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How to Choose the Right Content Software for Your Courses

Post by
AJ McCaw
How to Choose the Right Content Software for Your Courses

We’ve all been there: frustrated with a lack of success in your courses because you can’t find the right content to keep it interesting. It’s time to stop thinking about finding the perfect content and start looking for a content management system that’s perfect for you.

In this post, we're going to outline some things to look out for when selecting a CMS, as well as offer some advice on what makes them different.

How To Find The Right Content Management System For Your Course
What’s the difference between content management systems? There are a lot of options out there, but let’s break them down into four main categories:

I. Content Management Systems With An Integral CMS or Component CMS
These systems are built as a component of your site, offering more control and flexibility than more basic platforms. They integrate with your themes and provide a lot of customisation options to tailor the platform to your needs. Best suited for those looking for control over customisation and usage of their content, these platforms have everything you need to get started quickly, including basic features like pages, content types, user roles and permissions.

II. Content Management Systems With an External CMS or Modular CMS
These systems are mostly like the first type, with the exception of some modules being built-in to the system. They provide a separate URL for your content and customise certain types of content to suit your needs. Best suited for those looking for an easy-to-use web app with basic functionality, these platforms have everything you need to get started quickly, including basic features like pages, content types, user roles and permissions.

III. Content Management Systems In The Cloud
With cloud CMS systems, you build your site within a SaaS platform that hosts your site on their servers. You log in to manage it from anywhere you can access a browser. Therefore, you don’t need to install anything and can handle everything from one place. This type of platform is usually the easier to use, because it requires less technical knowledge, but the downside is that you have little control over the environment or security. Best suited for those looking for a system that’s easy to use and provides a minimal amount of hassle while allowing them to focus on building their courses.

IV. Content Management Systems With An Integrated Web Editor
These systems are very similar to content management systems with an external CMS except you get an integrated web editor when they are built into your site. They usually have some basic features, but not much functionality. This makes them easy to use for beginners, but not the best for more advanced users and the lack of customisation options can make them frustrating to use in the long run. Best suited for those looking for a tool that’s easy to use and provides a minimal amount of hassle while allowing them to focus on building their courses.

What To Look For When Selecting A Course CMS

You should have an idea of what your CMS can do before you select it. Some of these features may be more important to you than others, but the important thing to remember is that they all tie into how effective the platform will be for you. So let’s have a look at some of the core CMS features and how they translate into results for your courses.

Can You Create Multiple Profiles
How many different courses are you going to be using the platform for? Will you have different types of content, like videos, quizzes and documents? If so, you’ll want a system that lets you create and manage multiple profiles. This will allow you to add different types of content to each profile and keep your settings organised.

Can Users Have Different Permissions
There’s nothing more frustrating for a user than signing up for an account and not being able to access the courses they were hoping for. This is a common problem with many online platforms and a big one with CMS, so it’s important to make sure that the system has a clear feature set that allows you to set user permissions.

How Many Pages Can Be Used?
How often will you be adding new content to your platform? If the system is going to come before your course, then you should know how many pages it can be used on and what features are available on each page. For example, if you’re using your platform as a supplement to another course, referred from another platform like Udemy, then it will be important that your platform supports all of these features.

Can You Import and Export
This is an important feature for those who know how to use CMS systems since it allows you to easily transfer content from your old site to the new platform. With some platforms, you can import content from a .zip file and drop it directly into the system. Other platforms will let you upload a variety of formats.

Can You Customise the User Experience?
For many people, one of the most frustrating things about training sites is how they look and feel, so it’s important that your course management system supports customisation in this way. You want a system that allows you to change the way the site looks and feels so that it fits your brand. In addition, you may want to customise exactly how content is presented.

Your Course Management System Should Be Modular
With this type of CMS, it’s important that you have an intuitive structure for what your users will see on each page. You don’t want them to be stuck with pages they don’t know how to use; instead, you want users to move seamlessly from one module of information or course section to another.

In this post, we’ve outlined some things to look out for when selecting a content management system. The key to finding the right one for you is considering your needs and the features you’re looking for. Each platform offers something different that will allow you to use it effectively.

Book a free consultation to learn about how Potential.ly can help you run your next training session or find out how our system can help you revolutionize the way you deliver content to learners!

Tags: CMS, Content Management System (CMS), Course Management System (CMS), Learning Management System (LMS), Online Course Management System (OCMS), Online Training Management System (OTMS), Training Management System (TMS), eLearning, eLearning, Online Learning Platforms.

Image credit: “image: Freepik.com”. This cover has been designed using resources from Freepik.com

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