February 11th, 2011, 11:46 AM
Advantages of a custom CMS over Wordpress
We see several threads where people recommend Wordpress - it's widely used, it's easy, there are a lot of plugins etc., etc.
But there are advantages to using a custom CMS. I had a custom CMS on one of my sites and I was very satisfied with it.
In favour of a custom CMS:
1. You can have it designed to do what you want it to do and no more
2. Small and concise - no bloated code
3. No updates to keep downloading and fiddling with
4. Much reduced security risk - WP has become at attractive target for hackers, spammers, everyone!
5. No third party plug-ins from people who then drop the plug-in, don't update it to work with the latest WP or don't have any incentive to provide support.
6. Whatever plugin features you need are designed in-house - so specifically for your site and you have a relationship with the developer if you fancy tweaking it.
7. Longer term stability from less reliance on third parties: With your own design, coding, functionality you won't end up relying heavily on a third-party SEO plugin, for example, and then getting screwed when they stop developing it for the latest WP
8. For some types of functionality it's easier to just get the bloody thing coded from scratch on your own CMS than trying to find the right plugin for WP. I've had days and days of wrestling with WP CRM plugins, calendars plugins etc. It would have saved me thousands of dollars in time if I had commissioned a custom CMS to do the job.
9. The coding is not open source so there's added security there.
10. Businesses can integrate the functions of their CMS with their back office systems including inventory records, accounts, staff scheduling...
February 11th, 2011, 11:53 AM
I suppose you could sell it and then have all the fun of supporting it.
Not to mention the joys of programming and/or hiring someone to code it for you
Not to mention hunting that programmer down when the code goes blewie and nobody else will touch that mess
Not to mention when you finally find someone brave or stupid enough to tackle said code - the ecstasy of hearing for the 1000th time "I don't know who wrote this code but..."
Did I mention how fun writing your own code can be?
February 11th, 2011, 12:01 PM
Your arguments apply to all custom coding. Would it be your suggestion that no business ever commission bespoke software?
I'm aware you've had a particularly bad experience with script you've inherited with a site. Has that jaded you a bit?
February 11th, 2011, 12:27 PM
No arguments here - I just don't much like programming. Nor do I see any advantage trying to duplicate something that is already available in droves.
Most cms needs can be handled off the self. Speaking of such -
The script that came with the site I bought is off the self - nothing custom there - just bad programming.
Must be just my mood today.
February 11th, 2011, 1:20 PM
- Rep Power
To me, the biggest advantages are limiting code bloat and knowing exactly what's happening in your code. For most people, Wordpress is kind of a "black box." Even if they can make templates for it or write plugins, there's a lot that's still unknown about how it functions overall. Many people would be shocked to see how many database calls WP makes to load a single page.
That said... with the right plugins, you can get a lot of the benefits of a bespoke system with next to no cost (and developed with much greater speed). If you add 2 plugins to your system (Custom Post Type UI and Custom Field Template), you can make Wordpress so much more user-friendly.
This setup lets you create custom post types on the fly using custom fields. So if you want to create an "events" post type, you can add it, and then specify the fields that are common to all events -- the start date, end date, start time, end time, location, etc.
As someone who has built a lot of custom admin interfaces, the speed of development with a WP install with these plugins is REALLY appealing.
February 13th, 2011, 12:49 PM
For me it allows me to remain in my comfort zone of a notepad or DW. I really should learn to use WP better sometime though...
However for me logically the arguement would have to be I am not reliant on wordpress or counting on its quality. If wordpress releases a slightly crappy version or build I likely have to update to keep taking advantage of plugins or the like.
At least if its my site, my custom script, its entirely my choice and in my hands what changes about the site.
All of this is probably just my reluctance to change talking.
February 13th, 2011, 11:56 PM
- Rep Power
Someone I know here in Aus has devloped his own high end cms. see http://siteflex.com.au
He sells it to governments and education institutions.
Cebit here in Australia moved this over when their joomla site got hacked. see: http://www.cebit.com.au/
I like wordpress because that is what I am good at. However I can see the use for a custom cms system.
February 14th, 2011, 4:19 AM
It takes a lot of advantages to overcome WP's biggest advantage - it's free.
February 14th, 2011, 4:39 AM
That's also it's biggest disadvantage.
I used to use a service called Hitwise for my web stats. It's biggest advantage was that it was free and I used it a lot. In fact, I was dependent on it at that time and I didn't store my own traffic logs. This was in the days of dial up and expensive storage.
But it was an online only service and then one day they pulled all my stats and said that they had overnight decided it wasn't going to be free and that they wanted a gazillion dollars to give me back access to my own stats.
Relying on free is not a sound business decision. Commit yourself enough and you'll get bitten in the backside when WP introduce a licence for commercial sites.
February 14th, 2011, 5:28 AM
That's one way of looking at it. I think getting something for free for as long as possible is sensible as long as you don't think there's a possiblilty that when it stops being free it's going to become more expensive than if you'd paid for it in the first place and I don't think that will happen with an open source CMS as popular as WP. If WP introduce a licence structure (which is highly unlikely, same for Joomla, because open source is a big things for these people) then it's still unlikley to be more costly than what you've been paying for a custom service that's left you completely dependent on having someone available with programming skills because you've got no idea how it works.
Originally Posted by Clinton
For every 'advantage' you listed I read them as 'cost me money and left me reliant on programmers for every little thing'.
Any open source CMs is going to be limited in what it will do out of the box but I just finished a site where I used Joomla and Virtuemart (both free) and paid a programmer about $200 to make some very specific custom changes. The whole thing, custom written, would have cost me thousands.
I guess it's down to personal feelings about relying on 'free' I use tons of free tools, fantastic.