Choosing the appropriate CMS
is an important stage in your web development project, and can often seem like a daunting task.
When should you choose a CMS versus building a customized solution for your business?
In general, there can be some obvious benefits to choosing an existing CMS or building a customized software solution. Typically price and convenience are the standout reasons for using an existing system, while flexibility, performance and ease of use are the ringing endorsements of custom software development. With these general points in mind, identify your website project: are you building an eCommerce platform, a custom web application, an interactive website, or a static informational website? For example: when building eCommerce websites, there are so many robust options available to use such as Magento, Nopcommerce, Shopify, etc.
An eCommerce CMS can have seemingly endless built-in features for processing transactions and in most cases it is much faster to use an existing CMS than reinvent the wheel.
If your website is a static informational website, it can also make sense to use a simple pre-built CMS such as WordPress or Tumblr as it is so quick and inexpensive to integrate, and will give you extreme ease of use when adding to or modifying your site.
Typically if more than 20% of your needs cannot be met with a pre-built CMS, it’s time to consider building a custom software solution. High performance websites and web applications often require custom solutions, as the pain of trying to customize and integrate an open source solution to properly meet your needs can result in a sub-par product, and end up costing more than simply building your own tailored system.
Building a custom Content Management System specifically designed to fit your business’ unique needs and workflow gives you a Cadillac product, without any of the clutter that other CMS’ may contain. Custom-building software means the architecture will be built around your product and will be easier for developers to add to as your product changes or grows.
Conversely, when building a product where the web application is the larger part of the project, it can be best to build outside of the CMS environment entirely. For example: when building a large billing software program and your only goal of the CMS is to update text content on the website, it can be more trouble than it is worth to build the application within the CMS boundaries.
At the end of the day, the solution you choose will require custom web app development and design, and it’s important to discuss your options with your software development team to discern the best solution for your business.
By Mary MacPherson