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Open source vs Proprietary CMS systems

A lot of talk these days is about the relative merits of a proprietary CMS system as opposed to an open source CMS system.

Here are a few reasons as to why we recommend using our proprietary Webi CMS, content management system over and above an open source system such as Drupal or Wordpress:

1) With a proprietary system such as Webi CMS, you get the guaranteed ongoing support from us 24x7 (365 days a year), our support is always there.

2) When using an open source system, you would tend to get an expert in (an individual) who knows how to set up a site with a particular open source system. Generally there are still many ways that you can set up that website, and only that developer will know exactly what has been done. Generally that developer is also a freelancer and you have no guarantee that after the website is built that they will still be around for years to come (e.g. they might have gone off backpacking, or might get a permanent job) and then they can no longer support the site, plus you have to get someone new in who is prepared to continue working with another developers code and no developers like working with another developers code!

In fact, even if the developer is full time, unless the design/development agency has a team of developers who all work together on projects, then the same risk applies - the developer leaves and no one else has the required knowledge of the system to properly support it.

3) Open source systems work on a completely different model to proprietary systems such as Webi CMS in terms of updates. Open source systems tend to have their core system updated approximately every 30 days, and it's then up to the developers supporting each clients individual copies of this system to upgrade it. This provides a significant ongoing overhead to the developers supporting it to continue to do these updates whenever they are available - in some systems these updates are not straight forward and if there is a significant upgrade to the core open source system then sometimes it becomes more difficult again.

If the open source system has been customised to handle specific client website requirements then these upgrades become more difficult again because now every core/standard system upgrade needs to be considered as to the potential impact with the customised functionality - again creating a significant time/cost overhead to the supporting developers, creating the potential for errors, and either leading to the developers not upgrading on a regular basis (or at all), not doing it with due care and attention as they aren't being paid enough for the level of support required, or them charging an astronomical support fee to cater for properly handling these updates.

Our approach is very different, we essentially have one copy of the system that everyone uses, which is continually kept up to date - there's no 30 day cycles and no multiple copies of the system to update - furthermore, it is the core development team performing all updates rather than having to push out updates for other people to apply.

4) Any developer that works with an open source system, is never going to know the content management system as well as a company with a proprietary system that they have built themselves from scratch.

5) An open source system cannot be as flexible, given the proprietary system can be fundamentally altered by the company who has developed it (if needed) whereas there will always be restrictions in how much an open source system can be altered. Equally many open source systems such as Drupal are fundamentally template driven systems again limiting the extent to which they can be set up or customised to exacting requirements.

6) Lastly, there are so many open source systems out there, you cannot possibly know which open source systems will stand the test of time, there are many that come and go, so you have no guarantee that the platform itself will even continue to be developed, and the moment that stops then no freelancers will continue to support it.

If you have any specific questions on our proprietary content management system, Webi CMS, then please dp get in touch by calling us on 020 8739 0020 or emailing us at info@webicms.com