET Web CMS Development Model: MVC vs. Web Forms
- ASP.NET Web CMS: Structured Content vs. Blob Content
- ASP.NET Web CMS Database: NoSQL vs. SQL Server
- ASP.NET Web CMS: Don't Forget the Support Model
Looking for more information on what to consider when selecting the best Web CMS for you? Check out our Web CMS Buyer's Guide and our Web CMS RFP Template Guide. Both are great resources to help guide your process.
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