[thelist] CMS: opensource or hand-roll?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Thu Sep 18 02:02:11 CDT 2008

On 18 Sep 2008, at 04:27, Erika wrote:

> So... What about a person developing ONE type of website for ONE  
> type of
> client, for example:
> http://www.hostbaby.com
> Which I'm pretty sure is run off an in-house CMS... Is it likely that,
> were a site like this to start today, they'd be better off customizing
> an open-source CMS?

Yes, completely. Unless the creation of a CMS was an objective in  
itself (see: learning, vanity, giggles etc), rather than the enabler  
it appears to be.

The core services of a CMS about workflow, templating, security and so  
on have been solved, and reinvention is generally not a value-add.

Perfect example: Civicspace. Rather than writing a whole CMS, they  
just added the community organising bits to Drupal. (unrelatedly,  
these were absorbed into core Drupal at v5.0. I'm not sure that was A  
Good Thing)

> From my experience, functionality/flexibility is sometimes a trade-off
> with usability.  And that sometimes it's better for a CMS to focus on
> doing fewer things, better.

Or, to put it another way, it's better to focus your limited (which  
may not be small, but yet not infinite) development capability into  
doing fewer things, better.


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