23 must-have CMS features for a news website

Do you have the right CMS for your news website?
23 must-have CMS features for a news website

The software requirements of the modern newsroom are vast. They differ based on a newsroom's size, business goals and target audience. To cater to the dynamic needs of a digital publication, an ideal CMS should offer a massive range of features at optimal rates.

Here are 23 must-have CMS features for a modern news website:

1. Easy administration

Your CMS dashboard should have a user-friendly interface which is simple to manage. Content production process consists of a large number of complicated tasks. These tasks involve numerous collaborators. If these tasks are not managed systematically, the editorial process is slowed down. A smart CMS streamlines editorial workflow by empowering publishers to handle the content workflow within a single piece of software.

2. Customizable Templates

Your brand needs to stand out in order to outshine your competition. This is not possible if you use the same templates as hundreds of other sites. Your CMS should be able to create easy-to-use, customized templates for your publication which will give you a unique look of your own.

3. Newsroom planning

Digital publishers simultaneously work on multiple news stories. The ideal CMS allows you to keep a track of all your stories and maximizes efficiency by facilitating easy visualization of your work.

Quintype’s CMS has Asana (project management platform) integration which helps its publishers track their goals, projects, and daily tasks.

Publications can create teams based on different content segments. Teams that work on Sports or Politics will be able to view, edit or approve only those stories.

4. Editorial Permissions and publishing controls

Seamless collaboration lies at the heart of every successful digital publication. Having roles with unique capabilities and permission levels helps publications collaborate in a controlled manner. For example, only senior staff members can be assigned publishing powers. Website analytics can only handled by certain roles who have permission to access and manage analytics tools and data. Your CMS should allow you to optimize roles according to your business model.

5. Content Organization

Organizing a publication's website content ensures easier discovery of stories. Your CMS should help you organize your stories into categories based on your publication's needs.

Quintype's CMS enables publications to create any number of story collections they want to. These can be permanent sections on their website or topical sections (ICC World Cup). Publishers can also create collections based on authors, tags, and other story attributes.

6. Digital storytelling formats

With the digital revolution, countless storytelling formats have come into existence. Listicles, live blogs, podcasts, photo-essays, video stories – a good CMS should support any type of content that publishers want to publish.

It should provide publishers the option to choose and modify front-end layouts in order to suit and match their brand style.

7. Image optimization

Consumers today prefer visual content compared to text. Text coupled with imagery is easier to process and more entertaining than just a chunk of text.

Optimizing images for different devices and platforms is a key newsroom requirement. With Quintype’s CMS, publishers have the option of setting a focus point for images they want to publish. The images are then automatically optimized by the system. Publishers don’t have to keep uploading different versions of the same image for different channels. As a fail-safe, Quintype’s CMS doesn’t allow content creators to submit the story unless focus points for all images are set.

8. Social media embeds

Embedding content from other platforms can add a lot of value to your website. They can boost engagement, provide social proof and make for great examples.

However, the process of embedding content is complicated. Content creators have to extract the embed code, copy it and then paste it to make a social embed. Quintype’s CMS makes things simpler for publishers. They can just copy and paste the URL from the platform to their story and the social embed is in place.

9. In-editor preview

Despite its countless benefits, a headless CMS lacks a presentation layer. This makes it difficult for the publishers to visualize what the final content will look like for their readers.

Quintype’s CMS allows publishers a live preview of how their content would be presented to their readers on the same window as their editor. The preview presents only the mobile view as mobile internet traffic (63%) is responsible for a major chunk of all internet traffic.

10. Versioning

In the publishing business, errors are unavoidable. Despite multiple reviews and edits, news stories with mistakes might get published. Versioning enables your team to retrieve old drafts, re-edit, and republish the story, if required.

11. Built-in SEO Tools

A powerful SEO strategy is critical to drive traffic to your website. A great CMS will have built in SEO tools to help you automatically create URLs that are optimized for both readers and search engines. Your CMS should also help you add your meta descriptions, page titles, alt tags for images, etc.

With Quintype's CMS, publishers can check SEO quality from within the editor and can improve their content SEO strength based on the feedback.

12. Detailed Analytics

In order to keep reinventing your digital marketing strategy, tracking engagement on your platforms is essential. Hence, your CMS should be able to integrate with most analytics tools, so that you can track your KPIs right from your dashboard. It should also enable your team to gather the business insights they need in order to improve their content strategy.

