Custom Website vs Mainstream CMS
As main stream Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal or dare I say it Joomla! (insert expletive here...) become increasingly popular, we're finding that more and more clients have made a decision before they even come to us.
If you're thinking about getting a website developed you may have faced this question yourself already -
Should I choose a main stream open source CMS, or should I choose a Custom Website?
Some will shout louder than an ocean liner in a bathroom (I seriously just made that up myself!) that an open source CMS is the way to go. More power to YOU! They are FREE! You can change your developer ANY TIME YOU WANT! There are thousands of modules and extensions developed already so you don't even have to pay for those!
To some degree they are right. On the surface, the above statements are correct. But - and it's a big hairy but... if it's all about YOUR business, and what YOU get out of it, is a free One-Size-Fits-All system all it's cracked up to be?
You see, the minute you want your website to fit your requirements, you need to do some customisation ... which is custom programming ... which is chargeable.
At that point, would you rather have someone doing the custom programming who knows the code for all functionality inside out? Or would you prefer to be paying for someone's time to research into how the code works before they even start customising? Depending on the extension, the developer may not even be able to change anything!
So the real question is not - should I choose an main stream open source CMS or a custom CMS. The real question is:
Do I want to fit my business into a website, or do I want the website to fit my business.
If you have no desire for your business to have a unique online presence, to have features and functionality which make running your business easier, smarter and more cost effective, and are simply happy to have something up there which is sort of a representation of who you are and what you do - then by all means, go the main stream option.
If you think at some point you will want to have the flexibility to grow the website into an asset for your business, to have tools and features which set you apart from your competition - then custom programming is probably a better way for you.
What happens if you want to change providers? Either find a developer who is happy for their custom programming to be handed over to someone else, or do some research before hand and choose a developer who has a good reputation. Get the developer right and you wont need to change.
Where to from here?
If you've decided you want the main stream option, click on one of the links above and they will tell you how to set them up.