Proprietary vs. Non-Proprietary Content Management Systems: Our Advice to You

Author: Jack Martin

Proprietary content management systems, also known as closed-source, pose a lot of issues and threats to your business. Whether you select Drupal, WordPress, Joomla etc. all can, for the most part, achieve your end goals. There is a lot of doubt and uncertainty that comes with using a proprietary source. Below are 4 reasons why you should not go with a proprietary CMS:

You have to pay for it. Proprietary CMS in general cost more money, especially when a site needs more custom design/development work than the average site.
It’s practically impossible to transfer your website to someone else. If your relationship with your current website developer does not work out, and you choose to work with another company, they will know nothing about the CMS. In fact, the CMS is merely purchased by your company. Support is optional.
You don’t know what to expect. Non-proprietary, also known as open-source, content management systems have their own websites; blogs are always churning out new content with reviews. With a closed-source CMS, you take the word of the developers and do not necessarily have a say in the content creation process.
When something goes wrong there is not a simple fix. Open-source content management systems allow you to read forums, social media posts, even blog post from other developers that use the same CMS. There’s a community of users that are willing to help out and share ideas. With a proprietary source, you have no support, aside from the development team you have.

Non-Proprietary content management systems allow you to easily add new items to your site without re-inventing the wheel. If you want to add a page that has specific functionality, more than likely someone has already done something similar and has shared how they did this on the internet. At a minimum this is a starting point to solving the problem, where you can then manipulate the code in order to produce the result initially intended. Below are 4 reasons why you should choose a non-proprietary CMS:

No licensing or contracts. You own your site and have the ability to move it whenever you like.
Community around open-source content management systems. There are groups that get together to discuss new development ideas. With closed-source, this can’t happen.
Hosting the website is a breeze. Your site speed is based on many factors, but mainly hinges on your hosting provider. There are some hosts that work better than others depending upon the CMS type. There’s no history for closed-source, and as a result your site might be slow (or you pay more in hosting costs).
Price and robustness. Most open-source content management systems allow you to easily add in new features to your site at low cost (some charge for additions – ahem, Magento). With a closed-source CMS you are reinventing the wheel. Everything is custom, and your costs skyrocket because more time is involved.

Here are a few more helpful tips for selecting the right CMS for your website!

Why did you select your CMS? Please comment below with your answer, and which CMS you choose!

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