13. Personalization

Customers appreciate and expect personalized digital experiences. They want content that they are interested in and news which is relevant to them. In order to drive personalization, your CMS should be able to collect and process engagement data in real time. Powered by AI systems, a modern CMS monitors users' likes, dislikes and reading patterns. This data can then be used by publishers to tailor content based on readers’ preferences.

Quintype's CMS utilizes story attributes that content creators can assign to stories to personalize reader experience based on consumption patterns. For example, a reader has read some 'Business' stories. In the future, they will receive suggestions for stories that also have the 'Business' attribution.

14. AMP support

Google's AMP pages allow for pages on a mobile device to load 4 times faster than standard pages. With mobile traffic dominating 56% of all internet traffic, your CMS should be equipped to support AMP pages. Google prioritizes AMP pages which will ensure better ranking and more traffic to your site.

AMP story format enables publishers to use rich media like images, videos, animations, etc. This helps them capture readers’ attention and keep them engaged longer with a more immersive storytelling format.

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15. Commenting tool

Digital Journalism is a conversation. Readers are no longer mere consumers but proactive contributors. To engage your audience in meaningful conversations, your CMS should feature a holistic commenting feature. The commenting solution should also help publishers handle toxic comments in order to create a safe online community.

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16. Multi-language support

The demand for content in Indian languages is growing. Digital avatars of regional publications are thriving. Your CMS should have Unicode support to make sure all the potential characters and languages (right-to-left scripts, Devanagari scripts, etc.) you might use are covered.

Quintype's CMS powers Indian language websites like Vikatan (Tamil) and Qaumi Awaz (Urdu). It also has a Spell Checker for Vernacular Languages.

21. Social Share

Social media platforms are the most popular channels for your audience to discover your content. A modern CMS optimizes your content for sharing on leading social media channels. With relevant Open Graph tags (Facebook) and Twitter cards for (Twitter) in place, stories can be shared on different social media platforms from one single point.

17. Support for Voice Search

Voice-enabled technology is widely being adopted due to the proliferation of voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana. Your CMS should make it easy for you to optimize your content for voice search. Microdata is a type of structured data about the news story which is published on a website and helps your content rank on search engines. A smart CMS will optimize microdata for your content to ensure better discovery and ranking.

The Quint leveraged Quintype's CMS to make their content available on Amazon's Alexa.

18. Auto-scaling

With speed comes a lot of parallel traffic especially if a news site breaks a story that has the potential to go viral. Huge amounts of parallel traffic makes the website prone to crashing. Your CMS must be equipped with an auto-scaling infrastructure which will ensure that your site remains up and running round-the-clock.

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19. Monetization plans

From subscriptions to audience donations – publications worldwide are experimenting with monetization solutions to fuel independent journalism.

An ideal CMS should allow you to design a monetization strategy that supports your business goals. It should be flexible enough to accommodate subscriptions, metered paywalls, referral programs, donations, crowdfunding initiatives, etc.

With Quintype’s architecture, BloombergQuint implemented a metered paywall for audiences to sample their content before they buy a monthly subscription. The BQ blue subscription portal for readers to access premium content (analytical journalism, special reports, etc.) offered by BloombergQuint was also set up by Quintype.

20. Multi-domain Capabilities

Nowadays, every publication distributes content through multiple channels. Publishers have to manage a plethora of ​blogs, intranets, social media channels and a number of microsites in addition to their primary website. ​A CMS that can handle multiple publications is the need of the hour. By allowing publishers to replicate analogous content across various websites and channels from a single workspace, a CMS with multi-domain support makes their work swifter and easier.

Vikatan utilizes Quintype's multi-domain capabilities to power it's many sites.

22. Security

Ensuring that their websites are secure is the top priority for all publications. The ideal CMS should protect sites from all forms of potential threats.

Quintype Infrastructure is hosted in the cloud data-center offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) which has the highest security standards. It also offers DDoS protection along with SSL certification.

Editors also have the ability to protect their login via two factor auth, with a compatible app such as Google Authenticator or Authy.

23. Exemplary Support

The news industry never sleeps. Hence, it is crucial for news websites to be powered by CMS vendors that promise round-the-clock support. Your CMS should notify you of latest technology and help you upgrade to it as soon as possible.

At Quintype, upgrades are automatic so that publishers don't have to play catch up with cutting-edge technology. Their infrastructure is always up-to-date.

Picking the right CMS for your organization's needs can be tricky. Quintype offers you a complete solution for all your publishing needs. Click here to explore our features.

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