The Perks of Working With a Paid CMS
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Kentico and their DXP, Kentico XPerience. We use it for our own website, and for many of our client’s sites as well. The platform is one of our favorite tools and our developers have worked hard to become experts with Kentico, its features, and implementation. You could say we kind of ‘eat, sleep, and breathe’ Kentico at Citro, and it wouldn’t be far from the truth.
We also know that you’ve got options for content management systems (CMS), and that there’s no one-size fits all solution; but keep in mind: your choice of CMS affects more than the front-facing website. A CMS also dictates the amount of work that goes into creating new pages, updating the site, and whether there’s any integration with your other content marketing tools (ie., email marketing, marketing automation or, content personalization).
Some CMS, like Kentico, come ready with other content marketing tools so you can manage digital marketing optimizations, develop custom workflows, and publish content all through a single platform. That’s one of the perks of working with a paid CMS, but maybe you’re not convinced that shelling out extra cash for a paid CMS is worth it quite yet.
Here’s how to gauge your business’s need for a more robust content management system, even if you’re on the fence.
When Does a Paid CMS Make Sense for My Business?
Raising the ante with a custom website and paid CMS might seem daunting—or the words “custom” and “paid” could be a deterrent for businesses looking to stay within budget. The truth is, staying in budget in the short-term isn’t always the same as aligning your budget over the long-term.
A free WordPress site can do in a pinch, or for a time; but eventually the business will grow. You’ll want to expand your digital brand and site’s functionality, only to realize that a free CMS has its limits. That’s the point you’ll start to realize that that initial ease of use has passed, and that you do have to spend more money, whether it’s on additional plugins, templates, or even outside help, to ensure everything is compatible and functions properly.
Your current CMS is open source and/or there are security & functionality issues
Open source CMS present unique security challenges for site owners. While open source means anyone can adopt and adapt the code to create customized templates or add-ons, it also means a reliance on 3rd-party plug-ins that don’t exactly come with a warranty. This is especially troublesome when the advanced functionality of the CMS is primarily coming from 3rd parties and not the platform itself.
Relying on 3rd-party functionality to help your site grow along with your business comes with security risks as again, 3rd-party add-ons don’t come with support or any guarantee of security (including patches or updates).
The cost of updating and maintaining plugins over time often adds up to more in the long run. But with over 40 million websites using WordPress as of 2021, the platform can’t be all that bad, right? While not bad per se, small business use of the open-source CMS presents a significant security issue as 90% of hacked websites in 2019 were built using WordPress—to make matters worse, 43% of the sites hacked in 2021 were owned by small businesses.
It’s a business owner’s responsibility to ensure that the website they put in front of their audience or customers is safe to view and process transactions through, depending on the nature of the website in question. Looking back even further to 2014–2016, over 100,000 WordPress and Joomla sites had been hacked to redirect visitors to a malicious exploit. Imagine how that affected the businesses who had WordPress websites during that time.
By using a free-to-use and open-source CMS to do business, those owners risked sensitive company and customer data for the same reasons they adopted the CMS in the first place: because anyone can use and develop on the platform--including bad actors online.
TLDR; You utilize add-ons for open-source platforms at your own risk.
Your CMS won’t scale with your business or needs
It doesn’t take long for a growing business to, well...outgrow its CMS and website.
When business picks up and you find yourself wanting to engage with customers more through email campaigns or landing pages, working with a CMS like WordPress can be constraining as your content efforts become disjointed across different platforms and services. In other words, you’ll be missing that seamless integration that only a paid CMS can provide.
You know how to use the CMS’s tools and best practices (or partner with someone who does)
The best CMS in the world is useless if you don’t know how to properly leverage its tools; and when you do know how to use that great CMS? You gain a lot more freedom and peace of mind knowing that you not only have the resources to optimize your content and marketing workflow, but have developer support for troubleshooting and security issues out of the box.
You’re paying too much for your current CMS
A high price point is seldom a guarantee of quality or usefulness. In fact, you might already be using a paid CMS that you’re not getting much out of, which means you’re paying too much for what you have. It’s like buying a cable package with hundreds of channels that you never watch but continue to pay for anyway just so you can enjoy the five channels you do watch.
Who would want that from their CMS?
Kentico: The Sweet-Spot Price Point CMS/DXP Alternative
Kentico XPerience is a digital user experience platform (DXP) and a true all-in-one platform that includes a CMS, as well as Online Marketing, Online Communities, and E-commerce functionality.
What sets us apart from a lot of other dev shops is that our developers understand the bigger picture: that content trumps code, and that to make a successful business website, the CMS has to be intuitive and efficient for both internal teams and the end user. It’s why we spend so much time factoring in UX to help our clients get the most out of Kentico.
Kentico’s capabilities in many respects are more robust on the marketing and website side versus what you’d get out of Hubspot, for instance. Regarding the more expensive platforms like Sitecore (which is known as a top-of-the-line, Enterprise-level CMS) price definitely isn’t everything, but free doesn’t mean without risk, either.
On the development side, Citro has nine years of Kentico experience under its belt, so naturally it’s a platform we understand inside and out, and over those nine versions, we’ve perfected our craft. We understand Kentico’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to overcome those weaknesses.
There’s so much more to Kentico’s DXP and we’ll explore the platform further in future blogs, so get ready and keep an eye out! In the meantime, if your interest is piqued, contact the fine folks at Citro to realign your website with the best interests of your content team and customers in mind!