Manage your content with a Mobile CMS

What to Consider when Choosing a Mobile Content Management System

In the current digital age it is becoming ever important to be able to provide users the best experience on any of the vast array of platforms available. This is why having an effective Mobile Content Management System (CMS) is crucial.

This page dedicated to giving readers a clearer insight into what a Mobile CMS is, how it can be applied in different circumstances and what solutions Bloomreach has to offer.

Table of Content 

  1. Introduction to Mobile CMS
  2. Common Perceptions and Key Features of a Mobile CMS
  3. Storing Content in an App
  4. Building your own Backend
  5. Mobile CMS and Apps
  6. Headless CMS
  7. Mobile CMS and Websites 
  8. Mobile CMS On-The-Go  

Introduction to Mobile CMS

As consumers have access to the internet via many different platforms, it is important to be able to both distribute and manage content to each, whether it be IOS or Android, a website or on-the-go in the most efficient and effective way possible.

However, what actually is a Mobile CMS? First we look at what people commonly perceive a Mobile CMS to be and discuss what the key features are.  

 

Introduction to Mobile CMS

Common Perceptions and Key Features of Mobile CMS

The term 'Mobile CMS' is interpreted differently by people as it can be applied in various ways. None of these perceptions of a Mobile CMS are wrong. It is important to understand them in order to gain a complete understanding of Mobile CMS.It is commonly perceived to be either of the following:

A CMS managing content in a mobile app

A CMS managing content on a website

A CMS that can be used on a mobile app (On-the-go) 

Key Features

Multi-Channel Content Delivery

This is where content can be managed in one place but is still able to deliver to different devices such as smartphones and tablets. This can be presented accordingly despite being in raw format (Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML). 

Accommodating Template System

This feature moves away from traditional CMS templates. A Mobile CMS has to adapt to new devices with different functions and restraints. These templates can be adapted in 2 ways.

  • Multi-client is where the template depends on the users device and all versions of the site are at the same domain.
  • Multi-site is where a targeted sub-domain is used.

Location-based content

Location-based content allows a business to capitalize on the fact people carry their mobiles most places they go. If they share their location data then it presents an opportunity to send personalised ads, information or news based on the location tracked by GPS (global positioning system) for example.

Storing Content in the App

The most basic approach for distributing content on an app is to store the content locally. If all the content is stored inside the app, it is in turn much less responsive It is therefore only useful to apps that are static and do not rely on server side technologies. This is not advised for an app that contains dynamic content that needs updated or intends to adapt and personalize content for different users. 

For the best mobile app experience it is therefore advised to use a Mobile CMS that produces content from a single source that is able to distribute content to different platforms and channels, cutting out the time constraints and unresponsiveness.

Drawbacks

Build your own Backend

A different approach to storing content on the app is to build your own backend. The backend of a site is the technical and administrative functions that users to not get to see and allows for all the data for each platform to be managed as one. It is responsible for the database and system architecture. A mobile backend or backend-as-a-service (mBaaS) can be custom built to manage content for a specific task. It does not include a CMS which means it can still be difficult to update content frequently. 


This also has its cons due to the fact these custom built backends can be very expensive to implement and do not work the same as a CMS. If content needs updated frequently and non-technical users need to make changes (marketers), a CMS is better geared to do so.

A Mobile CMS for Apps

Realistically, the best option to manage content for applications is to use a real mobile CMS that addresses all previous drawbacks mentioned. A mobile CMS stores data centrally and is used for applications as a backend to deliver to more than one platform simultaneously. 

This is a concept which revolves around API's (Application Programming Interface). An API-based CMS can also be recognised as CaaS (Content-as-a-service). To find out more about Caas click here. This essentially means that content is prioritised and can be created by anybody and in a format that satisfies. 

Important things to consider when choosing an API-based CMS

Separate content and presentation

This means that developers have the ability to use whatever tools they need to present specific content on any given display.

Content processed in accordance to apps

Whether it has to deal with network connectivity issues, data transferring and fast paced efficiency with opening assets.

Guaranteed Stability

The infrastructure must do its job so that developers can work at speed and to a timescale.

More Info

This blog explains in more detail the up and coming importance of API's

Headless CMS

Headless CMS

A headless CMS is a back-end only content management system (CMS). A RESTful API means content can be displayed on any device. It cuts the front end from the back end. It outperforms a traditional CMS in different ways. This can be through platform independence, cross-platform support, developers are put first and coding is far simpler. 

 

It is also an advancement from traditional standalone websites and makes the separation of content and presentation available. It can power the likes of SPAs and mobile apps using shared data to personalize the user experience. They significance of this personalization is that the channels and devices have the same data but can be edited separately. 

Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of a Headless CMS architecture.

Mobile CMS and Websites

Despite not being as popular or well visited at mobile apps, websites still need to display on any device well and be responsive. The images below show what a mobile CMS can do in terms of websites. It is clear that the same content is presented but in a different formant dependant on the device.

 

mobile cms for websites

 

There are several different devices that IOS and Android can produce content to whether it may be a smartphone, tablet, Apple Watch etc. Even though websites are less popular, it is still important to consider having a responsive website to resume a flawless experience for the consumer. 


There are 2 main ways to manage content on websites to make them more responsive:

 

1) A CMS is already powering the website

 A desktop website that is powered by a legacy CMS [link] can best become responsive if existing themes and plugins are used and therefore, made more mobile friendly. 

 

2) A new CMS built from scratch.

This addresses the situation directly. Content can be created and viewed from the CMS and if a Headless CMS is used, it can be sent to the API and then to different touchpoints.  This allows the same content to be delivered to the same API but to two different platforms. Content only needs to be produced once and the CMS is able to distribute it to any platform with ease, such as a desktop website and a mobile responsive website for example. 

Mobile CMS On-The-Go

Mobile CMS On-The-GO simply means using a CMS on a device such as a smartphone or tablet where changes can be made to an app or website literally 'on-the-go'. It can be in the format of an app. In cases where lightweight content such as blogs are to be edited or published, a platform like Tumblr could be used to do so on-the-go. 

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