The introduction of content management system has revolutionized the way websites were developed and maintained. Unlike the HTML based static website, a CMS based website is quite dynamic and can be easily updated. CMS website development provides full control to the users and lets them to make the desired changes as and when required. When it comes to custom CMS development, there are two types of solutions available- hosted CMS solutions and Open source CMS solutions. Let us have a detailed analysis of both these solutions.
A hosted CMS solution means a CMS that is owned and controlled by an online provider. It allows you to access the CMS in return for a fee. In this type of CMS web development solution, it is the online provider who hosts the CMS, owns the software and they arrange for all the work that is required to be done. This requires you to pay an annual fee to the service provider. The good point about this type of solution is that you do not need to buy the software and arrange for all the ancillary services that are required.
The hosted CMS solution provides the one stop solution for all supply issues, with a single contact instead of several. It also eliminates the need to have the staff at your end. With a hosted CMS web development solution, all you need to focus on is the marketing issues instead of owning and running a web presence.
Because you do not own this type of solution, you cannot take it with you. In case you were to move, you will lose a lot. However, it will only be the website and not the domain which is the critical thing. However, most of the solutions provide methods to transfer out with all the assets, i.e. templates, css, images and content. Some of the most common hosted CMS are, Ektron, Crownpeak, Light CMS.
Now let us have a look at the open source CMS solution. An open source or self hosted solution refers to the CMS that you upload to your own web hosting account. Having your own account means that you can modify the CMS code at all levels. This type of CMS solution varies in its sophistication and complexity, but the most powerful of them allows you to create your own templates and control content in very sophisticated ways—such as with blogs, repeated content, self-generating menus, RSS feeds, ecommerce facilities and more.
There are a number of popular open source platforms, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, DotNetNuke, Mambo and many many more. Which one is best will typically depend on who you ask; every web developer community has a favorite and all will tell you theirs is the most complete, easiest to use and most cost effective!
Open source solution does not imply that it is available for free. While there is no license fee, but there are support fees and development and maintenance costs. However, these days, there are many web hosting options that are available at a nominal price. Thus one can purchase a domain and web space for as little as a few hundred dollars a year; after which it is simply a matter of installing software packages that meet your needs. These CMS solutions take time and a certain level of expertise to set up and maintain. You also need to ensure that your web hosting package properly meets all system requirements for any software you wish to run. The biggest advantage of self-hosting is that you control the software and so can make any modifications that are supported by the software and within your means.
Having had a look at both the types of CMS website design solutions, you will have a clear picture of which type of solution will be better for you. Before opting for a CMS solution, it is important to do a thorough analysis of your requirements. It will help you to find out your exact requirements and thus selecting a right CMS web development solution accordingly.