Closed-Source vs. Open-Source Content Management Systems

Pierce Courchaine Technology

You know you want a content management system to control the content on your website, but you might not know which system is best for your business. Let’s start with a more basic question: should your company choose an open-source CMS or a closed-source CMS?

Closed-Source Content Management Systems

  • Support: Closed-source systems are usually supported by a development company and require a yearly licensing fee.
  • Security: These systems are also usually the more secure of the two options since the code isn’t public.
  • Cost: Writing for Mashable, Lisa Wehr says, “Unfortunately with closed source, the barrier to entry is a lot higher. A smaller community means less experience and collective knowledge. This usually equates with much higher costs across the board. “
  • Customization: Look for a bigger bill in exchange for customization, since those options are still done by the developer that supports your system.

Open-Source Content Management Systems

  • Support: Open-sourced systems are backed by a community, meaning information is usually easy to find and problems can be vetted to a large group of people. You don’t necessary need to be completely on your own, though. A lot of open-source systems offer an enterprise support option.
  • Security: Since the code is more common, open-source systems are often more vulnerable to security breaches.
  • Cost: Much less expensive than closed-source systems. Common open-source CMS include Drupal, WordPress and Joomla.
  • Customization: Since open-source systems are backed by a community, there are many customization options. However, security issues are often more common due to this customization.

Obviously, this is a short answer to a complex question. The type of content management system you choose to implement will likely affect your business for years down the line. The decision is important, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Even after reading this blog, we recommend you talk to your web developer about your options.


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Pierce Courchaine

Pierce Courchaine is a marketing coordinator at Logic Solutions. When he’s not in the office, he’s rumbling around the country in a 1996 Honda Civic he lovingly named Martha. Martha’s air conditioning doesn’t work anymore, her power locks failed, her back left window doesn’t open and her 106 horsepower has made for some heart-pounding races against Vespas. For some reason, he’s the only one who can see what’s special about her.