Content Management Systems: Your Pet Peeves?

I’ve been asked to write a few articles about content management systems. (What’s a CMS? Here’s a brief explanation. For that matter, weblog software is a kind of CMS.)

Anyway, I’m doing some initial research, gathering ideas for these articles. I know that many CONTENTIOUS readers use some kind of CMS. Frankly, there are already enough vendor- and consultant-authored articles and white papers out there touting the glories of CMS. And to be fair, a CMS can be wonderful.

However, I find that the most useful articles on technology topics tend to come from the real user experience, particularly frustrations about glitches and shortcomings…

For instance, the Web site of the Poynter Institute offers extremely rich and excellent content – including many items about creative uses of RSS feeds. Ironically,’s CMS does not easily support RSS feeds – to the dismay of many people who write for and read that site.

If you use any kind of CMS, what’s your pet peeve? Is there anything about the system that causes difficulty or confusion in communicating the way you’d like to via your Web site, blog, e-learning system, or intranet? Does it interfere with your internal editorial or content-production process?

Let me know! Just comment below or e-mail me. Be sure to include your name and e-mail address, since I may want to interview you. I’m particularly interested in what writers and editors (rather than programmers, designers, or IT people) have to say about their CMS experiences.

3 thoughts on Content Management Systems: Your Pet Peeves?

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  1. My main pet peeve about content management systems is that they are usually purchased and owned by IT, without truly considering how communicators work inside an organization — and without a strategy behind them. Content management is a business need, not a technology one, and CMS technology alone cannot provide the solution. (Automated workflow, for example, may not be able to replace the complete editorial process if all the people along the chain are not willing to review and edit content electronically.) Communicators need to be very involved in the selection process, as well as the system setup, and they should drive the organization’s content management strategy.

  2. The biggest problem that I encounter with my company’s CMS is that it was designed and built by techies — without any input from content or usability. I frequently send enhancement suggestions to the person in charge of the CMS. The CMS has come a long way since I first started here, but it still has a way to go.

  3. Hi Amy,

    As a (French-speaking) Web writer, I’ve been in contact with the CMS used by some of my clients.

    I love CMS but I find they might have some backfalls:

    – On some (rather cheap) CMS it’s not possible to determine all the micro-content of the page: TITLE tag, META tags, buttons, error and confirmation messages, etc.

    – The freedom it gives to its unexperienced owner can lead to a poor information architecture and a poor presentation of content.