What you see in a content management system demo isn't always what you get. Find out what to look for when test driving a new CMS.

CMS Bait and Switch: What They Demo Isn't Always What You Get

Wed Oct 16, 2013

When selecting a new web content management system, everyone wants a system that is user friendly and offers enough flexibility to grow their site. Most content management vendors promise to deliver usability and flexibility to give you the kind of control over your website that you haven’t had before. Many also don’t keep that promise.

Demo Candy: Not As Tasty As It Looks

Seeing a CMS in action is usually the best way to gauge whether it’s a good fit for your website and user base, and every vendor wants the opportunity to demo their stuff. What you get a lot of times is not the realities of what their product does, but what it can do. I call that “demo candy,” and it’s the reason I’ve seen many clients abandon a CMS that couldn’t live up to its potential without a lot of additional time and money investment, and dedicated development.

When I ask marketers and web admins what would they like to change about their CMS, the response is always the same: “I wish it was easier to use.” So what if you could find a CMS that worked as well in day-to-day use as it did in the demo? Let me tell you how.

WYSIWYG in Advertising?

While a lot of web content management platforms promise to help build you the site you have always wanted, they always have to build something new around a basic platform to match it to your specific needs. This takes a lot of planning and developer time, and leads to lengthy and complex implementations. It gets stressful, expensive, and if you ever change your CMS, you often start from scratch.

Our approach is about offering not a framework, but a finished product that puts the management and creation tools where they belong: in our customers’ hands. When you are given an evaluation license (either on the cloud or an on-premise install), all functionality you see in actually is out-of-the-box. Our unique LiveFirst tool can get your site imported and running in Percussion CMS in just days. Calendars, blogs, drag-and-drop templates--the features you expect from a finished website are already built into Percussion CMS. Rather than try anticipating what functions customers will want next, we’re instead developing a widget builder that allows you customization without touching code.

Hey, It’s Your Website

You take ownership of your site content, and a CMS shouldn’t stand between you and your site’s functionality and design. Take any CMS you’re considering seriously for a test drive and make sure it can promise a smooth ride once you’re the one behind the wheel.

Kemal Demirhisar Headshot
Kemal Demirhisar
Senior Solutions Engineer | Percussion Software

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Kemal is the hub that connects prospective customers to product management, and engineering to sales. If you've seen a demo of Percussion CMS, Kemal was probably your presenter. A passionate digital marketer with mastery of code, he is a web content management expert with experience in social, web design and development, building engagement, SEO, and anything Google.