Suppose you’re struggling to keep up with the demands of your college website or looking for ways to load and manage content. It’s time to look for a CMS for Higher education.

Like other businesses, digital disruption impacted the Edtech market, and its paradigm is still in its infancy, expected to accelerate. To keep your University website organized and updated, A CMS will help you understand visitors, support digital marketing activities, and increase student retention in higher education.

Let’s jump in to find out what CMS is and how it can benefit the website of educational institutions.

What is CMS? 

A content management system for higher education is an application that enables users to create, manage, and modify content on a website without technical expertise. Instead of building your system, a CMS provides essential infrastructure to manage content.

Content is stored in a database and displayed on the website’s presentation layer. The critical functions of a CMS include the following:

  • Content storage – allows users to keep content in one place
  • Content creation – enable users to create and format content
  • Manage – will help users to manage content based on designated roles
  • Publish – allows users to publish content on the website automatically
  • Optimization – enables users to improve visitor’s online experience

There are two types of content management systems: open source and proprietary.

1- Proprietary CMS

A proprietary CMS is software that is the legal property of an organization, group or individual and requires purchasing of a special license for use.

2- Open Source CMS

An open-source CMS enables users to use and modify code maintained by a community of developers rather than a single entity.

Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a CMS for Your Higher Education Needs

Selecting a CMS for Higher education can be a daunting task. We’ve outlined key factors to help you navigate and choose the best CMS for Higher Ed.

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Customization and Flexibility
  3. Security Features
  4. Content Management and Workflow
  5. Integration with other Tools & Systems
  6. Support and Community

A powerful CMS is a destination for higher education marketing, without which a website may not be functional, and the chances of conversions are pretty low.

1- Ease of Use

Ease of use is paramount when integrating higher education website design with CMS software. CMS platforms consist of different features and functionalities that make them easier to use, but you must consider CMS that is easy to use and intuitive to meet all your Higher Ed needs.

There are extreme ends of the spectrum regarding CMS for Higher Ed. On one end, you have software solutions that are highly flexible and easy to use. On the other hand, there are high-functioning software with steeper learning curves.

2- Customization and Flexibility

Higher education CMS usually comes with options for customization and flexibility, called modules or plugins. You need to evaluate the level of customization your University website will require and what a CMS for your University should accomplish. Outline specific requirements and internal usage.

It’s always best to choose CMS with digital marketing capabilities to drive higher education lead generation and deliver an exceptional customer experience.

3- Security Features

Security features are highly significant for a college content management system, as it consists of all the data and information. Hacking isn’t going to stop. But we can consider the security implications of a CMS to ensure the source code is sound and security is not a significant issue.

Websites are vulnerable, but some platforms are preferably more secure than others. With strong authorization and prevention to access, information can be secured, and CMS that authenticates or encrypts the forms of digital data generated by a credible CMS.

4- Content Management and Workflow

As a Higher Ed institution, it is essential to maintain a content management workflow for your website to establish a standard brand communication. A powerful CMS allows you to define your content strategy, frequency, and content type and set ROI goals. 

For example, CMS workflow can include adding photos to content, embedding videos, repurposing existing content and scheduling content to be published.

5- Integration with other Tools & Systems

Scalability and improvement should be clear in your University content management system. Higher Ed institutions continually look for ways to enhance the digital experience for their potential and existing students.

Make sure CMS is open to digital integrations and the transformation of technologies. A CMS must be flexible and scalable enough to withstand changes and integrations of other tools and systems.

6- Support and Community 

Always remember, support is more important than anything you need. If a platform cannot provide required support or limits to certain code, creates bottlenecks and doesn’t come with access to support teams, it’s not worthy. In the long run, support is the most critical element as it can provide technical assistance, resolve issues, and deliver requested features by the user community.

Top Content Management System Utilized by Universities

For a college or University, a website is the most important or a college or University. A website is the most important marketing and communication asset. With the right Higher education content management system, you can maintain control over your communication to support student recruitment strategies for Higher Ed.

Here are some of the top content management systems utilized by universities worldwide.

1- WordPress

WordPress is a popular, free, open-source content management system with a simple interface that allows you to create, customize, store and manage content efficiently.

A WordPress CMS requires no technical expertise and skills and offers convenient content scheduling. You can add more features and customize the layouts. Unlike other CMS alternatives, WordPress easily integrates with other tools and software, with built-in SEO boosts.

For example, WordPress CMS is used by Stanford University to power its leading websites and microsites.

Website Built With WordPress

2- Modern Campus

Modern Campus is a Higher education CMS that offers a personalized student experience and provides web governance, improved accessibility and security tools with ease of use, expandability and top-notch support.

For example, Modern Campus CMS is used by Florida Gulf Coast University to boost digital engagement among potential and current students through its new website. Omni CMS helps the University to increase new visits with improved SEO and performance enhancement features.

Modern Campus CMS

3- Drupal

Drupal CMS is a free and open-source platform that enables websites to maintain and manage content with great features, easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security.

Drupal CMS is used by the University of California to publish, edit, modify, organize, delete and maintain content from a central interface.

4- Cascade CMS

Cascade CMS is a web-based content management that allows you to publish content to the website without technical knowledge easily. It is a well-suited CMS for Higher Ed.

For example, Aurora University uses Cascade CMS to create, publish, and manage compelling content.

Aurora University Cascade CMS

5- Adobe Experience Manager

A powerhouse combo for content, Adobe Experience Manager for high-impact personalized experiences across any channel from any team. Create content variations at scale to optimize website performance for smarter, faster and easier work.

6- Terminal Four

Terminal Four is an exclusive and leading content management system to drive student engagement and recruitment through its website.

Most universities use CMS for Higher Ed landing page optimization to increase enrolments and conversions. The University of Winchester uses Terminal Four for impressive growth and value-driven CMS. With the help of Terminal Four, the University has derived 19% conversions within 60 days and 36% in 6 months.

University of Winchester Terminal Four CMS

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are Some Popular CMS Options for Higher Education?

    1. Drupal

    1. WordPress

    1. Cascade

    1. Omni Campus

    1. Terminal Four

    1. Modern Campus

What Are the Benefits of Using a CMS for Higher Education?

    • User-friendliness

    • Quick deployment

    • Ease of content management

    • Built-in SEO features

    • Feature-rich for content building

    • Improved security

    • No coding required

To Sum Up

And you do need to invest in a CMS to power your site and improve your digital presence. A powerful CMS for Higher Ed adds flexibility, agility and scalability for smooth content delivery with real-time collaboration without compromising quality.

Whether we like it or not, the digital landscape rapidly transforming, and Higher Ed is coupled with ongoing digital evolutions. So, it has become imperative, with the guidance of higher education marketing consultants, to address the need for a powerful and efficient CMS for an improved digital experience and growth.