27 June 2011, Comments 0

custom cms benefitsIf you are thinking of having a new website, the decision is no longer whether to have a content management system, but which one to choose.

There are plenty of free open source content management systems available now, either for download or available from your hosting provider via an easy installation wizard, but website administration custom designed around your business and inline with your needs has several advantages that standard off the shelf systems don’t offer.

The Benefits of a Custom Content Management System

  • a custom system allows easier integration with back office systems and business processes
  • it can save you time on administration, no need to click thru mulitple menus, have the most important functions on the dashboard
  • automate your business processes stage by stage by developing the cms
  • unique website layout, so your designer can go town and all the important elements will still be editable via the administration area, no sticking to established templates
  • often it’s easier to code something from scratch than to search through pages of plugins and add-ons that don’t work correctly when you find them
  • flexibility, out of the box systems are limited in what they can do
  • custom systems also allow add ons, modules and upgrades, a custom system built with Ruby on Rails (our chosen development platform) can be easily developed and upgraded over time
  • a custom system is more focused on your needs, with concise unbloated code
  • security, all other things being equal, commonly used systems with open source code are more likely to be attacked, with already established gateways for breaching
  • and finally, a cms allows you to update your website, whether it’s new products, special offers, price changes or text amends, you can login anytime to post updates, a custom cms will simply make that task easier, by allowing us to design and optimise the dashboard and the update process for you.

Difficulties in Customising an Existing Cms

Free open source content management systems will usually come with a template. The standard template is unlikely to fit your business, so the template can be amended and changed using plugins, control panels, css, html and the like. Sometimes, only a few changes are required and the website can be up and finished quickly, this is the case particularly for simple websites and flexible customers. However, in our experience, clients often want to have custom designs which stand out and custom features and functionality which aren’t necessarily easy to implement with an off the shelf system.

In other words, it’s often easier, quicker and more direct to build a custom cms based on the requirement, than to change an existing system to fit the requirement.

Amending existing features and modules inside existing systems can take more time and it can have unexpected consequences on other functionality.

How Much is a Custom Content Management System?

Prices of our custom content management systems start at £500, and for a larger system with back end integration, user and email communications management and other functionality, prices can stretch to over £5000.

Prices include free hosting for one year and training. Contact us today and let’s talk about your idea, the estimated costs and the next steps.

WordPress Installation £400

This blog was originally created as a test run of WordPress. It’s worked well, it’s easy to add new posts and gives us a lot of capabilities, after choosing an existing template, adding a few plugins and editing the css a little, we stuck with what was given. If you are flexible and there is a template which suits your business, we also provide WordPress installation including setup, free hosting for one year and training starting at £400.

Notes.

If you’d like more information, see this interesting discussion and article on a coding competion, designed to answer which type of cms is best? The article includes a discussion on how to make the call on whether a client’s needs are best suited by a CMS, and whether the job needs a custom build, worth reading.