A Content Management System (CMS) is a software that enables you to create and manage digital content. It is a web application used to update pricing through its APIs, manage files, create content, manage images etc. to maintain your website or online portals . Examples of CMSes include Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and the like.
When should you consider building your own CMS?
Some consider building their own CMSes in the following cases:
- For more control in terms of customisation & to fit your required purpose (as you cannot modify a code from WordPress or an existing CMS)
- If the existing CMSes available do not have the functionality they’re looking for
- For a CMS tailor-made to their businesses with features & functionalities they require
- For greater security as many popular CMSs are open source. However, paid CMSs that are available but might not necessarily meet business needs.
While many companies & individual developers have opted to build their own CMS, it’s important to note that building one’s own CMS can be a difficult, time-consuming and not to mention, an expensive task. If at all none of the available CMS giants (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) meet your needs, only then consider building your own.
How can you make money with your own CMS?
There are two ways a CMS can make you money:
Most CMS companies charge a licensing fee for usage and/or earn by providing technical support & custom development. If you choose to make your CMS open-source, then you can earn through support and possibly through premium themes & plugins.
There are benefits of open-source:
- Code fixes submitted by others to rectify your CMS means you get free code
- Could have more customers in open source
- Customers risk little when they have more than just you to fix bugs/ issues
How to plan to build your own CMS
Building a CMS is a huge project and will require proper planning & execution. The SCRUM approach might be useful for:
- Streamlining tasks
- Assigning tasks to team members
- Managing communication
- Allocating resources
- Setting deadlines & goals
- Managing time
Here’s how you can start:
#1 Evaluate your Aim & your Resources
The first step in the planning process is to evaluate who your CMS is for – Is it for generic use or for a niche market? The answer to this question will help you decide on your feature list as well as evaluate your resources at hand. Resources include:
- Developer team
- Time on hand
#2 Prepare a Feature List
It’s a good idea to evaluate why you need to build your own CMS. Do this by creating a feature list of what you want your CMS to do. Categorize this into Frontend & Backend.
Frontend could include:
- Listing of products in a particular fashion
- Building a robust search functionality
- Homepage in a particular fashion or multiple themes for skinning
- Plugins for functionality
Management panel would include:
- Admin dashboard
- Dashboard login/log out
- List of products, pages
- Add new products, pages
- Edit existing files, dates, images, content
- Delete existing files, data, images, content
The backend would include:
- Database structure
- Server requirements
- Folder structure
- Security settings
- File permissions
- Building modular architecture for functions that work independently of other functions on a basic core
While at this step, find out what are the functionalities you want to build that no other currently available CMS will give you.
#3 Decide on a roadmap & milestones for each module
Now that you’ve created a feature list, you need to evaluate how much time you’re going to invest in building this CMS and if it’s worth the effort.
The few companies in the world who’ve built CMSes have spent a considerable amount of time doing so. A CMS could take years to build, depending on the team of developers, their skillset etc. I’ve come across far too many case studies of developers building their own product and recommending not doing so like this one.
However, if you do decide to go ahead and build a CMS, probably plan it phase wise. Figure out which features you want to roll out in Phase I, Phase II etc. This can enable you to launch your product early while still letting your customers know there’s more to expect.
How to Market a CMS?
The CMS you’ve built could be for your own use or to distribute commercially. If it is to distribute commercially, assess if your CMS is for a niche audience or for the generic audience. If it is for a niche audience, you will need a slightly different marketing approach:
- Advertise on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) with banners targeted to the specific industry
- Targeted Facebook ads to that industry
- Email marketing to a mailing list of those in the niche industry
If you wish to distribute your CMS to a wide audience, you will need to target the pain points of existing CMSs that your CMS solves. The USP of your CMS should be clear. Here are some tips to get the word out:
- Blog about it: A good way to get the word out about your squeaky new CMS is to blog about it. Set up a blog to share content about the features, pricing, why it’s different from other CMSs & more. A blog is an important channel to market your product. Additionally, it’s free.
- Issue a press release: A press release is always a good way to get exposure for a new product, an event or a CMS. The key is to write a good, meaty press release that’s newsworthy.
- Make use of forums: There are a bunch of forums and discussion groups online dedicated to web developers, designers, coders who would be interested in new CMSs. Also look for platforms where pain points of existing CMSs are discussed. Here are some I can recommend:
- Quora (search for questions related to CMSs or even start a blog there)
- Web Hosting Talk
- Google Community
- Web Dev Forums
- Do the same with social media: Like forums, social media gives you a wide reach. Create a product page & give regular, relevant updates about your CMS – upgrades, added features etc. Invite your contacts to follow the page, engage with customers, answer queries about the product etc.
- Use email marketing: Email marketing is another great way to target potential customers, especially if your CMS is for a niche audience. Your first step is to put together a mailing list with such customers. With email marketing, you can send updates, upgrades, product features etc.
Building a CMS is a mammoth task. Once a CMS owner, you will need to look at integrations with third parties, how to sustain your product, funding for the project, maintenance cost & compliance & a creating workable, evolving CMS solution.
