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When it comes to websites and content management systems (CMS), many digital agencies and developers have their favorite or recommended CMS. Some even go so far as exclusively developing in one and only one CMS. You will often find this with agencies that develop with WordPress and Drupal. They will feel that it is the one CMS to rule them all. So the question is…is there really one CMS that rules over the other ones?

To answer this question, I want to liken content management systems to vehicles. When you are looking to purchase a vehicle, you look at your situation by asking crucial questions, such as:

  • Will I be traveling with this vehicle?
  • Do I need to tow anything?
  • Is this vehicle just for me or for my family?
  • How much power do I need in the engine?
  • What is my bottom line budget for monthly payments?
  • Does it need to drive well in winter or rough conditions?

It would be foolish to go to a dealership who only sells Toyota Corollas and say I need a vehicle that can tow trailers, drives well in off-road conditions and can haul rock. Likewise, it would be illogical to go to a dealer that only sells F-250s and all you need is a gas-efficient vehicle to commute in heavy traffic. Most likely, you would go to a dealership with a selection of vehicles who will listen first and then help you find the right vehicle for your needs.

A good digital agency will do the same thing. A good agency will listen to your needs first and then make a recommendation. They will look at requirements such as:

  • Who will primarily update the website? Administrative Department? IT?
  • Will the site be hosted on Linux or Windows?
  • How much customization will there be?
  • What type of software needs to integrate with the website?
  • What security measures need to be in place?
  • What is the budget?

Based on the requirements, the agency may make an open-source recommendation like WordPress or Drupal? If the website requires integration with different APIs and the client wants to stay with an open-source solution, MODX might be a better fit. If the client operates in a Windows environment and needs to integrate with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it may be better to look at a .Net-based licensed CMS such as Sitefinity or Kentico.

A good digital agency treats each client’s situation uniquely. They will understand your requirements, prepare the right solution and explain why it is the best route for your organization’s online growth. If you meet with an agency that has the “one CMS to rule them all” mentality and won’t consider other content management systems as an option, it is my recommendation that you look for one that listens first and then provides the solution.



Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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