Choosing the right CMS to power your website
Bespoke, enterprise or open source? Choosing what type of Content Management System to power your website is a major consideration. Sotic’s Technical Director Leo Mindel outlines the options.
Deciding which Content Management System you’ll choose to power your website is one of the most important digital decisions you’ll make.
Design and layout are important, but in a sporting analogy they’re just the playing strip. The CMS is the player, the engine, and the foundation that allows you to create, edit and publish all the content on your website.
Brand names aside, all content management systems fall into one of three categories; bespoke, enterprise or opensource. The choice will depend largely on how deep your pockets are, how much technical expertise you have within your organisation and how much flexibility you want to have.
The differences between bespoke, enterprise and opensource systems
A bespoke CMS is one that has been developed and will be maintained by a single digital agency and their development team alone.
An enterprise CMS (e.g. Adobe, Sitecore) is traditionally developed by a large software company and has a high annual licence fee to use.
An opensource CMS (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) is a collaborative effort, created and maintained by a massive global community of developers.
Sotic & WordPress
Sotic spent 14 years working with an enterprise class CMS but in 2015 began a large-scale migration to the WordPress open source solution. Similar to how opensource Android swept away Blackberry and Nokia in the mobile marketplace, WordPress has grown from being a simple blogging tool, to the go-to platform used by major publishers such as The Sun and Metro News
Not only does WordPress empower clients to create compelling and engaging content quickly and easily, crucially it offers digital, media and marketing departments the ability to be flexible. You can add new features and functionality without the sometimes eye-wateringly high development costs associated with adapting bespoke or enterprise class systems thanks to its ever-evolving library of plugins.
But what about security? How can an open source platform be equipped to protect major sporting brands? WordPress’ rise in popularity has made it more of a target, yes, but since its inception in 2003, it has undergone continual hardening. As the most popular CMS in the world it has a proactive programme of security and maintenance releases, far larger than any Enterprise CMS.
However, it isn’t sensible to put all the onus on WordPress. Sports clients need either to have their own measures in place or to charge their agencies with this responsibility. At Sotic, as well as our team of expert WordPress developers we have a dedicated Platform Team to monitor clients’ sites, for the latest security issues as well as ensuring sites are ready to cope with huge spikes in traffic that come in sport.
While, innovative, fresh, and modern site-design is key to keeping fans and audiences returning to a website, the same as a good looking shirt sells, the ability to add new functionality. Whether that’s Accelerated Mobile Pages right now or something in the future that we’ve not yet even heard of, is the best long term team investment. That’s why making the correct choice of CMS is so critical.
We’ve had great success with WordPress. Its framework is the opposite of the expensive, limited and closed environments and we would encourage other brands in sport to consider WordPress, and of course Sotic, as options the next time they are reviewing their digital requirements.