Content Management Systems (CMS)
Improving the federal government’s ability to deliver digital information anytime, anywhere, on any device—via open content—is a key goal of the Digital Government Strategy. A content management system (CMS) can help your agency move to an open content model, making it easier for people to find, share, use, and re-use your information.
GSA’s Center for Digital Services Innovation has developed this CMS toolkit that provides the following resources for agencies:
- Document Your Business Case
- Prepare Your Content
- Select the Right CMS
- Migrate Your Content
- Agency Case Studies
Moving to a CMS requires a significant investment in time and resources. See how other agencies have used a CMS to improve business operations, and use these examples to build your own business case.
Read more about documenting your business case for a CMS.
Prepare Your Content
The more work you can do up-front to clean up and streamline your content, the easier your migration will be.
- Conduct a Content Inventory—take stock of all your content
- Identify Content Structure—determine content types and metadata
- Develop a Content Strategy—document your plan for content creation, publication, and governance
- Clean Up Old Content—eliminate ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial content) and archive as needed
Read more about preparing your content to move to a CMS.
Select the Right CMS
You’ll want to consider many factors when selecting a CMS, and it’s important to get it right, because most agencies stay with the same CMS for several years.
- Decide if You Need a CMS—can you create open content without one?
- Evaluate Types of CMS—weigh the pros and cons of open-source and commercial CMS tools, and which CMS tools other agencies use
- Identify Resource Needs—learn what’s required to obtain, implement, and sustain a CMS
- Document Requirements—document the features and functionality of each CMS to narrow down your list
- Select the Right CMS Tool—test out top contenders, decide which tool best meets your needs, write a Statement of Work for contract help with migration
- Is One CMS Enough?—determine if one CMS can meet all your content management needs; for example, can you use the same CMS to manage your website and your blog?
- Common Pitfalls—avoid common mistakes, such as not developing a content strategy
Read more about choosing a CMS.
You’ve done all your prep work, now it’s time to migrate. Make the process run smoothly to minimize disruption to your content owners and visitors.
- Plan Your Migration—identify role and responsibilities, and keep stakeholders informed
- Migration Models—will you do a manual or automated migration, or a combination?
- Train Your Team—teach your team how to use the new CMS
- Migrate Your Content—do a test run, move your content to the new CMS, consider a beta site, manage broken links, test everything once it’s moved
- Launch—launch your new CMS/site
Read more about migrating your content to a CMS.
- CMS selection—Moving to a structured content model-NIH/NCI
- CMS selection—Choosing an enterprise content management system-NASA
- Press releases—Automating publication of press releases-Department of Education
- Events—Transforming events into open content-DigitalGov University, GSA
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