Open-source content management systems (CMS) are popular choices for websites due to their free and familiar platforms. Although open-source CMSs have numerous benefits, when you want to manage an extensive online business, the cost of using Software as a Service (SaaS) CMSs can prevent roadblocks in the future.
Ease Of Use
The lure of some open-source CMSs is they are easy to use. Once your website increases in complexity, beyond basic text, pictures or the standard layout, the hurdles usually increase. With the free price tag comes minimal support. Although open-source CMSs have a vast knowledge base with forums, instructions and videos, you may find yourself stuck if you do not know the right questions to ask or no forum member answers your question.
Part of the reason a SaaS CMS has an associated cost is the ongoing support. Many SaaS CMSs also use a drag and drop interface, which gives you true control over your website design without learning programming or attempting to alter existing code.
Smoother Transitions Through Updates
When your CMS has a new version available, you should be excited or intrigued, not petrified. This can be an ongoing problem with open-source CMSs, since the CMS is a separately managed component from any add-ons. Your updated CMS may not be compatible with any of the add-ons you currently have on your website.
Unfortunately, incompatibility between add-ons or add-ons and your CMS can mean you need a complete overhaul of your website to prevent security vulnerabilities or essential functions on your website from coming to a halt. Your website's functioning is dependent on the developers of each add-on to keep their coding updated, because you always face the possibility of the developers walking away from their project.
Room For Growth
If you choose an open-source CMS, you may face growing pains as your website needs change. It is difficult to find an open-source CMS that can truly scale up to meet the demands of your website and be user-friendly enough for the average user. In general, the most robust open-source CMSs have a steep learning curve and are geared toward serious web developers. User-friendly, open-source CMSs are difficult to scale beyond a large blog or small e-commerce website without coding knowledge.
Integrated Online Marketing Tools
A benefit of having a full-service SaaS CMS is your provider may offer any number of online marketing tools, right at your fingertips. You may need more marketing beyond simple social media integration found on most CMSs. Email marketing, newsletters and ads are just a few components of an effective online marketing campaign. Instead of using different software for each tool and risking them not working together, you can rest assured all the components of your business strategy integrate seamlessly.
Both SaaS and open-source CMSs are good foundations for a professional website. When you are considering managing your own website, you may want to invest in a SaaS CMS for ease of use and ongoing support.