Customizing Open-Source CMS for Business Websites. Case Studies.

Open-Source CMS vs Custom-built

Whenever you start a web project, first and foremost it’s important to choose the content management system (CMS), which is aimed to simplify publishing, editing, modifying or managing the website’s content in any different way. Every website owner has two options in this respect: either choosing an out-of-the-box solution or developing a custom CMS. It is worth noting that most notable content management systems have open source code which allows to customize them in accordance with the particular business needs.

We’ve compared those options, so you could make a deliberate choice.

Custom-built CMS pros:

  • No unnecessary functional, only the features corresponding to the project’s goals
  • “Light” code makes pages load faster
  • Unique code guarantees a higher security level
  • You own a web project which has no equals
  • Less spam
  • System fault tolerance is higher

Open-source CMS cons:

  • Additional customization required
  • The website is more vulnerable
  • Bloated code
  • Extensions may have potential threats
  • Popularity does not always correlate with code quality and usability

Custom-built CMS cons:

  • High development cost & time spendings
  • Your website totally depends on the developer, so various problems may occur while changing the master hand
  • No multilingual support and no API (usually)

Open-source CMS pros:

  • It’s free (as long as you don’t opt for paid versions)
  • Creating a website is easy and fast
  • Large users communities help in problem-solving and encourage sharing experiences
  • Huge amount of out-of-the-box solutions
  • It can be customized to meet the client’s demands
  • 24/7 support can be provided on a paid basis
  • Ease of use and regular updates
  • Wider opportunities for the project’s extension

In fact, an open-source CMS, provided that it’s fully customized, cleaned up and secured, will work well for more than 90% of websites.

Case studies

See how careful customization can extend the functionality of websites based on Drupal CMS. FYA some examples from AMgrade’s portfolio.

Take Squaducation as an example. This educational portal was created by AMgrade from scratch. A thought-out responsive design and simple clear interface combine with multifunctional and easy to use admin panel, streamlining the content management and the user interaction processes.

  • Two login models (students or teachers/administrators) and two types of subscription (paid access or free trial) provide variant access levels for users.
  • Paid services access was also simplified by creating a convenient and plain booking form
  • Two service payment options are foreseen: via PayPal and by invoice.
  • Extended tracking functionality for webmasters allows not only to supervise the statistics via Google analytics, but to accumulate, manage, analyze data, indicative of the users behavior and the project efficiency.
  • A unique feature – “virtual classroom” was developed. It s the way to grant access to the website content both for teachers and students. An ability to share the virtual classroom enables using one classroom by several teachers/teacher assistants.
  • Rating and comment system, social sharing buttons increase video’s and brand’s visibility.
  • A streamlined email marketing solution simplifies user notification and cuts time expenditures.

Perlen Poesie is a European Bead Art magazine. The website allows visitors to buy books and Perlen Poesie issues, makes the information about the art of beading more accessible. With the customization developed by AMgrade’s team, the website became both easy to navigate, to share and to make purchases.

  • The register/login form is plain and convenient.
  • Social sharing buttons on the website strengthen its web presence and help visitors to distribute the content via popular social media platforms.
  • Localisation for two languages (German and English) widens the website’s audience.
  • Due to handy shopping cart and easy as ABC subscription form the product purchase becomes a pleasure for customers.
  • Several payment methods (PayPal, Bank transfer) make shopping more convenient for the visitors and increase conversion rate.

SHCreative is a “web residence” for talented and highly professional filmmakers. Simple and stylish web page — is what’s necessary in that case:

  • The Blog is a convenient way to share the latest information with the visitors.
  • Youtube player integration helps to acquaint the audience with the team’s creative work.
  • Twitter integration + follow button is a sure way to grow up the number of followers.
  • A clear “Get in touch” form, allowing to send direct messages to the website owner, helps the webmaster to establish business contacts worldwide.

Open-Source CMS for business: find your perfect match

Which CMS to choose, so it could be both efficient and easy-to-use? The CMS winning the brand race by popularity are Drupal, WordPress, Joomla! and Magento. Take a closer look at each of them to tick the right boxes.

A free open source CMS can be turned into a powerful system for basically any website. Even if your company is in need for a highly specific solution, professional developers are able to strike the right balance between functionality and ease of use meeting your custom requirements completely.

How AMgrade can help?

When it comes to web development and progressive IT-solutions, AMgrade recommends building websites with Drupal CMS. Our team is ready to put all the infinite opportunities of this content management system to work for the client’s business strategy. So if you’re looking for a CMS that will correspond to your requirements and goals, feel free to contact us to develop a unique strategy for you.