Whether your business is just starting out or in the process of scaling up, the choice of content management system (CMS) will be crucial to the success of your website. A bespoke CMS delivers the ultimate in flexibility – but is a custom website better than WordPress? Here’s what you need to consider…
Integrations and functionality
The beauty of out-of-the-box software is that it works out of the box. However, this simplicity often comes at a cost in terms of functionality. A vanilla WordPress install is very basic, and you can quickly tell that it is primarily aimed at bloggers and brochureware websites.
There are hundreds of thousands of plugins available for WordPress CMS that will extend functionality or facilitate integration with third-party apps and platforms. The quality of these add-ons is variable, however, so you may need expert assistance to build the functionality you need.
Alternatively, a bespoke CMS provides the exact functionality you need. Written specifically for you, the custom website is optimised for your way of working, maximising efficiency and productivity.
Speed of deployment
Obviously, you need a website yesterday – but good things come to those who wait. Deploying a basic WordPress website takes no more than a few minutes. Installing plugins and configuring templates for a few more hours. In theory, you can have a workable website running in a matter of days.
A bespoke CMS will take considerably longer to develop and deploy – usually several months. However, the longer lead time may be more than justifiable when you have a full-function website that does exactly what you need without any workarounds or compromises.
If you don’t need a website tomorrow, you might want to consider talking to some bespoke CMS web agencies.
Even the most cost-effective bespoke CMS web agencies will charge a premium to build a website from scratch. The reality is that it will take a team of project managers and developers several weeks to understand exactly what you want and how to deliver it. This could cost many thousands of pounds, particularly if you require complex integrations or unusual functionality.
If you don’t have an enormous budget, WordPress or Statamic may be a better choice – at least in the short term. But this doesn’t necessarily mean settling for second best as we discuss below.
Familiarity and usability
Used by an estimated 65% of all websites, WordPress is intuitive and familiar. This ease of use reduces learning curves and allows your team to get up-and-running quickly.
Although carefully designed to do exactly what you need, a bespoke CMS may not be as intuitive. Your employees will need additional, specialist training if they are to master the new platform. This is not necessarily a major issue, but you should be aware that it could increase deployment times.
A viable alternative – bespoke WordPress CMS
As you can see, there are valuable benefits of a bespoke CMS – but also some significant barriers that need to be considered. One viable alternative is to combine the two models with a bespoke WordPress CMS.
Using the same Open Source platform as a basis, a UK-based custom WordPress CMS agency like Monogram can build the website you really want and need:
Integrations and functionality – using existing code and battle-tested extensions, you can extend the basic functionality of WordPress. This allows your custom WordPress CMS agency to focus on building the other integrations required from scratch.
Speed of deployment – the WordPress core can be deployed quickly, allowing your bespoke CMS to focus time and resources on customisations. This will shorten the overall development and deployment timeframe.
Budget – using Open Source technologies as a starting point helps to contain overall project costs. This frees up budget to be spent on customisations and enhancements for a truly awesome website.
Familiarity and usability – WordPress is simple and intuitive – so your employees will be able to get to work quickly. It is only the bespoke CMS elements that will require any significant training to use effectively.
In reality the question is not just ‘bespoke CMS vs Wordress?’ but ‘could we achieve our goals with a bespoke WordPress CMS?’. Choosing an existing platform like Statamic or WordPress will allow you to get the functionality you need, but without the overheads of a completely bespoke CMS build.
To learn more about your bespoke CMS options and how Monogram can help, please get in touch.