How to build a website with Open Source or Proprietary CMS

Selecting the right CMS for your website is an important decision when you are ready to tell the world that your business is online.

written by Aleksandar Debeljak

As we all know, choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your website creation is the first important decision to make when you are ready to tell the world that you are open for business. So it is important to have a website that is easy to use, modern and kept updated, as well as being SEO friendly. As your website increases in traffic and your company grows, it might be a good idea to choose the right CMS for your needs and objectives. To help out Overit posted six questions to have in mind when you are determining which CMS is the best fit for your specific needs.

To pick the right CMS you need to know the differences between the many content management systems and the features they offer your company to stay competitive. To answer this let us talk about what open source and proprietary CMS are. As the name suggests open source is an open platform that is created and maintained by people around the world. The source code is also open for all to use if you want to modify and create new functionalities. Open software tends to be completely free to use.

If we move on to proprietary software there is a clear difference between it and open source. To begin with proprietary software is created by a private company. The source code is usually not available for general use and in most cases all websites are hosted by the company that created it. To be able to use the company’s proprietary CMS you usually have to pay a licensing fee to get access to it.

Now that we know the differences between these two platforms it may also be useful, as the title suggests, to know which one is the right fit for you. Both have their pros and cons, however, I will list what is best for your current and future needs and why.

Benefits of an open source CMS:

  • Want to find a quick and inexpensive solution and do not mind using a simple design. This is recommended only for small businesses that want an easy and quick start.
  • You have a unique idea and want to create custom functions for your website.
  • Your online presence is your business and you invest all your time to refine and improve your website.
  • You are a blogger and your site will be only about blogging.

Drawbacks of an open source CMS:

  • It may cost more in the long run. There are a lot of options but if you want a unique design you must be prepared to pay for it. There are cheaper options but these are only basic templates.
  • Support and upgrades are usually not included. This can mean that your site, modules and functions are left on an old version that it was installed on, which means that there might be some bugs and also security problems.
  • You may have to deal with issues of updates to your site, modules and functions affecting the functionality of each other.
  • If you are dissatisfied with your website, you can move it to another developer. However, this can create some complications because each developer has their own preferences and knowledge that is not easily transferable which can leave your website with an entirely new design or having to be completely rebuilt from scratch.

Benefits of a proprietary CMS:

  • Your want to have a tailored website to build your online presence from a software company who will handle all aspects of making sure the foundation will be stable.
  • You are only interested in focusing on working on the content to help grow your online presence and the technical aspects and other needs are met by the CMS.
  • Great customer support where you do not have to deal with updates, bugs, security or hosting issues because the software company will take care of this for you.
  • The trust of knowing that every day the software company you selected is focusing on and investing in continuous improvements of their software to keep you protected and satisfied.

Drawbacks of a proprietary CMS:

  • You must choose the right company, because you do not want to choose a product from a company that goes bankrupt. So remember to choose a serious company that thinks long-term and invests resources in their product.
  • If you choose to leave a company’s product, be sure to retain ownership of and access to all content and design, this also goes for open source as well. Some companies may not give you the right to the tailored content and design for your website.
  • You have few options for software enhancements or adjustments that you want to do, or it can be expensive to make these changes.

Hopefully you now understand the differences between open source and proprietary CMS and can make a sound decision on which one is a right fit for your business. If you do choose an open source CMS, make sure to pick both the right technology, and the right partner to assist you with it. If you do choose a proprietary CMS, make sure to pick the right company with the complete product set and the capacity to continue to support and develop the system. Would you still be hesitant or have any additional questions or concerns about what to choose, leave a comment or contact us directly and we will help you to assess what is best for your business.

About Aleksandar Debeljak

Aleksandar Debeljak is the Head of Content at DLE Solutions who helps clients align marketing communications with business goals. He enjoys crafting content that delivers meaningful experiences to connect consumers and brands. Follow him on Twitter at @aleksdebeljak.