By Jared Serfozo

Blog

Cloud-Based CMS to Scale Business

Thursday, December 23, 2010
As a web solutions provider, choosing a CMS for your business is an important task that can make or break your projects. While there are many options available, it makes a lot of sense to settle on a single platform for your projects so that your systems can be repeatable. You don’t want to re-invent the wheel each time by learning a new system.

So how can the right CMS scale your business? Let’s look at two made-up companies as examples: Digital Web and Superior Web.

Digital Web uses a couple of different CMS platforms for projects. Most of the time the team at Digital Web uses a “self-install” open source CMS that is free and allows a great deal of customization. It allows the Digital Web team to get under the hood and install modules, customize code, and make all sorts of unique configurations for clients. Sounds awesome, right? This CMS is installed as a unique instance on hosting plans so that every site is running its own version.

Across town Superior Web is using a different CMS - one that is cloud-based. The software used by Superior Web is commercial product that is hosted in the cloud. No installation is needed and to install a new site, the team simply clicks a few buttons and the software is deployed. This CMS does not allow the team at Superior Web to do any special customizations. In fact, they can’t even get to the code. It’s compiled and closed source. All the modules come from the software provider and it will not allow third-party add-ons.

Digital Web really enjoyed being able to provide a truly custom solution for its clients and had success during the first few projects. After about ten projects, however, the team noticed that it was taking longer to upgrade and maintain all those websites, though not by much. As time went on, more and more websites were launched and Digital Web had launched over 100 projects! However, instead of celebrating, the team was extremely stressed out. The company was now running over 100 different versions of the software, each with its own customizations and third-party modules. Some of the developers who wrote some of the existing custom code had left the company so it took longer for the new developers to figure out how to make updates. In short, it was taking forever to maintain all those sites with the proper upgrades, patches, modules, fixing custom code that broke during upgrades, and so on. This left Digital Web no time for sales, customer service, or marketing. What to do? Digital Web was losing money.

Meanwhile, Superior Web was also adding new clients. Since the CMS used by this company was less customizable, the team at Superior Web sometimes had to turn away clients because they couldn’t do all the specialized things requested on certain projects. However, most of the time, they were able to deliver the right solution. They actually found that turning away clients that were not a great fit kept them focused on getting even better at what they were good at. As they added more and more websites, they found that they were actually getting more efficient. The cloud-based CMS in use by Superior Web was effortless to upgrade with the click of a button. Since everything was hosted “in the cloud,” there we no server issues to worry about, not custom code to maintain, and no third-party plug-ins to manage. Since the deployment process was the same every time, they got better and better at it and actually got faster each time. Becuse the process was getting so efficient, Superior Web did not have to hire more people and the company was actually becoming more profitable with each new project.

Both companies were producing beautiful designs and were very skilled at what they did. However, the choice of the type of CMS used made all the difference in the paths these two companies ended up on.

As you evaluate CMS platforms to build your company on, it’s important to understand how a cloud-based CMS can benefit more than just your next project. It can make a huge difference in how your business operates.

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