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Open Source Vs. Custom CMS

Open Source Vs. Custom CMSThere is a longstanding debate regarding what kind of content management system, or CMS, businesses should use: open source or custom.

An open source CMS is one where the source code is available to everyone and can be edited freely, such as Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla. These systems tend to rely on design templates that can then be customized, and produce quick, run-of-the-mill results. 

A custom CMS is one developed by a business, such as Visionary’s Site OnCall system, which relies on custom designs and custom modules. These also tend to produce much more unique results for clients and users.

It is easy to tell which side of the debate we favor here at Visionary. We believe in our custom Site OnCall CMS and the good it can do for your business. But we also acknowledge that products like Wordpress do have their benefits – especially for bloggers.

Wordpress has always been designed for blogging. If blogging, news, and events are high priorities for your site, an open source CMS may be right for you.

Some smaller businesses are a better fit for open source systems, though large businesses rarely are.

Another advantage is that since everyone shares the code, there are many tutorials online to help you learn, either as a blog post with screen shots to help walk you through the process or a YouTube video.

A Wordpress plugin can be made by anyone with a working knowledge of HTML and maybe some PHP ­– although, most plugins are easy to install without touching the source code.

However, problems arise when the code is messy or not up to standards. Joe Schmo in his basement could make a really cool calendar plugin. But the code will break when you update to the latest version of Wordpress – thus rendering it useless. In the meantime, you’re left waiting for Mr. Schmo to voluntarily edit the code, if he ever does.

Open source websites are self-managed or managed by a staff, and there is sometimes a big learning curve. Regular tech support is not available, and that can be a scary feeling.

Sometimes hours and hours of research are required to fix something a developer could have fixed in a few minutes.

The biggest draw of the open source CMS is it’s very cheap, if not free. People are so attracted to the bottom line that they don’t consider all of the implications. 

Open source systems give your site a very cookie-cutter look. Many times businesses end up having to tailor themselves to the website rather than the other way around. 

The question to really ask is, do I want my business to fit into a website, or do I want my website to fit my business?

A custom CMS, like our Site OnCall, will do just that. The very nature of a custom CMS means it is more secure. The source code is much more protected and can’t be accessed by anyone outside of the company.

One of the biggest advantages of a company-hosted CMS is that the company is by your side to help you manage your site at all times. No need to learn any programming. Our developers will handle it for you.

No need to learn how to use our content management system on your own. We will train you and always be around for questions. Not only that – if anything were to happen or go wrong with your site; we won’t go home until it’s fixed.

Ultimately, using a custom CMS and having a relationship with the company that developed it takes the burden off you. It allows you to simply focus on running your business instead of having to dabble in the tech world.

The code in a custom CMS will always be held to a high standard. It will be clean and easy to modify by the people who built it. 

The biggest advantage of a custom CMS is that it provides a custom solution and custom design. Your site won’t end up looking like every other business. It will look like your business.

Contact us today for more information about our stellar system, and how it can work for you!

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