If you’re considering building a CMS or currently are, we’d love to hear your thoughts & learnings in the comments section below.
Whether you want to set up a new internet presence or redecorate your modern website, you need to have a content material control machine (CMS) for preserving and updating your digital content. It’s important to select the right CMS that satisfactory suits your desires, due to the fact that after your preliminary design there is a good risk that it is going to be your most frequently used net renovation tool. But how do you make your preference?
There are many exclusive types of CMS structures which might be to be had for businesses to pick from. Most are template-based structures that are extra affordable, further to custom designed answers providing particular advantages. Your selection will, in the long run, be primarily based on which device suits your wishes the nice.
The most vital function that a custom CMS provides is the capacity to build your platform in step with your unique and precise specifications. An opportunity for custom improvement is WordPress, which offers plugins to assist meet the needs of man or woman groups. However, plugins most effective provide the restrained capability for a generalized platform.
WordPress is utilized by nearly 60% of websites as their center CMS software. However, it’s near impossible to create a platform in an effort to meet your individual marketing, content and net desires.
It’s a completely simple method to begin the usage of a WordPress CMS: take a present platform and make restricted adjustments to it to match in together with your overall digital approach, and run with it!
On the alternative hand, a custom CMS permits for plenty greater direct enter. From the very starting, you and your internet developer can paintings collectively to set up what your needs are for your platform. Then you assist to check the CMS to make certain it meets all of your specs, even as there are numerous possibilities woven in to provide comments. When a custom CMS is applied, you could be at once involved inside the whole layout in addition to implementation method of the device.
WordPress is an open source CMS system, which means its code is obtainable to anybody. It’s low-priced, which is high-quality. But in phrases of protection, it isn’t very wonderful. New vulnerabilities and assaults on WordPress codes get up on an everyday basis, which locations your internet site at danger constantly because of the truth that it capabilities through using the equal base code.
However, a custom CMS doesn’t, as we installed above. The code receives designed from scratch, so you are loads less inclined towards assaults that won’t even be without delay aimed at you. Due to its customizability, you would possibly even be capable of getting your developer to combine extra safety features for you.
More reasons to choose a custom CMS
Having a proprietary customized CMS may be similar to LEGOs; the only limit there is is your creativity. However, if you plan on designing your own website, you’ll need to seriously consider customization. Your needs may be greater than the functionality of current software that exists.
- Flexibility: Having an internet site dressmaker and developer who permit you to build something you need is beneficial. However, 1/3-birthday party implementations are also simpler while using a custom CMS.
- Plugin-ins and Add-ons: Unlike WordPress, all additional tools need to be constructed to fit your custom design especially that may best be supported by means of your developer. Otherwise, you’ll want to pay a distinct improvement group to become familiar with the customization in an effort to provide support.
- Hosting: Monthly support and hosting is protected with most CMS solutions, which means you’ll need to use whichever issuer your clothier selects.
- Cost: Yes, a custom CMS does price more than a template-primarily based format. It calls for a sophisticated and specific set of competencies in addition to plenty extra time to construct a custom CMS, so you should expect to pay double at least (or extra) for a custom internet site compared to a WordPress website. That’s why it’s essential to decide what benefits are most crucial to you.
- Speed: Given that a custom CMS could be designed to do precisely what you want it to do, it won’t be dragged down by any useless bells and whistles. The code may be optimized so as to serve unique functions and boom the rate of your website.
- Ease of use: To do their jobs, customers simplest see what they actually need to peer. An intuitive, nicely-written CMS can be less complicated to educate workforce the way to use compared to a more complicated backend.
- Support: Usually a custom CMS has devoted in-residence aid from your developers. Therefore, commonly troubles are solved fast.
What selection is proper for you?
Before you may make a decision on a CMS to apply, evaluate what your business needs are. Start by using asking your self the subsequent questions:
- How big is the corporation? What will wide variety of stop users want to get right of entry to the internet site?
- How vital is the price to you?
- What amount of time do you’ve got to be had for enforcing a brand new machine?
- What degree of customization are you going to need?
- Are you planning on outsourcing the improvement? How about preservation?
Your answers to the questions above can assist guide you in making the satisfactory decision to your business.
Our opinion: In sure conditions, a custom CMS is probably necessary relying on your wishes.
To use a custom CMS it’ll normally require you to both decide to a web development company or have in-residence internet developers. The choice can make sense for a prime organization that is able to come up with the money for having a committed in-residence net improvement crew.
However, for maximum agencies, we assume WordPress offers an excellent solution. Websites which run on WordPress are lots more low cost, and nevertheless, offer sufficient functionality and customization for maximum companies. When WordPress is used, it additionally offers you with the flexibility if you want to paintings with diverse builders, and make sure that your website will be capable of adapt to adjustments in online layout developments.
At the cease of the day, you need a completely functioning internet site that’s designed for conversions. You can get there with a custom CMS, or templated WordPress website. The only difference is the effort and time you need to get it all executed.