Top Trends for Content Management in 2020

Headless, Serverless, Jamstack... 

Headless, serverless, Jamstack... digitalization is advancing rapidly, websites have to adapt even faster to the new conditions and enterprises need to offer more and better content. Flexible Content Management Systems (CMS) are essential for this purpose. Find out which out of the 10 trends are the most important for the choice of a new CMS.

In 2020, a company has to be widely present on the web - otherwise, it won’t be taken seriously by most people. Only those companies will survive, whose web presence considers the users’ needs, and that takes account of the evolution of the web. Without a solid Content Management System as the foundation, this is no longer possible. Almost 60 percent of all websites are powered by a CMS.

Which one is the best? There are currently more than 650 different systems to choose from - but only ten percent of these have a market share of over one percent. In other words: Few systems dominate the market, with WordPress leading the field by a large margin, followed by Joomla, Drupal and TYPO3.

They provide different functions for different web projects. How do users find the right CMS for them? When introducing a new CMS, a wide variety of factors must be taken into account - in line with the respective business case - such as usability, scalability, expandability, security, content delivery, or collaboration. And of course, the costs for acquisition, operation, maintenance and support, training, etc. is very important.

Various trends that can have a direct impact on the CMS need to be taken into account as well. For 2020, the following ten topics should undoubtedly be considered when choosing a CMS:

"Jamstack for Web Projects" - White Paper

The Jamstack approach has several key advantages over the traditional server infrastructure. It enables higher performance, improves security, lowers costs, scales more easily, and delivers a better user experience.

  • 1st Trend: Digitalization

    In the course of digital transformation, all our lives have changed considerably. First and foremost, everything has become MORE (except time and money): There are more and more Internet-enabled devices, more users, more software, more management, more content, more applications, more transactions, more communication. This is also reflected in the websites on the internet: The simple Web 1.0 was followed by a social media wave ("Web 2.0"), then internet presences had to become “multi-sited” and extend their networking more and more, for example to customers, partners and employees.

    In 2019, the basic requirements of a site included applications, content shops, management, CRM, search, e-mail, chat, analytics, marketing, automation, intranet, social media, ERP, forms, payment, self-service, etc., etc.- A CMS can only provide all this if it has a cloud in its back pocket. Therefore the second important trend is:

  • 2nd Trend: CMS from the Cloud

    In 2020, a website will no longer require a content management system to be installed; instead, it will come as a service, making it much easier to handle for companies. This also saves an enormous amount of time and money, both in terms of installation and system administration, and is therefore just as secure as running it in your own data center, presumably even more secure. Not to mention the unlimited scalability and having to pay only for what is actually used (“pay per use”).

    In order to be able to benefit from all the advantages of the cloud - which are reasonably well known and need not be listed here - the CMS should not be hosted in the private cloud but be integrated into a real cloud stack. Only this allows for easy orchestration of services and the well-known high availability.

  • 3rd Trend: Usability & User Experience (UX)

    Concentration on the customer is a constant trend that needs to be taken into account even in 2020 if you want to be economically successful. The problem with content management is that the systems are written by developers who think like developers (and not like users). Even power users in marketing like to get involved in the development of a CMS, the needs of “normal” users can get lost there.

    Therefore, when choosing a new CMS, two important factors cannot be ignored: The necessary learning effort for the users, who have different skills, as well as their later collaboration, which will take place via the system. Good usability of a CMS is characterized by features like WYSIWYG editing and autosaving, low training effort, a modular structure provided by offering building blocks or widgets, easy extensibility, drag-and-drop editing, real-time collaboration and the greatest possible fun factor for the editors.

  • 4th Trend: Frameworks

    Frameworks, together with the cloud, provide a stable basis for building websites. They save time and costs, bring developers faster to their goals through prefabrication, shorten the time to market, lower project costs, reduce the amount of code and thus also the number of errors.

    Many experts believe that the Bootstrap CSS framework is the tool of preference here. It includes HTML- and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, tables, grid systems, navigation and other interface design elements as well as additional, optional JavaScript extensions. This is important because JavaScript has become more popular among developers than Phython, Java, PHP and the various C derivatives.

  • 5th Trend: Content Delivery Networks

    Speed is everything in IT – even users have already experienced trouble or stress due to slow websites. Studies show us that 71 percent of all users are regularly annoyed when websites react with a delay. 40 percent even decide never to visit a specific website again in such a case. To increase the conversion rate, websites must load in less than 2.4 seconds - each additional second reduces the rate.

