One of the most important tools for excelling at content operations is your digital platform—your content management system.

To get your ContentOps up and running smoothly, you need a CMS to handle the necessary editing, refinement, and management of your content before distributing it.

The most important features of your CMS in regard to ContentOps include:

1. Cooperation

A central tenet of the ContentOps principle is people. You know, those who work to create great content. Your chosen CMS should offer robust cooperation capabilities, enabling your team to deliver content efficiently.

That means an integrated workflow in the CMS. This is a feature that supports the editorial process consisting of editing, greenlighting, expert inputs, and a visual way of seeing what content is ready for review and publishing.

Cooperation features should also include issues management and real time editing. The former lets content creators easily set up issues or notifications in the CMS, directing it towards editors, subject matter experts, bug-fixing developers, or the like. The latter lets you see what other authors are doing on a given piece of content in real time.

Learn more: How Enonic Uses ContentOps »

2. Flexible Content Types

Content isn’t just content. An image isn’t a text, a blog post isn’t a person profile, and a case study isn’t a portfolio. Websites and apps consist of several content types with different structures and logic—many interacting with each other in one way or another.

For example, the content type blog post consists of several fields, some of which may link to the content types author, tags, and image. And a landing page consists of sections which can contain virtually any type of content, from testimonials and services to partners and sound files.

A smooth ContentOps would benefit tremendously from a CMS that has ample room to create and maintain flexible content types. Content types makes it easy to reuse content across your digital experiences, letting you focus on the thing that matters most: content creation.

See also: Page-oriented vs. Content-oriented CMS »

3. Design System Integration

Working on content with brand compliance and asset management in mind can be a tedious chore, but it doesn’t have to be like that. A design system can make your job of ensuring brand stability and compliance on digital experiences much easier. Which thereby lets you focus on creating excellent content.

A design system may include a sketch library, style guide, pattern library, organization principles, best practices, templates, and more. This allows you to have an assortment of buttons, icons, accordions, and other design elements readily available for any author and editor.

Such a smooth setup presupposes that your CMS can be integrated with a design system, so make sure to investigate whether or not this can be achieved.

Read more: Best Practices for Building a Design System »

4. User-friendly

Last, but not least, your CMS should generally be intuitive. It should be easy to navigate your content structure—preferably through a content tree. It should be easy to create, move, duplicate, delete, and edit different pieces of content, images included.

Your CMS should also be responsive and mobile-friendly—allowing you to work as easily from the palm of your hand as from a large screen on your desktop.

Logical and familiar keyboard shortcuts are also a must to ensure speedy creation and management. So is a fast and faceted search engine—making it easy to find what you’re looking for in the blink of an eye.

And, finally, user roles and what actions and permissions one has access to should be easy to manage.

This makes it clear to your teammates what roles they have in the system and what they are supposed to do in the ContentOps process: whether it is authoring, editing, or publishing.

Checklist: How to choose the right CMS

First published 26 February 2020, updated 15 February 2024.

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