When you start asking around for CMS solutions that can benefit your business and website, the answers tend to be fairly standard. Open-source solutions like WordPress and Drupal dominate in popularity, while custom alternatives are rarely mentioned.
As a result, you may move forward in your website backend implementation without ever even considering a custom CMS. Why is that? Here are 4 reasons why custom CMS solutions get a bad rap, and why the myths circulating about these alternatives are far from the truth.
1. Custom CMS Solutions Are Different
Let's begin with the most obvious solution, not many so-called 'web developers' will suggest a custom CMS to you because it’s simply not the norm. Open-source solutions like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal take up no less than 86% of the CMS market share, with WordPress alone accounting for 68% of the pie.
Popularity, though, does not necessitate quality. The Wisdom of the Crowd is a logical fallacy; in fact, managers will be familiar with the perils of groupthink, which occurs when too many individuals follow along with a popular opinion without questioning it. Everyone uses WordPress is not a good enough reason to prefer it over custom alternatives.
2. Custom CMS Solutions Don't Have Plugins
Another popular opinion about custom content management systems you will frequently hear is that because of a lack of plugins, they are more inflexible than open-source, community-based systems. A system like WordPress boasts more than 45,000 plugins, suggesting its flexibility for businesses looking to customize their website for their needs.
Of course, that type of thinking is just as shallow as the first reason above. In fact, it's inverted logic: the many available plugins do not make open-source systems more flexible but are an indication of their inflexibility. When you custom build a website, you don't need external plugins to make it do exactly what you want. Flexibility is secondary when your website fills all of your online business needs.
3. Custom CMS Solutions Seem Expensive
This is perhaps the most popular argument against custom CMS solutions. Whereas a template-based system allows even novices to stand up a basic website fairly quickly, the complexity required to build a CMS from scratch means added costs that most businesses simply can't afford.
What this argument does not account for, though, is the fact that web development should be an investment rather than an expense. The initial cost to build your custom CMS may indeed be higher than it would be for template alternatives. But if you consider the lower maintenance, no plugins, and higher security level after the initial build, the total cost will prove much more manageable.
4. Custom CMS Solutions Aren't Popular
Finally, the last reason many developers will not recommend a custom CMS is not always obvious: they simply don't know how to develop one, so they choose to go with their comfort zone instead. These developers will talk you off the idea of a custom solution simply to keep your business.
We have written in the past about how template solutions have ushered in an era of crappy web development, full of businesses and professionals who sell their service without knowing how to build a website from the ground up. Developer inadequacies, of course, should not be a reason for you to stay away from custom web development. It does, however, contribute significantly to the bad rap custom CMS solutions tend to get around the industry.
There are many reasons you will hear that seek to prevent you from developing your CMS from scratch. They are generally based on misconceptions and intentions of shortcuts. In fact, building your website’s backend from scratch could actually come with significant benefits for your business.