Why Use a Custom Content Management System (CMS)

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of open source content management systems easily searchable on the Internet today. Why would anyone in their right mind recommend a custom CMS? The answer is both simple and complex.


If you were a small business, and wished to remain small, I would not tell you to use a custom CMS. In fact, I would be wary of recommending any proprietary systems, let alone a system designed specifically for one site. The reason behind that is because to pay for a custom CMS, you’d be getting way more than you might be using. Plus, you’d be paying to re-invent the wheel for all the functionality of a brochure-ware site. I would, instead, suggest putting that budget towards differentiating yourself on design and search engine marketing. The vast majority of the sites on the Internet today would fall into this group. They don’t need any more functionality than a simple blog or page management system like WordPress or Drupal offers.

The most important things to know about a custom CMS platform include:

  1. A custom CMS doesn’t always mean proprietary
  2. Depending on your needs a custom CMS may be needed or may not
  3. Often a custom built solution may run quicker, if developed properly
  4. A custom CMS is not recommended for a basic website
  5. Typically enterprise level customers run customized CMS platforms
  6. For a basic website, WordPress is usually a great solution

The lines start to become blurred when we start talking about high performance websites. The lines become even more blurred when we talk about custom user-facing functionality and integration into back-office systems.

To use our example from above, WordPress and Drupal are great Content Management Systems. You can get decent performance out of them with a bit of effort in configuration and deployment, maintenance, purchasing extra hardware/setting up reserved instances to handle traffic spikes and generally beating it into submission. At its heart though, it’s just something to manage a traditional model of a website: a collection of pages. Would you use WordPress (or something like it) to manage something like Facebook? No! Of course not! That is because Facebook has custom functionality and features that are not part of a standard website.

Building high performance websites, whether eCommerce or informational, requires more work than your typical website: they are custom applications with a very rigid set of requirements for performance, responsiveness and search engine optimization capabilities. The amount of time spent on bending another CMS into working how you want it and to function at the level of performance required would give you a sub-par product and often takes longer than building it from scratch.

add alt text Is building a custom CMS considered “reinventing the wheel?”

SEO and CMS selection

Search engine optimization is a big of part any websites success, so thinking about your SEO strategy before selecting a CMS can be important. Some CMSs are built with certain URL structures, offer certain plug-ins and can be good for one type of website, but might not handle another type of website (say a content site vs. eCommerce site) very well. There are many WordPress SEO plug-ins and we’ve found WordPress to work fairly well for content website. Magento, which is an eCommerce shopping cart and CMS we’ve found to be very difficult to work with. Magento SEO campaigns often require a lot of “fixing” of core code structures and reworking the base of how the CMS was put together. Be sure to look into will the CMS you’re looking at choosing allow you to execute the SEO strategy you, or your SEO company, have in mind.

So, how does it make more sense than a premade CMS?

To begin, you’re breaking the abstraction that the particular CMS in question has been built for. In other words, you’re spending time, resources and money to make a round peg fit in a square hole. You have the façade of extensibility (“It’s built on Drupal! You can use plug-ins!”), but in reality most of the time you are left with a site that’s very brittle in terms of architecture and that looks something like Frankenstein’s monster in the back-end. A custom CMS allows you to build a site that is matched for YOUR business, YOUR workflow and YOUR needs — not the needs that others think are important.

We’re going to spend less time working within the constraints of a system that doesn’t fit your business needs and spend more time creating something that allows you to differentiate yourself from every other site out there.

At the end of the day, both of these solutions require development and design. Our design, SEO and development skills are superior to most agencies in the country and a lot of big brands have spoken already in favor of us. We know what we’re doing. We’ve executed successfully in the past. We’re here to take your brand and elevate it to the position it deserves at the top

Zenerom Private Limited is at the forefront of offering cutting edge web design and development solutions. Not to sound boastful but we have highly qualified and talented web developers, designers, Android developers and a lot more. Creativity and hard work are in our DNA and customer happiness is our ultimate motive. Our concentrated areas are Desktop Application Development Company, Web Design & Development Company and much more…

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