10 things to consider before choosing a CMS as a freelancer

apple monitors displaying portfolios


As a technical freelancer, a portfolio website is one of your most important selling points. Without web development skills, building a robust website from scratch is difficult. But with the right content management system (or CMS), you can create an eye-catching website with minimal coding skills.

But how do you decide which content management system will give you the best results? There are several options on the market, each with advantages and disadvantages, so your particular requirements will determine which one is the best. It’s decided. Before choosing a content management system as a freelancer, there are a few things to consider.

1. Scale and nature of the project

Woman looking at a large project

Every CMS has its own specialties, best uses, strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the nature of your portfolio and your job description, your CMS requirements may vary. Designers typically need a media-focused portfolio, while developers or writers may only need small image or video content.

Of course, popular content management systems exist, but there are also those specifically tailored to showcase your portfolio. Some good examples are Squarespace and Wix. You should also consider the size and complexity of your portfolio website. For large sites, choose a CMS that supports growth and scalability.

2. Ease of handling

Unless you’re a developer, you’re building a portfolio website without any coding skills. So be wary of a CMS that requires a lot of coding, because in the end it’s of little use.

The selection software should offer the maximum functionality and features while remaining beginner-friendly and easy to use. Several courses and guides make it easy to work with the most popular content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla.

3. Plugins

Imagine the frustration and disappointment when you buy a gadget and find you can’t download your favorite apps. No matter how advanced your device is, you probably won’t be able to get the most out of it. Similarly, plugins transform websites from boring pages to more interactive and modern sites with additional features.

Plugins like WPForms allow you to create beautiful and aesthetic contact forms with little or no coding background. There are also options for better SEO, email subscriptions, social sharing buttons, and even faster site load times. , with thousands of plugins at your disposal, both free and paid.

4. SEO compatibility

Search results on laptop

It’s no secret that SEO (search engine optimization) rules the internet. No matter the platform, whether it’s a search engine like Google or social media, SEO integration determines your ranking. So, if you want your portfolio website to rank higher in search results, use a CMS with the best he SEO features.

There are some key features worth noting, such as URL settings to keep links short and easy to understand, navigation menus, and analytics tools to monitor activity on your site. CMS Hub and WordPress are the two top content management systems for SEO compatibility.

5. Customization

Creating a prominent portfolio website is a primary marketing strategy for freelancers. Therefore, a good her CMS should be able to customize and improve important SEO features such as keywords, titles and meta descriptions.

Additionally, physical features such as user interaction, responsiveness, themes, and design significantly reduce bounce rates. To keep clients glued to your portfolio website, choose a CMS that gives you creative freedom. Most open source software allows the user to control her website, so this is a great criteria to base your selection on.

6. Availability of Updates

How often are content management systems updated? An outdated CMS naturally produces an outdated website. Therefore, make sure your CMS of choice is frequently updated.

Additionally, check the accessibility and developer capabilities of the updated version. If your CMS has bugs all the time, your website can have problems too.

7. Vulnerability and Security

security code on dark screen

Portfolio websites can go a long way in honing your professional image as a freelancer, but they can be equally devastating when hacked. Therefore, before using a CMS to build a website, consider the CMS’s security system.

Unfortunately, despite their benefits, plugins and open source features increase vulnerabilities. On the other hand, a content management system with multi-factor authentication and user authorization has a significant impact on website security.

Also, pay attention to your SSL certificate. It’s expensive, but there are many reasons why your site needs an SSL certificate, from improved security to better rankings.

8. Website Maintenance Fees

Most content management systems are free, but they usually incur additional costs to keep your site up and running. For example, WordPress and Joomla let you build sites for free, but domains, hosting, and extensions can cost money. A portfolio website needs a beautiful theme. There are plenty of free options, but the best come at a price.

Simply put, the more complex the website and the more features it has, the higher the cost. So calculate your overhead costs and compare your findings with different content management systems before making a decision.

9. Website response time

The longer the response time of your website, the less likely it is that you will be able to score your client. According to some studies, most Internet users leave pages without loading within a few seconds. Fortunately, a solid CMS can do you good if you follow a few basic rules.

Choose a good hosting provider and a CMS with image file compression to maintain high website performance and speed. Also, be aware of minifying JavaScript and CSS, a process that removes unnecessary CSS and JavaScript code that can slow down your site.

Other useful additions include GZIP compression and plugins for speed optimization. However, too many plugins can still slow you down, so make sure they are high quality and essential.

10. Community and Support

Two people looking at a computer screen together

Professional developers will tell you that building a good site is almost impossible without running into some problems. So her CMS of choice determines how quickly she can access help and support.

Open source content management systems typically have large communities of contributors and users that you can contact if you need them. Finally, while exploring is good, I recommend sticking with an older and popular CMS. As such, you have a world of resources at your disposal when you need help, as opposed to lesser-known software.

Take your website to the next level with a CMS

Basic portfolio websites are a thing of the past for all freelancers. A content management system allows you to create your dream portfolio website with little to no coding required. Still, after choosing a CMS, you need to have great content and avoid common portfolio mistakes for the best results.


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