Custom CMS Solutions
Let us help you pick the option that best fits your individual needs.
A content management system (CMS) is a platform that allows you to create and run your website. Most of the time through a secure interface where you can create and update pages, posts and other types of content (images, videos, etc) and arrange the content the way you need.
The are a number of factors to consider when choosing an effective and affordable CMS solution for your organization. Have a look at some of the main CMS types below. We have looked at their overall DIY Rating based on cost, customization, and maintenance. Some of the important considerations when deciding on a solution include –
- What are the primary goal(s) for your site?
- How much is your budget?
- Do you have a reliable hosting solution?
- How much time are you prepared to spend developing and maintaining your site?
- Do you have any experience in basic HTML and PHP coding
- Are you planning to create a large online project with lots of contributors involved?
- How much will your site scale in the future?
Let us help you find the solution that best fits your needs.
The Proprietary CMS Solution
A “custom” CMS solution is one that is created exclusively for you. However this is not the definition of a “proprietary” solution. A “proprietary”, or closed source, CMS platform is generally developed and owned by the developer and their source code is not available for modification. That means that they own the software and sell or license it out to organizations who use it for their sites. With proprietary CMS you may have limited control over the platform’s functionality, interface and updates. As with other CMS solutions you may retain control over the ongoing management of your content, however depending on the complexity of the customization, you may require ongoing programming support.
- You can have your website built to the exact specifications that support your business.
- Most proprietary CMS solutions are built to be highly stable.
- Security is typically better than in an open source solution.
- Integration of third party apps is more controlled.
- Can accommodate advanced website functionality.
- Often hosting is provided by the developer.
- You may have a higher upfront development cost for a website built on a proprietary CMS as you will require a programmer to modify the code.
- Software enhancements or customisations may be very expensive.
- You will likely have some level of ongoing dependency (license fees, hosting charges) on your developer partner.
- It may be difficult to maintain ownership and access to the content and design should you decide to move on for any reason.
The Open Source CMS Solution
By definition open source means the source code is available for everyone to see and customize. The commercial aspect of this type of CMS has resulted in a thriving community of developers and designers who are building a strong inventory of assets that can be incorporated into a growing number of open source platforms. A custom open source CMS solution is one that is designed exclusively for you. Because it is open source you retain control over the platform’s functionality, interface and updates. However depending on the complexity of the customization you may require ongoing programming support. The advantage of a custom open source solution is that the design and usability can be tailored to meet your specific needs. However the upfront investment in time and money of this type of solution can be significantly higher than an “out of the box” open source or “hosted” solution.
- Open Source software is free and has been developed by a community of people that do not charge licensing fees for their work.
- As the platform is open source it has the ability to be completely customised allowing for a specific web application to be integrated with the CMS.
- Proven open source CMS platforms (WordPress) are well supported and provide regular updates to functionality and security.
- Simple integration of third party themes and applications.
- Access to all source code make the platform both scalable and easily transferable.
- The complexity of modifying open source CMS to your specific needs may require 3rd party developers for more sophisticated sites.
- While tools are available, ongoing site security updates require regular attention and can be time consuming.
- The introduction of 3rd party themes and applications can cause conflicts within the sites operation and open the site to outside hackers.
- Open source solutions require 3rd party hosting solutions.
The "As Seen On TV" CMS Solution
Online website builders are the fastest growing DIY web build segment. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and there are now so many to choose from it makes them attractive to people without technical or programming skills. Online website builders are generally packaged as part of an all in one solution (domain, hosting, template builder, support) and are offered “free” by web hosting companies as added value for their hosting package. Online website builders are designed to be easy to use and many of them consist of drag-and drop features along with a large selection of templates. Websites are also automatically optimized for mobile viewing. Along with the design aspect of the website builder, web hosting companies also supply technical support and tutorials to help get users websites up and running fast.
- Can be a low-cost solution for small business, non-profits, personal sites, or those on an extremely tight budget who require a simple responsive website.
- The all in one solution allows users to get a web presence up quickly and without the use of a programmer.
- The design software is fairly intuitive and user-friendly.
- “Closed” programming limit hacks and the host usually takes care of any security updates.
- They offer support forums, tutorials and guides which can give quick answers to very general issues.
- The number of available responsive templates to choose from are increasing providing more customization of design.
- As more service providers enter the market the quality of some templates are poorly designed or very dated.
- Everybody has access to the same templates which can result in other sites that look almost exactly like yours.
- There may be limitations that prevent inclusion of all desired design elements. In addition, switching templates mid design can be difficult.
- Support for some solutions can be limited to general trouble shooting.
- “Free” solutions can have limitations and contain 3rd party ads.
- Moving to a new hosting provider can be impossible or extremely difficult.