Although not a search marketing topic as such, the choice of CMS can have a huge effect on your business and is something we often discuss with clients. The aim of this post is not to identify the best CMS platform, or even review them, but to offer some very basic advice on choosing the type of CMS platform and therefore agency for your business.
Broadly speaking, most web agencies and developers will create websites using a CMS which is either
- Open Source- CMS code is freely available and can be added to and improved by 3rd parties. Popular systems include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Concrete5.
- Proprietary – A license fee is charged for usage of the CMS, which can often run into thousands of pounds. Popular systems include EPiServer and SiteCore
- Bespoke – Created by in-house development teams, bespoke CMS systems are often created to serve the needs of specific businesses.
Whatever system or agency you choose, do not choose a bespoke CMS. Here’s why:
High risk –Bespoke CMS’s are written by very small teams, sometimes only one person. Should anything happen to this team, or your relationship deteriorate, you will be left with very few options. You will not simply be able to change web agencies as others will not understand your code, and in many cases this results in a complete rebuild.
Dated – Due to the small teams, changes to bespoke CMS platforms happen very slowly and therefore date very quickly in terms of functionality and quality of the code.
Modularity – For popular open source platforms such as WordPress or Joomla, there are literally thousands of developers around the world creating additional modules to increase the functionality of the platform. If you want to improve the functionality of your website, chances are someone else has already thought of it and created a module/plug-in that will be free or of minimal cost. For businesses using a bespoke CMS, such requests simply go on a long list of possible upgrades, which if you’re the only one requesting, are unlikely ever to be completed!
In conclusion, whichever CMS you choose, ensure it’s either open source or proprietary and has a large user base. Whatever you do, do not build your website using a bespoke CMS!
Have you had any bad experiences using a bespoke CMS? Please use the comments below to share them………