5 Benefits of Changing from Commercial to Open Source Content Management System


Commercial CMS platforms are convenient because you get them with the set of already configured functionalities and their developers regularly add the new ones. However, if there are still some features missing in this type of solution, they don’t meet your individual needs, or some other matters don’t suit you, consider switching to an open source system. In this article, you’ll find the benefits this change can bring you.

Commercial and open source content management systems — characteristics

The commercial platform is owned and developed by a particular company. This means that they shape this product — decide which features to add, extend or remove. They usually have a regularly updated roadmap that you can follow to see what’s coming next. It’s because, besides the functionalities you get out of the box, the development team of this CMS creates new ones. However, they don’t answer the needs of all businesses since it’s a one-size-fits-all system. But the good thing is the possibility to integrate some of these solutions with other software. What’s more, the organization owning a particular CMS platform upgrades and maintains it as well as provides support for its users. It all comes with the license, which you have to purchase to use a commercial system, and usually renew it on a monthly or annual basis. Examples of such tools are Adobe (with their CMS in the Adobe Experience Manager) or Sitecore.

Experience Editor in Sitecore.

The open source CMS and its source code are available for everyone. It also implies that every person can contribute to the development of such a solution by promoting it, creating new features, or fixing bugs. Also, each user can suggest new functionalities and report issues. This all means that the community around a particular system directly impacts its development and the direction it should head. Thousands of people from around the world participate in building the CMS platform. This number of people is unlikely to work for developing a commercial application. Moreover, such a strong team of the open source programmers positively impacts the code quality and accelerates the pace of the system’s development.

The admin toolbar in Drupal, an open source CMS.

What are the other benefits of an open source content management system?

1. Lower costs

2. Regular new releases

3. Possibility to customize the open source CMS

Modifying the look and feel of the open source CMS is possible as you have full access to it and its source code. You’re also able to integrate your system with an external tool, f.e. related to marketing automation like Mautic or a CRM. This way, the system can meet the individual needs of your business. If you or your team aren’t able to do advanced modification or integration with the third-party platforms, you can reach the experts who specialize in it.

4. Large selection of companies and developers offering additional services

Considering the fact that open source technologies are available for everyone, if you don’t like your cooperation with a specific organization, you can look for another one. They will most likely be able to continue what the previous team started without much trouble. This means for you access to more companies offering services, like Drupal development.

What’s more, besides paid development and support, you can also ask for help from the community built around a particular open source CMS. Its members voluntarily answer various questions, create new features in the system and share the learning resources. To see how it works, you can visit Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress community pages.

5. Availability of many free tools

Drupal CMS also provides many free tools, like the already mentioned modules. Using them, you can create URL redirects or protect your forms against bots. To simplify your work even more, the community developers create and maintain distributions. This solution is a package including Drupal core, chosen modules, and themes, as well as predefined configuration. After a single download, you’re able to quickly build a complex website intended for a specific purpose. This way, by installing the Open Social distribution you get the tools for communication and collaboration in an online community.

Drupal CMS — free and open source

Less experienced users don’t have to bear the costs because they can easily create a web page from ready-made components with Droopler — a Drupal distribution. It lets you:

  • customize the website elements to meet your business needs,
  • achieve good search engine optimization with the built-in SEO options,
  • and get a preconfigured online shop (once you install the Drupal Commerce module).

The shop built with Drupal Commerce.

Drupal is also a very secure CMS thanks to the mechanisms like a system for reporting errors, that records every security breach, advanced permission management, update system for downloading and installing the newest modules’ versions, just to name a few.

If you like the benefits of this free and open source system, our Drupal support team can help you in changing to it from your current commercial platform.

Originally published at https://www.droptica.com.

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