Are you wondering how to select the best digital publishing platform? Keep reading for the answer.
Magazine, newspaper, and blog publishers are all asking the same question: How do you go about picking the best digital publishing platform? With hundreds of options to choose from, each with its own features and tools, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Some platforms are designed for broad use, while others are created for specific industry verticals. Some platforms are designed for self-publishing, while others require the continuous support of an outside team. Some platforms charge a recurring monthly fee, while others charge a one-time licensing fee.
Which of these options is the best, and how do you go about picking the best digital platform for your publication?
As a digital publisher, you probably have specific requirements for the publishing platform that you use. Maybe you need a platform that’s entirely self-serve with an easy-to-use interface. Maybe you’re fluent in coding languages and comfortable working on HTML by yourself. If you run display advertising, then you’ll definitely want a digital publishing platform that supports your preferred ad software. In fact, your publication’s revenue model will probably play a big role in whichever digital publishing platform you select.
At Web Publisher PRO, we hear from digital publishers who have questions about their content management systems every day. Here are our tips for selecting the best digital publishing platform for your business:
1. Choose an open-source CMS.
Open-source content management systems, like WordPress, are often free and they can be accessed by any user. These systems usually have stronger security functionality than closed-source systems, making them a good option for professional publishers. Another benefit to choosing an open-source CMS is that they are generally cheaper than closed-source systems. Publishers can upgrade their websites by quickly adding plugins and themes. (You can read more about the most popular WordPress plugins for digital publishers, here.)
2. Look for an intuitive interface.
You’ll spend hours each day looking at the backend of whichever digital publishing platform you select. An interface that is intuitively designed will save you time and prevent wasted resources. If you choose a popular digital publishing platform like WordPress, you’ll by able to onboard new editorial staffers without spending time on extensive training. The most well-designed interfaces are flexible, and they can adapt to meet the needs of different types of teams. Editorial, ad sales, and marketing teams can all work cohesively within the same system, eliminating redundancies and generally making their respective publications run more efficiently.
3. Find a platform that works well with others.
If you’re a digital publisher, then you probably have a Facebook page. You might also use Apple News or AMP to support the distribution of your content. The digital publishing platform that you choose can make working with these outside players much easier, or it can make it harder. More well-established publishing platforms have official or officially-endorsed plugins that publishers can use to integrate third-party services into their websites. We recommend using a platform like WordPress, which offers more third-party plugins than anyone else.
4. Think about the future.
The cheapest publishing platform today might cost you a lot more in the long-run. As your website grows—and we’re confident it will—you will want to have the ability to support larger amounts of traffic. This can be a technical challenge if you’ve setup your website using low-cost publishing software. The only way to future-proof your website is by choosing a digital publishing platform that’s capable of supporting high performance and scalable websites.
5. Don’t overcomplicate things.
We all want the best of the best. Publishers tend to be happiest with simple technology stacks. That means staying away from overly-complicated software and the latest technology fads. Although there will always be newer, more modern systems, established platforms like WordPress have stood the test of time for a reason. With an open-source CMS like WordPress, publishers can take advantage of the lessons learned by other publishers and they don’t have to deal with internal development issues as their websites grow.
Do you have more questions about choosing the best digital publishing platform? We’d love to help. Reach out to a member of the Web Publisher PRO team for a one-on-one chat today.