I know this is a bit of a hobby horse of mine, but I do get very frustrated by many CMS systems, at least when it comes to the carrying out Search Engine Optimisation for a site. There are many reasons for this, sometimes just a few things are ‘wrong’ in other cases the list is pretty endless.
The reason for these shortcomings is of course easy to explain, in that the CMS has been built so that it is easy to use and often also to a budget. Some open source CMS systems like Joomla have the advantage of lots of ‘plug ins’ / extensions that allow an optimiser to add the facilities that they need, but others do not and this leads to serious reductions in the number of SEO methodologies that can be used.
What is needed here is for the person commissioning the website to fully aware of his needs, i.e. is SEO an issue or is it just a brochure site. Here the website developer needs to ask some questions and to point out what they are going to do SEO wise and what the CMS that they are providing can and can’t do. If they have any doubt, the should, at least in my view either not sell to that customer or to use a CMS that will ‘fit the bill’ so to speak.
It must be said that many CMS systems do have work arounds for most SEO issues, but none are as flexible as bespoke systems. Just a few issues that many CMS systems have:-
- The Web page ‘on page title’ or the Meta Title are associated with the Menu so you can change these important items without ruining the Menu
- The Menu does not allow the full use of the No Follow tag (used for Page Rank Sculpting)
- Only parts of a page are accessible via the CMS
- You cannot alter the CSS
These are as I say just 5, there are many more.
So if you are about to purchase a new site using a CMS, please ask an expert on SEO to check that it will ‘do the business’ BEFORE you sign up for the deal.