    To distribute content globally and with the lowest possible latency, enterprises no longer need to invest in their own infrastructure. Content Delivery Networks take over the job. These are networks of edge servers responsible for delivering content to users and streaming applications. With services such as Amazon’s CloudFront CDN, optimal and fail-safe web performance can be achieved worldwide, even during load peaks, and at a fair, consumption-based price. A good CMS needs to be able to connect to a CDN and make use of its scalable storage and delivery capabilities.

  • 6th Trend: Integration with Digital Marketing

    Digital marketing plays a key role in enterprises. Among other things, relevant product and company information should always be available to the user in an up-to-date form. Digital asset management, lead generation and conversion tracking are further challenges. Customers should be able to be addressed at any time and through a wide variety of channels, and their needs and wishes should be identified and satisfied as quickly as possible.

    To achieve this, a website must be equipped with comprehensive functionalities and offer landing pages, CRM integration, campaign management and social media integrations. All of this is aimed at the highest possible level of personalization, and tailored communication to actively involve the customer. To achieve this, a CMS is required to be able to recognize and react to time zone, location, the end device used and, last but not least, the click behavior of the user.

  • 7th Trend: Security

    Security exploits are a constant threat to websites and their CMS. WordPress is by far the most hacked system, but all other CMS are also under constant fire. To withstand this, a CMS must meet the highest standards of data protection. Certified procedures for securing the frameworks and automatic updates for zero maintenance should be just as natural as remote access available exclusively as a service (“serverless”). Two further cornerstones of any CMS security strategy are access control and the encryption of confidential data - both when storing and transmitting data.

  • 8th Trend: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that websites on the Internet are easily found. The work can be done by Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agencies, or users themselves can carry out the so-called on- and off-page optimization in the CMS. With the right CMS, a website can be easily optimized for search engines step by step.

    Virtually all modern systems maintain meta-attributes automatically. In addition to the title of a website, these include a description and keywords. The CMS should also support semantic markup and consider the names of images and other assets as well as mobile frameworks.

  • 9th Trend: eCommerce

    eCommerce websites are a science in itself, for example, the delivery of beverages within an hour - to name just one example among many - places enormous demands on logistics. Suppliers, partners and customers have to be connected in multiple ways, and in addition, extensive content needs to be offered. Product descriptions, recipes, use cases or gift ideas are conceivable. In addition, there are sometimes extensive commenting functions - today, users also act as editors, for example when evaluating a product or service.

    Here, the CMS must ensure that the front end of the shop is seamlessly connected to the centrally stored content. It is necessary to be able to manage the interaction with a web application or a shop system via an API and to manage products as assets. An internal search function as well as SEO is a requirement to be met by the CMS.

  • 10th Trend: Compliance

    The compliance requirements for companies are constantly increasing, which must also be reflected in the CMS. By means of certificates it is possible to prove whether a system handles data in a legally compliant manner, such as ISO 27001, SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402, and PCI DSS Level 1.

    Compliance requirements can be met relatively easily, for example by hosting the CMS at Amazon Web Services. This automatically means that it has already successfully completed several certifications. In addition, practically all the trends mentioned can be countered with new technologies and functions such as Jamstack, Serverless & Microservices.

Headless statue

Do not Become Headless

“Jam” stands for JavaScript, APIs and Markup. It is a development architecture that quickly became enormously popular and is based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs and ready-made markup. A Jamstack app can use prerendered HTML instead of rendering documents live on the server. This ensures faster loading times and reduces security risks. Jamstack also makes it much easier to include content from third-party APIs. Jamstack is considered one of the new technologies called “Cloud Native”, like microservices, containers and serverless. They ensure that applications in multi-cloud environments can be quickly assembled from microservices - combined in containers and connected flexibly without a fixed server.

Foto: Team am Tresen

In addition, questions such as “head-off” or “head-on” also arise. This alludes to the latest CMS development architecture, which is known as headless. It can help you easily organize and display content across different channels with maximum efficiency. In traditional CMS the back-end (= the body) is directly connected to the front-end frame (= the head). Headless CMS systems literally have no front-end - content from the back-end can be displayed on end-devices using separate apps, with data delivered through the CMS’s APIs.

This example shows that the selection, implementation and deployment of a CMS is best done with an expert at your side. Only an expert recognizes the latest trends and knows how a content management system can optimally react to them so that your content always reaches the targeted audience.

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