[thelist] CMS: opensource or hand-roll?

Zachary Kent zachary.kent at gmail.com
Fri Sep 12 01:10:55 CDT 2008

I have worked for a couple of companies at this point that all had created
an in-house CMS (Content Management System).  They were all similar in
functionality yet quite different in their approach.  Each of these
companies made good money building these websites for their clients but I
have always wondered (but never asked) why would they opt to create their
own CMS with so many good opensource (and commercial) CMS systems out
there.   Each of these in-house CMS systems were fundamentally flawed IMO in
some way or another and I know I could have done better (having learned from
their mistakes, of course).

I have been thinking of creating a CMS lately but have been daunted by the
number of existing systems out there.   My wife is starting a law practice
and I think I would like to use the CMS to mainly target law firms.  I would
also like to target churches, schools and small ecommerce.  In one way, I am
reluctant to use an existing system because I will likely get into the site
and decide I don't like the CMS or that cool feature or add-on isn't quite
so hot after all.  Anyway, I would like to discuss the merits of
hand-rolling a CMS that I would use for these clients vs using an
open-source or commercial.  Is there some advantage to creating one?  I want
to explore this before I jump into coding... er... requirements gathering.


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