February 13, 2017 Website Design

Managing Your Content: Choosing the Right CMS Platform for Your Business

We’ve talked about establishing defined business goals for your website, but in a digital age, we are also constantly looking for ways to work more efficiently. A content management system (CMS) makes it easier to update and manage your website, giving you more time to create valuable content for your audience. These days I can’t imagine designing a new website without an integrated CMS.

Things to Consider When Choosing a CMS

According to recent stats: 53.2% of websites don’t use a CMS, but I’ve got 5 reasons you should:

  1. It helps you to manage and update your content easily and efficiently.
  2. It lets you become more self-sufficient; allowing you to manage content on your own time, without always relying on support from IT or developers.
  3. You can manage your digital marketing strategy all in one place including your blog, social media, SEO, and email marketing for a seamless integration and workflow.
  4. It plays an integral role in your SEO performance so you can be found online.
  5. And, a CMS can provide template governance with defined user roles, rules and workflows to ensure brand consistency and better user adoption.

Define Your CMS Requirements

When you start searching for the right CMS software, you need to balance budget, features and function.

List out all the features and functionalities you and your team will need to meet your business goals of today, with an eye on your growth plans so that your current solution won’t limit future expansion.

It goes without saying that security and privacy protection should be at the top of your list, and is at the core of everything we do here at Whitecap, but here are some other things to consider:

  • Will your business have a simple brochure site, or will you have multiple, inter-connected sites?
  • Do you require third-party software integration, such as CRM, eCommerce payment solutions, or other applications?
  • Will you need your sites to be translated for multiple languages to target specific markets?
  • Is content personalization a marketing priority?
  • What kind of technical support and/or flexibility do you require?


Open Source CMS vs. Proprietary CMS: Which is Better for Your Business?

Once you’ve analyzed your CMS requirements, the next step is choosing the platform to use. This will, inevitably, lead to an evaluation of whether an Open Source or Proprietary CMS platform will be better for your business.

Let’s start with a few definitions:

Open Source CMS means the code is made available to a large development community that creates their solutions based on that code. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Umbraco are just some of Open Source CMS platforms out there.

Proprietary CMS, such as Sitecore, Sitefinity, Kentico, and Episerver (to name just a few), has been developed by a software company that provides users with a development framework. While developers can’t modify the core architecture, they can extend the solution to meet unique customer business requirements.


Pros and Cons: A Deeper Look

Before making any decisions, let’s look at the pros and cons of each platform.

Open Source CMS


Pros Cons


  • Licensing costs: Zero
  • Subscription/Support: Varies. Some platforms have annual subscription fees for support, which also let subscribers access additional features/functions


  • Since many developers are familiar with the source code, the risk of hacking increases
  • It’s vulnerable to SQL injections via website scripts, which can increase risk of unauthorized access your databases
  • Developers need to dedicate more time to download and install security patches every time there’s an update


  • Software improvements happen quickly
  • Open Source platforms generally have a large marketplace of plugins and themes
  • Active forums for support
  • Documentation is generally easier to find due to the large community of developers


  • Security Concerns: Plugins are developed by the community so you must know which ones are secure, reliable and reputable
  • As the platform is updated, plugins might stop working
  • Compatibility Issues: Because they are developed by third-parties, there are greater risks of conflicts between plugins
  • Supportability is a key concern. If your website goes down, it could be very difficult to troubleshoot the source of the issue due to the interaction of various plugins (which could have been created by different developers)


  • It’s easy to create and customize (within reason) a website from a wide range of templates available in the marketplace


Proprietary CMS

Pros Cons


  • Because the source code is proprietary and only available to licensed users and developers, opportunities for hackers to develop intrusion methods is reduced
  • Fewer vulnerabilities means your corporate data is more secure


  • Licensing costs
  • Subscription/support costs
  • There are additional costs for the custom development of advanced personalization, functionality and third-party software integration


  • Proprietary platforms have developed more complex, in-depth content personalization and marketing features that can serve up specialized content based on visitor location or can apply specific content to select user groups based on preferences


  • Marketplace is smaller since the platform is only available to licensed users
  • Community forums can be smaller and less active


  • You have access to forums and help desks which can solve issues in a set timeframe
  • Dedicated, full-time resources support the product
  • Subscription services cover extended help, software support, bug fixes and upgrades
  • Supportability: All plugins are fully tested (including QA testing) either by the CMS company before their release or by the developer who customized a plugin for your specific requirements. This makes troubleshooting issues significantly easier than in an Open Source CMS environment


  • Since Proprietary CMS platforms are intended to be deployed in conjunction with custom development, there are fewer off-the-shelf designs to choose from


When it comes down to picking the right CMS for your business, we understand there’s a lot to consider. At Whitecap, we’ve helped many of our customers define their needs, scoped out their requirements, offered our professional opinions on the capabilities of each platform, and helped our clients analyze all the pros and cons before making a decision. After all, your business is unique.


We’re here to help get your business to where it needs to be. Let’s talk.