When a CMS is not the right solution

CMS vs application development

Often choosing a CMS solution is actually wrong. When your requirements include specific user stories and addressing those needs it’s most likely wrong. In that situation, application development is the better solution.

Application development is your better option

Clients want predictability, cost effectiveness, good and future proof solutions… among a thousand other things. The assumption is that you get more when you build on top of a CMS. “Surely that will make everything a lot easier.” That, however, is hardly ever the case.

Building for a CMS is a better option when:

  • Your site is predominantly aimed at users consuming information
  • The requirements don’t include heavy user interaction
  • You have no need for variation to existing functionality
  • There is a short time frame to get something up and running
  • You’re after high value-for-money in the short term.

Bespoke application development is a better option when:

  • Your site is aimed at transactions and engaging with users
  • You have specific circumstances which require variation to existing functionality
  • Your focus is not speed but result
  • You’re after high value-for-money in the long term.

In the end both are viable solutions. The question we help our clients answer is: which is best for your needs? These are things we find out during scoping. Frequently we end up with hybrids, situations where part of the functionality is provided by a CMS and another part by a bespoke solution. Which is why we have expertise in both areas — because we recognise there is a market for each.