In 7 steps to successfully implementing a CMS

Being visible and findable online for your customers? Your Content Management System (CMS) plays a crucial role in achieving this. It's the foundation through which you share all your online content with clients, the public, or your community in a clear and accessible manner. How do you go about this effectively? This article outlines how to optimally implement a CMS in 7 steps, focusing on your company, users, business goals, and of course, your target audience.

Digital marketing
July 13, 2023
Dick Gennissen

A successful CMS implementation

You probably already work regularly with your CMS, managing your website backend, filling pages, and making minor adjustments. It's crucial that this process is smooth and contributes to clear, accessible communication with your audience.

Perhaps you have some concerns. Maybe because your CMS was implemented many years ago, it now requires maintenance due to the rapid changes in the digital world. Or perhaps you're considering a new CMS. How do you make the right choice and ensure optimal implementation of your CMS? We guide you through 7 steps to achieve just that. 

Step 1: Define the objective

What do you intend to use the CMS for, and what goals are associated with it? This is the fundamental question you need to answer first. Defining your goal is essential to ultimately choosing the right CMS.

Examples of goals include: 

  • I want to manage my content as user-friendly as possible, particularly because many different people in my organization need to work with the CMS. 
  • I want to produce more content to enhance visibility or findability, or to better inform our target audience. 
  • I want to expand the reach of our content.  

When determining your ultimate goal, consider various factors such as: 

  • The content you generate, including volume and frequency.
  • Any current challenges you face in creating effective content.

Incorporating these factors into your decision-making will help you identify the primary goal you want to achieve with the CMS.

Step 1 provides you with an answer to the question:

➔ What is my use case?

Step 2: Find a suitable CMS

In the previous step, your CMS objective became clear. Now, how do you find a suitable CMS for your organization? This is no easy task given the multitude of CMS options available in the market.

Start by eliminating options based on budget constraints. Several CMS platforms may already be off the list. Hopefully, you're left with a handful of platforms.

Next, delve deeper into what the remaining CMS platforms offer and can deliver. Only a CMS that incorporates all the functionalities required for your end goal should make the cut. List all the features and check off what each CMS does or doesn't offer. This comparison will help you clearly justify to others why you've chosen this specific CMS. The CMS that best matches your needs will emerge as the winner.

Step 2 provides you with an answer to the question: 

➔ Which CMS is most suitable for our organization?


Need assistance? We gladly handle the complete CMS implementation for your organization. This allows you to focus on other matters requiring your attention.
Marc Gutlich Head of Sales

Step 3: Ensure optimal CMS performance

Moving a few steps forward: the CMS selection has been made, and the software has been procured. How do you ensure the CMS performs optimally for you?

Configuring the CMS involves creating user accounts, setting permissions, customizing the interface, and creating templates for specific content types. Specialized knowledge is required to configure these aspects effectively, prompting many companies to enlist experts for this task.

Human Digital possesses this specialized knowledge. For companies, we take full responsibility for CMS implementation from A to Z. This ensures that the CMS optimally supports your business, aligned with the clear goal defined in Step 1.

We configure the CMS to meet your specific needs, allowing your team to use the platform effortlessly from day one. Did you know that in most CMS systems, unnecessary options and features can be hidden? This helps users maintain clarity and focus on their tasks. You can also highlight commonly used functions for quicker access.

A question at the end of step 3 is:

➔ Is my CMS user-friendly?

Step 4: Migrate existing data

If you have existing content from your current CMS, this step applies to you.

You'll want to migrate existing content to the new CMS to maintain continuity and preserve your archive. Besides regular pages, consider migrating blogs published over the past year—they may still be relevant and demonstrate your expertise.

Migrating existing content to the new CMS—let's not be secretive about it—requires considerable time. At the same time, it's a crucial process that demands careful planning and execution to ensure accurate and proper content transfer.

How do you approach this?

  1. Take inventory of your existing content.
  2. Map out data structures and convert all content into a suitable format.
  3. Transfer media files, URLs, and associated metadata to the new CMS.
  4. Ensure they are correctly linked to the corresponding content.

It's important to note: transferring content to the new CMS affects your page's ranking in search engines like Google. It's essential to minimize this impact. When migrating data, always collaborate closely with SEO experts to avoid costly mistakes.

If you lack this expertise internally, collaborate with an external partner like Human Digital to help prevent costly mistakes.

A question at the end of step 4 is:

➔ Have I accurately transferred my existing content to the new CMS?

Step 5: Train your users 

Many CMS platforms cater to various users—authors, editors, and SEO specialists, for example. All these users require training to ensure they understand how to use the CMS effectively for their specific roles.

This necessitates training materials such as user manuals and instructional videos available at any time. Additionally, users may require virtual or in-person training to build confidence in using the new system. Providing users with a forum for discussion and support to address their questions and issues further enhances their experience.

A question at the end of step 5 is:

Are my users adequately trained to use the CMS?

Step 6: Test the platform

The CMS is finely tuned for your business, existing content has been migrated, and users are trained—it's almost time to go live. There's one crucial step left: conducting thorough tests to verify whether the CMS functions seamlessly, is compatible, and usable across different browsers, devices, and user scenarios. 

Testing should encompass the entire content management lifecycle, from content creation to publication. Focus particularly on user permissions, the operation of various functionalities, and integrations with other systems or plugins. Address any issues, bugs, or performance bottlenecks promptly during this phase.

A question at the end of step 6 is: 

➔ Is my CMS ready for rollout?

Step 7: Roll out and maintain the CMS 

Check, double-check: in the previous step, have all possible scenarios been thoroughly tested? If so, the moment has arrived: the CMS can go live.

CMS rollout can occur in two ways: 

  • Phased, gradually introducing the platform to different teams.
  • Full deployment at once.

The preferred method depends largely on the company size, number of users, and goals envisioned for the CMS. Phased implementation allows users and the organization to acclimatize to the new system gradually. Full deployment provides immediate clarity.

Following a successful CMS launch, ongoing maintenance remains crucial to ensure the platform continues to operate flawlessly. Regularly back up data to preserve business information and routinely update the system.

A question at the end of step 7 is:

➔ Is my CMS operating smoothly?

In conclusion

This article has demonstrated that meticulous planning and precise execution are essential for successfully implementing a CMS. Following the 7 steps outlined establishes a robust foundation for effective content management.

Optimally configuring the CMS demands specialized knowledge, as does migrating existing content to the new CMS. Human Digital is here to assist. We gladly take on the complete CMS implementation for your organization, allowing you to focus on other pressing matters. Want to learn more? Call us at +31 85 00 20 678 or email

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