Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Web Content Management Systems: Poor Choices That Will Cost You

When it comes to web content management system choices, I often see two extremes:
  • one is using a "professional-grade" CMS for a mostly static site that has about a dozen pages and is often managed and edited by just one person,
  • the other is trying to turn a CMS into a full-blown data management application.
Both are about as practical as:
  • driving an armored personnel carrier to a neighborhood grocery store (unless, of course, you live in a war zone) or
  • picking raspberries while wearing boxing gloves.

Even if you choose a free CMS, you will pay for your poor choice either in work time, or poor performance, or wasted computing resources, or - most likely - all of the above.

For a small business brochure-type site, you don't really need Drupal, Joomla, WordPress or anything with a database back end even if your buddy who runs a "web development shop" tells you that you do. He is either incompetent or simply trying to sell you the skills he happens to have.

For an enterprise data management system (it doesn't matter how big or small your "enterprise" actually is), you don't go to a web development shop in the first place (maybe, with very few exceptions). Instead, you go to people who are experts in... well... you got it - data management. First, straighten out your data management. Making it web-based is just a matter of user interface, which, as such, is secondary. If you have made up your mind to pay for a custom application, it may be a good idea to make it right... the first time.

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