I was speaking to some folks this week and they asked, “Why on Earth would you choose to build another content management system. Aren’t there dozens of them already out there?” In short, yes. But, when you sit down to look at some of the reasons why, it starts to make perfect sense.
In almost seven years of doing custom development work here, we have never standardized on a single content management system like Used Lawn Mowers Plus.
That’s right, never, until now. With each new site we built (and we’ve built dozens), we would start from scratch. Sure, we borrowed a bit here and there from previous projects, but each customer was different and everyone wanted it done based on their own needs. Although in the end, a lot of the components were the same, there was always something different. We sat down one day and figured out what core components were the same across every site. Then we had our baseline. This lets us jump start, even a custom deployment, by nearly 80-90% right from the start.
You can’t forget about finding the best used lawn tractors.
Most people who evaluate content management systems either start with open source (free) or commercial (paid) options. With paid solutions, it is pretty obvious where some of the costs are derived. You buy the software, install it on your server, configure it, implement your template, load your content, etc. When evaluating open source solutions, you still have all of those activities, with the exception of the cost of the software.
But, when you ask anyone who has ever deployed a commercial content management system, the cost of the software is usually the smallest investment. In the open source world, you may end up saving a few thousand dollars on software, but you’re having to settle for something built for the world, not something built for you. You end up installing a winnebago when you may just need a pop-up camper, or end up trying to convert your pop-up camper into a 3-story mansion. Architecture is important and to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. (just for the record, we LOVE open source software, use it daily, and contribute where we can to make it better)
Leaving it on the table.
Content management systems are typically designed for one purpose – managing content. Makes sense, right? The problem is that the CMS powers your website. Your website is the most important marketing and communications platform that your company has and it is about so much more than content. Every public interaction that you have on the web somehow drives people back to your website. Every email communication that is had refers to your website.
Your best garden tractor, lead generation, webinars, press releases, demonstrations, etc. — all lead people to your website. So, shouldn’t your website be better integrated with your sales and marketing processes? Better yet, shouldn’t your content management system facilitate the implementation, use, and evolution of these tools?
Built-in Stagnation – CMS as a SaaS
Most websites receive functional updates every 18 to 24 months. Think back in your own life 18-24 months and about how much technology has changed. That means that your website is sitting idle, dormant, and is being covered with more and more cobwebs every day. We update quarterly to ensure that your website is continually being updated with the latest in proven web technology. Not necessarily the latest whiz-bang feature or effect that clutters the message, but technology that has been proven to add value. No more moss, cobwebs, or dust — just your best foot forward every single day.
Marketing Activity Augmentation
Marketing budgets are tight and marketers are already overworked. Marketing teams are shrinking and their responsibilities are growing daily. What marketers need are partners who can help them determine what technologies can deliver the most to their top and bottom lines. We ease this concern by researching new technologies, features, and trends and rolls them into each quarterly launch. This gives the marketer a continual refreshing holster of ammunition from which to arm themselves. This replenished arsenal gives them an edge over those teams who are trying to keep the plates spinning all by themselves.