Dcode Group Blog

Should I Use An Off-The-Shelf CMS or a Custom CMS

When looking to develop a website/web-application, many people will be drawn to use an off-the-shelf Content Management System (CMS) as a way to streamline the development and fast-track functionality. However, while these systems can be a good tool to aid in website development, they are not always suited to all web development projects. Before looking to commence your next online project, take a moment to first ascertain what you are looking to achieve. Then look to match the requirements with the solutions available.

Off the shelf products can often be an easy starting point for consumers/developers. But they are not always well suited to every application.

While it's difficult to price/scope a web development project without knowing the specifics, I've often found that hiring the right staff to build a solution from scratch can often result in far better outcomes. Developing a system specific to the needs of the client can ensure a great fit between the needs and the outcome of the system.

Often when using an off-the-shelf CMS, you are restricted by the capacity/structure of that system. This means that you have to build your website/solution to fit around that framework. As a result, using such a framework can limit your output and take more time to customise in order to meet key requirements.

Alternatively, if you were building a custom solution, you can easily develop a lightweight prototype (based around the core function requirements) and then expand on functionality from this base.

Now some may argue that using an off-the-shelf product can save considerable money and provide a head-start to development. However I believe that this is a very broad statement and depends greatly on the skills of the developer and the requirements. A good developer can develop a custom, manageable and scalable application fairly easily and such a solution can likely be a better alternative depending on the requirements.

Whatever the chosen solution, the approach is going to be dependent on the requirements of the system - whether that be a framework, CMS or custom solution. But I think it's too much of a generalisation to suggest that an off-the-shelf CMS is ALWAYS cheaper than a custom-developed website. But before making your choice, the first (and most important) thing to do is to define the scope. Then you can look at how you can best deliver that solution and who you need to employ to help you deliver it.

Here at DCODE, we specialise in providing custom-built, web-based applications: be it a website with specific functionality; a mobile website; or an internal system that provides management, marketing or functionality. We're more than just web designers/web developers; but at more manageable rates than the larger consultancies. Our team consists of staff that are both IT consultants and IT developers - ensuring that we can provide an analysis and review of requirements; and then deliver the technology from within the same company. Every staff member has both consulting and development experience - ensuring that you're speaking with people who have a sound understanding of the technology that will be used to provide your solution.

If you need assistance in building a website or building an online solution, contact us to find out how we can be of assistance - we're always keen to work on new projects.


Get updates, tips and industry news delivered directly to you

Written by

Andrew Sirianni

Andrew founded DCODE GROUP with the goal to develop custom software solutions...