Proprietary CMS (Custom CMS tailored to your business)
If you were a small business, and wished to remain small, I would not tell you to use a custom CMS. In fact, I would be wary of recommending any proprietary systems, let alone a system designed specifically for one site. The reason behind that is because to pay for a custom CMS, you’d be getting way more than you might be using. Plus, you’d be paying to re-invent the wheel for all the functionality of a brochure-ware site. I would, instead, suggest putting that budget towards differentiating yourself on design and search engine marketing. The vast majority of the sites on the Internet today would fall into this group. They don’t need any more functionality than a simple blog or page management system like Wordpress or Drupal offers.
The lines start to become blurred when we start talking about high performance websites. The lines become even more blurred when we talk about custom user-facing functionality and integration into back-office systems.
To use our example from above, Wordpress and Drupal are great Content Management Systems. You can get decent performance out of them with a bit of effort in configuration and deployment, maintenance, purchasing extra hardware/setting up reserved instances to handle traffic spikes and generally beating it into submission. At its heart though, it’s just something to manage a traditional model of a website: a collection of pages. Would you use Wordpress (or something like it) to manage something like Facebook? No! Of course not! That is because Facebook has custom functionality and features that are not part of a standard website.
Building high performance websites, whether eCommerce or informational, requires more work than your typical website: they are custom applications with a very rigid set of requirements for performance, responsiveness and search engine optimization capabilities. The amount of time spent on bending another CMS into working how you want it and to function at the level of performance required would give you a sub-par product and often takes longer than building it from scratch.
So, how does it make more sense than a premade CMS?
To begin, you’re breaking the abstraction that the particular CMS in question has been built for. In other words, you’re spending time, resources and money to make a round peg fit in a square hole. You have the façade of extensibility (“It’s built on Drupal! You can use plug-ins!”), but in reality most of the time you are left with a site that’s very brittle in terms of architecture and that looks something like Frankenstein’s monster in the back-end. A custom CMS allows you to build a site that is matched for YOUR business, YOUR workflow and YOUR needs — not the needs that others think are important.
We build websites that offers much higher performance, integration and extensibility than a pre-packaged CMS could offer out-of-the-box. We build websites that are specific to your business and give you the throughput and customization you need to give your users content-rich and relevant results with a superior user experience. None of this would be possible in Drupal or Wordpress without significant development resources. And, it should be said, a lot of the development time we propose isn’t spent re-inventing things that have already been developed. For example, in any CMS we build, we are not going to create our own WYSIWYG editor. We recognize there are workable solutions for units of work within the application out there that save development time and money and work just as well or better than we could create within the project scope. Our base engine that we build all our sites on has been tested, optimized and battle-tested in high-traffic sites.
We’re going to spend less time working within the constraints of a system that doesn't fit your business needs and spend more time creating something that allows you to differentiate yourself from every other site out there.