Web Content Management: An Open and Closed Case?

June 15, 2011
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When it comes to your options for a WCM vendor, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to use an Open Source solution or a Closed Commercial vendor.

Let us examine a few of the differences between the two:

Myth-busting

When it comes to your options for a WCM vendor, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to use an Open Source solution or a Closed Commercial vendor.

Let us examine a few of the differences between the two:

Myth-busting

Open source is not synonymous with “free.” You might not pay a license fee, but there may be hidden costs or unstructured financial needs over the period of use. A ‘closed’ commercial option will have outset costs associated with licenses, custom builds and functionality, but on the whole, these will be fixed costs that can be planned and budgeted. This removes the ad hoc nature of various one-off payments for development, support or add-ons that can be experienced, assuming an open source route. Commercial vendors will come at a premium, but that is usually to the benefit of the overall package and quality of product where there is a commitment to product development and support.

Support

Open source is less structured in its means of supporting users. There is a strong reliance on the wisdom of the crowd, but that brings with it associated problems of quality and accuracy. Commercial-grade support will come with a higher price tag, but with in-depth expertise and knowledge of the product comes a greater level of trust and speed of issue resolution. The same is true of product training; structured, accredited courses from the vendor will assist you in your goal of achieving the desired results with your websites and professional development too.

Go to market

The speed at which you can go to market with your website(s) can be greatly improved with a commercial vendor; off-the-shelf packages can have you set up in a matter of minutes. Can you publish a website with a helpful site-builder wizard that gives you a website in just 10 clicks?

Scalability

Let us be honest here, sometimes a WordPress blog is all you need, and open source fits that need as a start-up. As your business grows though, do you have a system in place whereby you can scale your website(s) accordingly? A commercial vendor will be well set up for large scale projects and help you to make a seamless transition from enterprise to loftier ambitions and capabilities.

Consider the needs of your website(s). What value do you place on your website for your business? Is it your sole or main method of doing business and generating revenue? If you need a robust, scalable and secure solution that can be backed up with accredited support and training, a commercial vendor will enable you to execute your web content strategy in a coherent manner.