As you design a new business website this summer, you might be looking into open-source CMS options as the best way to stay within budget to manage your site. While open-source options are extremely popular, success with this platform all depends on what you need for your website. Some businesses start out using an open-source CMS because the provided templates give just enough basics to fit a workflow without needing additional development.
However, if you realize that your business is about to scale quickly then sticking with an open-source CMS platform is only going to limit you. When it comes to making fast changes to your website a template option will not grow with your company.
While some custom sites use many of the same open-source technologies, the ability to customize quickly isn't quite the same. So if you're looking for a quick change, what are the alternatives to an open-source CMS?
Fortunately, you do have another option, and it's all about going custom to make your site exactly as you want it. What's important is to find out if it's really right for you based on specific requirements.
Looking At A Custom CMS
When you decide to use a custom CMS platform, you're giving yourself more freedom to add what's really needed. Many note you'll get a lot back in return, especially in preventing downtime dealing with security issues.
You can liken it to building a home where the more value you put in, the more value you'll get in return.
Even so, do you really know if a custom CMS option is the best choice? It's time to look at a number of things to determine the best route to take.
What Functional Requirements Do You Have?
Your site might have numerous complex functional requirements depending on what your users do there and expertise of your staff. By identifying what users do in the way of e-commerce or finding information, it may require far more custom designs to make it applicable.
The same goes with your staff in being able to do easy updates. If your management team isn't well-versed in various programming languages, this could prove difficult. This may require using an open-source CMS after all, to provide updates for you without learning complicated code.
User Experience Requirements
The UX of your site can also help you determine whether choosing an alternative to open-source CMS is better. Custom CMS systems help you design something unique if you find out visitors demand a more detailed user experience.
While open-source systems like WordPress and Joomla provide a lot of good pre-built features for navigation, these are better for more straightforward needs. Through a custom option, you can choose the colors, fonts, and imagery to better suit your brand.
Using custom as an alternative to open-source means using code that isn't mass-distributed. Not having this code so easily accessible means you won't have as much risk of being hacked.
Open-source code is accessible to anyone online, which makes hackers study them for vulnerabilities. This isn't to say many off-the-shelf systems don't provide reliable security patches to ward off hacking.
It all comes down to convenience and whether you want to depend on downloading security updates regularly, or not have to worry about so many risks.
Making The Ultimate Decision
If you're just starting a traditional business, you can probably do fine with an open-source system. However, starting a high-end online publication, or even a SaaS makes it more difficult to find an off-the-shelf CMS to accommodate all of your needs.
Take the time to do an audit of what your real needs are, especially from the perspective of users. Regardless of whether you choose custom or open-source the site you get is often as good as the design team working for you.