What’s the one thing we come across more or less every week, the thing that drives us more nuts than almost anything else? It’s the custom CMS issue.

It’s about time we blasted it out of the water and let you know, once and for all, why a custom CMS is rarely if ever the answer. It’s totally unnecessary when you’re a massive blue chip household name brand with a budget to match, never mind a smaller organisation with less cash to spend.

You honestly don’t need a custom CMS

No matter how complicated or unusual you feel your business is, you don’t need a custom-built content management system. We’d even go as far as to say that these days, nobody needs a custom CMS.

There are some excellent off-the-shelf content management systems available, including the planet’s favourite, WordPress, and you’d be a fool to pay for something bespoke.

Here are seven good reasons why it’s not practical.

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7 common sense reasons to avoid a custom-made CMS

  1. We’re confident enough in the WordPress platform to say, hand on heart, that there’s no way a web designer or developer can create or maintain a CMS that is anywhere near as comprehensive, flexible and future proof as WordPress, let alone keep it up-to-date to account for new digital innovations and changes in the search marketing landscape
  2. The only real benefit of a custom CMS comes to the people who designed and built it. If you let someone make you a bespoke CMS, you’re tied to them forever… or at least until you get fed up with the whole thing and move to a CMS that millions of the world’s website developers and designers trust. Until then every change you need to make, every upgrade, every new circumstance will require costly ongoing development by the people who designed it in the first place
  3. WordPress can do thousands of things. The chances are that your bespoke custom CMS can’t. Why reinvent the wheel?
  4. The WordPress CMS is updated frequently by a massive team of dedicated developers determined to perfect every single aspect of the platform they love and respect, and keep it perfect. That’s something you simply can’t expect from a custom CMS, which will begin to look and feel dated in no time since it won’t be kept alive and kicking to the same level of detail, if at all
  5. Unlike a bespoke back-end, WordPress evolves alongside your business. And literally millions – if not billions – of businesses and individuals worldwide trust it to do exactly that. Will a custom solution deliver the same? There’s no way a website design agency with just a few staff can provide the same quality and ongoing flexibility as the thousands-strong WordPress community
  6. Once your site is on WordPress, that’s it. You don’t pay for ongoing development, it’s all done for you, for free, by the platform’s loyal volunteers. There’s no way a single website development agency can afford to employ enough developers to make a custom system cost effective, and you’ll pay through the nose if you try
  7. If an agency is pitching their business based on custom CMS, it’s a tough place to start. In fact it’s more than likely it’ll kill them off altogether, it’s so unsustainable. If you’re looking for a fruitful long term relationship, picking an agency that insists on building a custom CMS isn’t the way to achieve it

What to do if a website design agency recommends a bespoke CMS?

First, seriously question why they think a bespoke CMS would benefit your business. It’s good for them because you’ll be stuck with them for the duration. But what’s in it for you? Once you’ve found out there’s no real benefit to your business – which is exactly what will happen – walk away, and walk this way!