Open & Closed Source CMS – Which one is best for you?

30 April, 2015    |    Development    |    Traff1k D1g1tal

CMS defined: A Content Management System (CMS) is software which keeps track of every piece of content on your website which allows publishing, editing and modification of content. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage – anyone in your organisation can update your website. CMS is generally implemented to run an entire website containing blogs, news and or e-commerce. Many corporates and marketing companies will use a CMS as it typically aims to avoid necessity for on-going hand coding.

Open Source CMS:
Open source CMS is usually backed by a community, meaning the software is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone. With open source you’re likely find an abundance of information online about your CMS solution such as tutorials, how-to posts, public forums and plenty of information out there if some assistance is required. Joomla is the largest open source CMS platform in the world, created for user friendly and mobile ready site applications and provides substantial flexibility. Cost is much less expensive and as open source is community backed; customisation options are massive with regular updates continually improving the product of your CMS & site.

Notable open source CMS solutions: Joomla, WordPress, Magento

Closed Source CMS:
Closed source system software usually equates to better security as closed source are commonly supported by a development company, unfortunately this normally requires a yearly licensing fee. Closed source is sometimes more secured as their code which is CMS specific isn’t public. Another feature which should influence the choice in distinguishing your best option is initial cost of investment. The entry into closed source is generally higher as a closed CMS typically will belong to one specific entity meaning less experience and collective knowledge. Furthermore with a general solution to closed CMS you will be restricted to a single provider or original developer meaning reliance on the providing company’s stability and longevity.

Notable closed source CMS: CushyCMS, Telerik, Sharepoint

Factors to consider when deciding on CMS:

Technology/ protection on investment:
Open source = not restricted to a single provider - LOW RISK
Closed source = internal licensing system owned by single provider – HIGH RISK
Continuity of website operations:
Open source = Multiple resources available, costs are market related – LOW RISK
Closed source = Single resource dependency dictated by provider – HIGH RISK
Dependency on service provider:
Open source = Can be easily transferred to alternative provider – LOW RISK
Closed source = Reliant on company’s stability, not easily transferrable - HIGH RISK
Open source = International Security Standards/Compliance - LOW RISK
Closed source = Dependent on level of in-house expertise – MEDIUM RISK
Resource dependency:
Open source = Administration and content by non-technical persons/in-house - LOW RISK
Closed source = technically constructed for high-level web users & limited user documentation - MEDIUM RISK

Article: Ben O’Brien – Traff1k Business Development & Client Account Manager