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Custom CMS or Pre-Built?

  • # November 20, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Hello Everyone!,

    I have been developing websites for the last 5 years and I am looking to get a general consensus on a project that I am starting shortly. I have a client with a medium sized business that is looking to create a website similar to BassPro or Cabela’s. They will have a rather large user base right out of the gate so scalability is a concern.

    My question is this, given these requirements ( yes, I know they are not anywhere near complete.But, expect a heavily customized site) what do you as a developer choose .. a pre-built CMS such as WordPress, Magento or Drupal, or instead do you choose to create a custom CMS specifically for this project.

    Having used the three CMS’s above I am leaning towards Drupal but I am very interested in the community’s opinion. So thank you for your time.


    # November 21, 2009 at 12:13 am

    That is a good question.

    When you say "scalability is an issue" are you getting your own server(s)?

    To be totally frank and honest (IMO): Drupal would probably be best for it as far as customizable epicness goes. I would not want to do it as I’m only 40% up the learning curve… and I can only see it getting stranger. If you have a good grip of Drupal, it would be 10x faster to program in that then do it custom.

    You’d also need to be really good at optimizing it, as it’s not a lightweight system (comparatively).

    (Really, I have the most experience with WordPress, Drupal and a smattering of OS shopping carts, so I can’t comment on Magento, etc.)

    I hope that helps,

    # November 23, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts Ashton.
    Yes, we will definitely be using our own server(s), Apache would be my software of choice (of course:)).

    Yes, I agree Drupal can be a bit of a beast but the stuff you can do with it, is amazing. Honestly, though I find that sometimes by the time I am done customizing it, we might as well built something custom using a MVC like Cake.

    Would be interested in others thoughts on this.


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