The first thing I did when I sat down to write this article was search the Google Keyword Tools for ‘Proprietary vs. Open Source CMS’. I wanted to see what kind of traffic this article might get. I got 0 searches per month globally. A flip of the terms to the title I chose nets a whopping 22. With < 10 in the United States.
My curiosity was piqued, so I checked ‘Open Source CMS’ and ‘Proprietary CMS’ and was not surprised with the 9,900 global searches for the former to 91 for the latter. This is out of 450,000 searches globally for ‘CMS’.
What I am surprised about is that more people aren’t looking for information comparing these two very different approaches to CMS.
I just backspaced my original first sentence because it was a little too explicit. Needless to say, I am not the #1 fan of open source CMSs. However, I do have tremendous respect for the success that the concept of open source has had from Linux to PHP to all of the amazing things built on top. What a cool concept – you can run an entire server stack and any app imaginable without paying a dime for software. There are some serious super-geniuses building open source software just for the fun of it. What an amazing opportunity for people to build something great that’s larger than themselves. It speaks volumes about the vibrancy of society when we can come together this way to produce something special and share it. If we could engineer physical things like cars and buildings this way, we would definitely have flying cars and terra-formed bubbles on Mars by now.
Here are my beefs.
Now we’re talking my language. Charging money for software – that’s still a thing! You give me some cash, and I guarantee you specific deliverables in a specific timeframe with professionals guiding you every step of the way. Yes, you have to pay a fee for my software but I’m going to make sure that it is available, running fast and up-to-date. Something wigging out on your site? No worries – help is a phone call away. Want to upgrade to the latest CMS features without tearing out all your hair and gazing violently at your developers when they get out of their chair at 10:00 PM? No problem. The patch was applied overnight, or it’s in your inbox.
Propriety CMS is awesome because:
I would love if we could open up the debate so that people who are evaluating this choice have a good resource. What do you think?Back to top
I am the co-founder and former CEO of Agility Inc. – makers of fine content management software. A casualty of the dotcom bubble burst in 2001, I turned to freelance web development. Over the last 11 years, I led the growth of Agility to become the fastest growing web development company in Canada for multiple years running, and then on to become a leading CMS provider. I am also the founder of Unbound Media – an online publication dedicated to demystifying digital for brands and publishers. I am a boarder, golfer, F1 fan, and fitness nut who loves a good Munich lager and appreciates a fine Cuban cigar.