As wikipedia estates:
A content management system (CMS) is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content using a common user interface and thus usually supporting multiple users working in a collaborative environment. CMS's have been available since the late 1990s.
I know, that is a very vague explanation, and definitely there is a lot more to it. CMS's have changed the Internet by making websites dynamic and allowing people with little to no knowledge on coding to be able to update, change and create new information at any time. In the past this could only be done by "webmasters" with good knowledge on web design and web development.
How has this changed?
The change has been BIG. Every dynamic website online today has a CMS behind it, and if you think about it there is no other way for any big company to be as flexible and fast as they need in any other way. Right now a CMS is expected not to just be able to edit and change information on the fly, many CMS's can schedule information to be changed on a specific date, handle inventory, manage accounting, orders, subscribers and much much more.
What are the downsides of a CMS.
There can be many and mostly all of then come after one of the following reasons:
Poor design and coding: many CMS are created and/or maintained by people with little hands-on and know-hows on what they are doing. The best example are the infamous WordPress plugins; these plugins can be created and added to WordPress by anyone with the time and willingness to do it, and many of then are created with little to no purpose at all! WordPress at its core is coded pretty well (even though I disagree with it's non-OOP practice) but it is created with the intention of allowing any user to install any plugin, even when most of them are coded in the worse possible way and with very little understanding of what resources are already being used, and available technology.
Purpose: Every CMS is created with a purpose. WordPress and Drupal were created for blogging, Magento and osCommerce are created for Ecommerce and SugarCRM is created for customers management and the list can go on for ever. The problem comes when you want to have a WordPress to handle an Ecommerce website, or when you want to have osCommerce to handle accounting and so on. These CMSs were created for a very specific purpose and once you take them out of that context you can bet there'll be future problems you never see coming.
Security: This is one of my main concerns when we talk CMS. More people than you can imagine are involved in the CMS creation business today and while they might be having good intentions, they can skip a lot of details that can make any website insecure. That's the reason you see so many hacked websites today, and if you dig down on what was the cause of the hacking 95% of the time you'll find that it was because of an insecure website.
Speed: This one is the nightmare of every CMS developer: bottle necks, incompatibilities and poor code all apply into this topic. I know, you may say that servers have a big role into this, and while for the most part it is true, there is an uncountable amount of WordPress websites that while hosted on dedicated servers still takes more that 5 seconds (the max recommended time Google believe a website should take to load) to load. And once again, most of these issues are created by plugins, non-intended information added into the CMS databases and unnecessary server requests.
Cool... So what can I do?
The main thing a regular person interested in a CMS should think about is "What is the purpose of my CMS?". Purpose is the word that will give you the answer. Then you should ask yourself how important is the information you'll have in that website. If you are planning on creating your business website you shouldn't use any of the before exposed CMS. As proven every day on the Internet none of these CMS are as secured and stable as you need them. They are really easy to hack, or even worse.. unstable. You can lose all data in a blink of an eye and with it your entire company, credibility and customers in the process.
A simple search in Google will verify my statements and make it even more clear. There are even companies profiting of this fact and making good money on the process. Check the links bellow. That list can be as long as you can imagine.
Hacked wordpress websites
Hacked Drupal websites
Hacked Magento websites
Trojan infect Drupal, WordPress, and Magento sites
What the heck!
Yep, I say the same thing to every one of the many clients I have coming to me with this problem. Unfortunately there is little to do after these things happened to them and from there on the only solution I'll recommend is to collect all the information left and move out of these free CMS.
If they are so bad why are they so popular?
There are 2 main reason these kind of CMS's became so popular. One, they are free. This means anyone can download a copy of them and have a website running in very little time. Which takes us to main reason number 2: Their core code is well written. By this I mean that for what they were developed to do, they can do it well. Unfortunately, these are also these system's Achilles Heel. Having those 2 items means that anyone with little knowledge can come in and make changes to their code. Including the more 'unsavory' kind of people. They can have easy, free access to the code and look for exploits that will compromise ANY website built with it.
And you may think, "Wow this guys must really hate free CMS and all it represents". And the answer is NO!. I do not hate any of these CMS. I hate how people abuse them and take them out of their purpose for no reason. Many companies offer these solutions to their customers without considering their needs and not caring on how these systems can affect their customers in a negative way. You can check for yourself, most of our competition offer WordPress or Magento to everyone of their customers, no matter if you need a blog, ecommerce, a custom system or a handy POS; they will offer WordPress and/or Magento with no regards on what can happen to them latter.
What is the solution?
The solution is simple. Every business is different, every business owner have a different vision, a different way to handle their business, a different attitude and different aspirations in regards to their business online strategy. So why would someone offer the same solution to all these different people? The answer is easy... They don't know better.
We at Web Designer Express are proud of our custom approach to each business. There is no reason to fill up your website with stuff you don't need to run it successfully. This is where we enter and offer our clients a nice and clean solution, custom made for their need and purpose and created from scratch to meet their requirements, whatever they may be. Ask any of our competition for something like that and see then answer.
Based on all that... you guys might be very expensive!
And the answer is NO, we do not play with prices as others do. We place our prices clean and easy for you to see online and when you call us we will not try to charge you the most we can just based on the sound of your voice. Based on a research made by our financial department at the beginning of this year our competition charges 50% to 100% more for setting up a WordPress website for you.
We can keep the prices down for a simple reason, we have been in this business for more than 20 years and as you know experience matters. We have created our own frameworks where creating a custom CMS is not as complicated as it may sound and customizing it to meet our clients needs is what we call passion. Our founders created this company out of frustration with the situation on the market 20 years ago and believe it or not it has not changed, if anything it has gotten worse.
We have nothing to hide and we are open to any challenge, give us a call and we promise you'll be able to have a CMS that will be flexible, beautiful and pleasurable to work with, targeted to your needs without breaking the bank... Check our customers reviews and learn more about us. We are here for the long run!