Custom CMS – When do I need one?

With so many solutions around, when is it a good time to develop a Custom CMS?
As a developer it’s hard to know, so you can imagine what it would be like for the client.
In general, you resort to a custom CMS if there is no free/affordable pre-made solution.

  • Do you need articles and pages with a contact page? – WordPress
  • Do you need a social networking website? – BuddyPress
  • Do you need a community style website? – Joomla
  • Do you need a few basic html pages? Perhaps you don’t need a CMS at all?

What is a Custom CMS?

A customised CMS is a big deal. It usually takes a lot more money, development hours, and planning.

In a nutshell, its a website that revolves around your needs and processes. Most of the time people go around looking for a CMS that they can fit into.

A developer will need to make an interface for you to manage your information, as well as arrange the database to handle all the kinds of data that will be inserted. Everything will be build from the ground up.

Some people absolutely need a custom CMS, while others don’t yet still like to have them.

What are the advantages of a Custom CMS?

  • It will be made to suite your needs, no problem. It’s like designing your own house
  • The code is potentially light weight, because it’s purpose is much more linear. Making it faster
  • Because the CMS code isn’t available for the public, people can’t inspect the code looking for vulnerabilities, thus less ‘hack-able’. This is assuming that the coder has gone to some lengths to secure the site’s code

What are the disadvantages of a Custom CMS?

  • Can be very expensive, we are talking about a lot of work. Unless you use a CMS that’s particularly flexible and manageable
  • No one else apart from the original CMS developer(s) will be familiar with the code, so you might have issues later on getting anyone else to do maintenance on the code.
  • Unlike free CMS’s like WordPress or Joomla, there are not dozens of experienced coders constantly making improvements and fixing bugs. So with a custom CMS you are more likely to encounter bugs, interface usage issues, data architecture issues and a lack of documentation