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Pre-Packaged v. Custom Built Content Management Systems (CMS) 

Monday, February 15, 2010 3:51:05 PM

At the start of every website project there’s always a debate over whether we should use a pre-packaged CMS versus a custom built CMS. After all, we are custom software developers, and building a system gives us maximum flexibility. On the other hand, there are many great products out there that are being actively developed to ensure a bug-free environment in which you can maintain your own content.

Obviously going with a custom solution will give you a system that will be 100% tailored to your business. We can give you very specific functionality that gives you the ease of automated calculations and listings, among many other useful features.

On the other hand, a pre-packaged system gives you many features that would normally cost you more money, allow for rapid development to get your site up and running in a shorter period of time, and give you a system that is constantly being updated to prevent against security holes and just plain bugs. Pre-packaged products also usually come with robust documentation, since the documentation has usually been worked on over the life of the product. More developers get their hands on the product and catch subtle nuances of how the software works, making it easy to transition between hosts or development teams.

As you can see, there are pros and cons for each, and it really just comes down to whichever system will work best under the circumstances.

Enough business, the real reason for me writing this is to congratulate one of our open-source product developers, mojoPortal. They have just won third place in the 2009 CMS Awards in the non-php category (there are a lot of php CMS products out there, so they lump them all together), and they were the only .NET based product to place.

We started experimenting with mojoPortal about 6 months back, and have just launched our first client site using the product. I have to say that it’s a well-deserved victory for them. They have built a fine product that is easy to use, implement and extend. I have already congratulated Joe Audette (the primary developer of mojoPortal) via twitter, and again I would like to congratulate the entire community. I hope this victory will help mojoPortal gain the recognition that it deserves.

The 2009 CMS awards are still in progress as of this writing, and I can’t wait to see what other products win this year.

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