Blog / Growth

How to choose a CMS for SaaS sites

Choosing a CMS for your SaaS is not a small endeavour. Your marketing site is the most important sales channel you have. Extending it with valuable content and updating existing content is key to make sure your customers continue to find you.

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

In this guide I’ll go over the most important aspects to consider when looking for a new, or a replacement of your current, SaaS CMS.

Build, buy or rent #

There’s one important decision you have to make first. Build, buy or rent?

Build #

One option is to build your own CMS in-house. The big upside is you can make it exactly how you want. Based on your unique requirements, you can add features that do whatever you need. The downside is, and this often greatly underestimated, the development time could take multiple developers several weeks for the most basic version. And an bit more advanced version could easily take months.

Buy #

Another option is to buy a (license) for a SaaS CMS. Depending on the contract you are allowed to make adjustments to the code to make it fit your needs. You need to install and set up yourself. Also hosting and maintaining the software is up to you. Another big downside is, is that the upfront cost is significant. And thus this option is often only accessible for big enterprises.

Rent (a.k.a. SaaS) #

This leaves us to the last, and often chosen option: renting. This is your typical SaaS-setup. You pay a monthly or yearly fee to use the CMS for that period. The software is maintained and improved for you. You can use the CMS from the get-go. Often a free trial is included.

Unless you are looking for a CMS for your enterprise, SaaS (renting) is the only viable option and it will be assumed you choose this option, going forward in this guide.

Checklist to choose a CMS for SaaS companies #

The perfect CMS for SaaS companies is different than that for an ecommerce businesses. SaaS companies are more concerned about publishing valuable content.

Quick to set up #

This can’t be underestimated, if setup takes even a few days, you are wasting valuable time. Also if it needs a developer to set up it’s even more costly. Set up should take a few hours at most; ready to publish new content to your site.

Easy to use for marketers #

From the workflow and the editor. Non-tech people should be comfortable using it and not be afraid of breaking anything. The editor should be familiar and not be intrusive.

Not break the workflow for developers and designers #

Developers and designers are known to be a peculiar bunch. Do not break the way they work on your site. They want to code and design locally, using their favourite text editor and not use a limiting web builder.

Grows with you #

With a solid content marketing strategy in place, your business will be growing. Your CMS should be able to grow with you. You shouldn’t be constrained by a limited number of team members you can invite or by an excessive increase in monthly cost when you cross a certain threshold.

Does not get in the way #

The CMS should allow you to publish content when you want. Write it, edit it, comment on it and publish. That’s it. No unnecessary steps added for you, but follow a flow that allows you to publish valuable content.

Takes things off your plate #

Helping you guide write better content is a must. This could be anything from giving suggestion for new content to help you with your SEO efforts. From validating outbound links to internal link building.

Allows multi-channel #

While your marketing site is your biggest sales channel, your newsletter or Twitter account might be really important for you as well. Your CMS should allow to post and schedule across multiple channels, without leaving the CMS.

Our choice: choose a Git-based, SaaS CMS #

A study done by WP Engine shows that 92% of the respondents find that a headless CMS helps them deliver better content. And while a typical headless, API-based CMS will help you create great content, it gets gnarly before you even get started because the set up can easily take days.

A Git-based CMS allows you to get started without tech-knowledge and lets you write, schedule and publish content within minutes.

Such a conclusion is obvious coming from a SaaS that builds a Git-based CMS. But: be your own judge. Try Spinal 5 days for free

Published: (updated: )

Get all Spinal content in your inbox

Every first Thursday of the month, we'll send the latest about Spinal in your inbox. From product updates, articles and a little peek behind the scene of building a SaaS in 2024.

Get all the latest every first Thursday of the month. No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.