It is undeniable that the United States and the United Kingdom dominate the silver screen. However, especially in recent years, South Africa has increasingly…
There was a time not so long ago when I could dictate to businesses exactly what they needed, when they needed it, and at what cost, without even bothering to mention what else was available on the market. Not so anymore. Suddenly I find myself needing to defend my online solution with each new client that walks through the door — and it’s a good thing!
Business people have become extremely web-savvy and are doing the right research before upgrading their sites or venturing online. They spurt out things like — search engine optimisation, social-networking, video-sharing, wikis, blogs, mashups, ajax, tags, RSS, XML and folksonomies. Everyone is microblogging (tweeting for those who have been hibernating for the past 20 months) and everyone “needs” an online presence.
And so, we come back to my quite rehearsed and rehashed advice to the question: Why should we use a custom Content Management System (CMS) when we have access to WordPress and the like?
And the answers lie simply in the type of website the client really needs.
A custom CMS provides the client with exactly that — a custom solution. This allows them to create, manage and output content in any format they choose with no restrictions. It is so much more than a post and page template. There are innumerable ways to output your information per page or directory, and most importantly, there is no limitation to how to manage your content to make it as user-friendly as possible for the search engines.
In other words, you get to create content types in a way which makes sense to your business – rather than adapting your business to fit into an existing and generic format.
In today’s economic climate, it has become essential to extend our traditional businesses into the online environment. We are creating sites which do far more than act as marketing tools — we are creating secondary avenues of revenue, customer relationship management tools and lead generation portals.
Online solutions are there as much for existing customers and staff as they are for potentially new customers. We need solutions which will identify varying profiles of users and direct them to the right information immediately. As a serious online business there is little room for blanket solutions — whether we are speaking about back-office solutions or front-end websites.
Yes, this means that you may require upfront development on a custom CMS to get your site to deliver what you need — but you then have a powerful base from which to expand your business — and the solution is yours. Unless you are changing the business requirements constantly, your need for technical input becomes minimal — contrary to the alternative.
In summary – a custom CMS gives you:
- Ability to organise large amounts of different types of content;
- Allows custom modifications to templates and layouts either site-wide, per section, per article or per single piece of information on a page;
- Users can easily be profiled and content can be customised to suit their needs and requirements;
- Software upgrades do not affect the site or functionality;
- Third-party add-ins will never create compatibility issues;
- Your reliance on technical input is minimal after the initial set-up;
- You have access to a complete customised business solution.
At the end of the day, if you require a simple site with mainly blogging-type functionality, then WordPress is the way to go.
But if you’re serious about using the Internet for your business, then the things which make WordPress easy and simple fall by the wayside as you adapt them to meet your needs.
Rather get the custom solution and own your market.