How to Choose the Right CMS for your Start-up
Whether starting on a shoe-string, or flash with VC cash, the choice for a startup business on which Content Management System to use is never quite as straight-forward as it should be.
For many smaller startup businesses where cash is an issue, the start point is often Wordpress. This is essentially a blogging platform that has been extended with plug-ins and templates to allow a reasonable web presence to be built in a short space of time, without using up too many scarce startup resources.
I have seen some brilliant examples of Wordpress sites, but you soon start to hit some limitations as the site / business grows. Notable pinch points include multi-user content management, content work flow and custom functionality.
At the other end of the spectrum are the Enterprise CMS's (e-CMS), including the Microsoft-based technology products such SiteCore and EpiServer. Don't get me wrong, these are fantastic products and can produce some amazingly sophisticated sites, however there are a few barriers.
Firstly, the initial licencing costs can be significant - perhaps not such a barrier for a well-funded startup, but several thousands spent before you start can be off-putting. Secondly is the time to implement. Agility is a key attribute for any business, but for startups it is the vital element that gets you to market quicker, with a product more able to keep pace with changes to that market.
So is there a happy medium between the limitations of the extended blog and the overhead of the e-CMS? Having worked at both ends of the spectrum, I would offer up the Umbraco CMS as the best option for the startup.
- It is licence-free. One of the few Open-Source products based on the robust Microsoft platform that you don't have to pay to get in to.
- It is scalable - Umbraco has many of the features only available in the more expensive e-CMS products, so you don't limit yourself as the business grows.
- It is quick to implement - A base Umbraco build that can be readiliy implemented to take advantage of the underlying CMS functions, with some well-designed, up-to-the-minute starter templates.
- It can be readily customised - The online elements of your business need to stand out from the rest. Umbraco's solid development platform allows those unique features to be built easily.