Custom CMS vs WordPress vs CaaS: Which is Best for You?

The content management business is indeed a difficult space. Every customer has similar but different requirements, and every CMS vendor or agency is trying to sell one single solution which can meet requirements of all of them. But no one size fits all as every project, every customer and every requirement is different. Therefore the companies which develop custom solutions to help clients achieve their digital goals are at better position as they can match each of the clients requirements by offering proper solutions. But custom CMS solution are not for everyone just as WordPress is not perfect fit for every situation.

Still so many businesses go for WordPress CMS Development services as either they have some prior experience in this or they find it most appropriate. Overall, we can see that the clients fall into one of the three different categories when it comes to content management i.e. Custom software, WordPress/Off the Shelf and CaaS. In this article We will discuss about these three categories and their pros and cons and also which category makes more sense for which application.

Custom CMS vs WordPress vs CaaS: Which is Best for You?

Category 1: Custom CMS and Custom Developed Software

Custom CMS software is also very popular but it isn’t for everyone. Custom CMS are appropriate when the benefits of having custom software is worth the expense of developing the solution. This mostly happens in companies which are 100% digitally focused and which require high level of custom functionality which is not possible with off the shelf software.

Custom solutions are aimed at solving problems for the businesses. Most of the applications which end up as custom projects are from one of the following categories:-

- Digitally Focused Publishing
- SaaS
- Custom Lead Generation
- Custom Portals & Complex Logical Applications
- High Security Applications

As we have said, custom development projects are not for everyone. Just think about how the potential benefits are greater than initial costs or how the desired outcome can be calculated to have a meaningful ROI. This means that simple marketing sites, informational sites or any other small scale projects don’t make sense as custom solution candidates.
Approach to Category 1 Projects: Do the thorough research and make software architecture to properly define, architect and estimate the costs and timeframes to develop the project.

Some features of this category:-

- Highest flexibility
- Longer development timeframes
- Higher budget
- Complete ownership

Category 2: WordPress or any other Off the Shelf Solutions

This middle category of projects generally involve customers which are either fit for off the shelf solutions or request it from day one. The most popular use cases involve:-

- Informational/Marketing Sites
- Simple E-commerce sites
- Simple Publishing
- Having Similar Previous Experience

Our Approach to Category 2 Projects: Do proper research to find out the proper platform and the pros/cons of the chosen solution. If the risks are less or if the chosen platform will not be pushed beyond its comfort zone then it may be a good choice and the client can go for the solution with some little modifications to enhance their experience.

Some Features of this Category:-

- Limited flexibility
- Shorter development timeframes
- Mid-level budget
- Comfort in being part of a large software community or being supported by a vendor

Kindly note that most of the Off the shelf solutions are built on old technology therefore can have security risks which needs to be managed and taken care off.

Category 3: CaaS (Content as a Service) or Hosted Content Solutions

Most of the people like CaaS’s core methodology: the idea that content management should always be dilinked from the front-end user experience. Many case studies and research prove the value of this approach and we also recommend it as a third category of service offering. There are many companies which offer hosted headless CMS platform. There is a definite series of use cases where this software makes a lot of sense. Let’s now discuss about the scenarios where this approach is highly beneficial.

- Complex Front End Design and Experience
- Short Development Cycles
- Microsites
- Informational/Marketing Applications
- Multi-Channel Applications

Our Approach for Category 3 Projects: Do the research and make software architecture to ensure that the platform is a good fit, including understanding the future project requirements.

Some Features of this category:-

- Shorter time to market
- Multi-Channel Compatibility
- Ability to use emerging front-end technologies
- Lowest back-end costs

Conclusion

The main purpose of this article is to demystify the process of choosing the right CMS platform. Our research says that the above 3 categories will become more like a standarized breakdown of the options available in market, not like today’s current state of market where each vendor wants to please every use case each time. There are so many more choices than just the platform that are available off the shelf and it is very important now for the website owners, marketers and developers to know the difference between them before making a final decision. If you know in which category your organization falls, you can estimate better what’s right for you now and in future also as per your plans and budget.

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