CMS template platform versus a custom web application

Mar 15, 2014

Custom versus CMSCMS (Content Managed Systems) for web design are by far the most popular applications because they may be purchased cost effectively and if you are at all tech savvy, you can access and use many of the basic elements which come with your software purchase.  The two top choices are Drupal and WordPress. This is a marketing choice which should be made carefully with all information available. Without doing your research you may be frustrated and find that you need more professional help.
A well-chosen CMS Template provides easy editing ability and the site administrator does not have to be a programmer to access the site and make content changes and set up basic features. The blog area will also attract search engine traffic once you start blogging consistently. Template optimization is however,  limited to the scope of your technical ability. It is important to do your due diligence before making this purchase.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just by purchasing a template online that you do not have to learn the software to implement all elements. We hear from many clients who have purchased a CMS template design, only to find that they are spending many hours trying to learn the software, when they assumed their template would be easy to use based upon advertising claims. To get the most out of a template purchase you may still need a programmer to add the more advanced features.
Keep in mind that using a template means that others can also buy the same template. Check the template users to see how many others are using this same template before making the purchase. With a fair amount of technical ability you can change the template colors and optimize the template to make it your own.

What is the learning curve for WordPress CMS versus Drupal CMS platforms?

The two most popular CMS platforms are Drupal and WordPress. Drupal has a much larger learning curve so choosing WordPress is the most user-friendly choice for site owners with less advanced programming skills. Drupal is the template platform of choice for many banks, educational facilities, news outlets and businesses needing constant updating. Drupal templates have a more generic appearance but the functionality is awesome and includes many technical features.  Those site owners managing more than one site should definitely consider WordPress which offers a management feature.

CMS Template  Advantages:

  • You can choose from many different template designs
  • Shorter optimization and development time is needed
  • More cost-effective than custom design


Drupal versus WordPressCustom website framework is built using a one-of-a-kind web application, php, html, and CSS (Cascading Style Sheeting) programming. A custom design will require most changes to be made by the site designer.  It is possible for the custom designer to offer a few CMS pages which you can manage such as the blog page, etc.  However, to keep the integrity of the custom design, the developer will want to make most of the changes. The code is limited to the specific needs of the individual client which allows the site to load efficiently. This is referred to as a “custom web application.” Our programmers and designers are free to build a system as complex or as simple as needed which performs well and offers cross-browser compatibility.
Custom design applications do require more skills. Only a professional designer and programmer with proven skills should be hired for custom work. He or she is up to date on new and exciting technologies and will be able to add the most up to date bells and whistles. Hiring a professional web developer can insure your success and provide the latest technology in the most efficient way as more time is spent getting to know your brand. If your budget allows for custom work, this is always the best choice.

Custom Web Application Advantages:

  • Unique one-of-a-kind design (unique look and feel)
  • Fewer problems with cross browser compatibility for custom sites
  • No bloated code (only the amount needed to reflect your company requirements)

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you will return to learn more from the Design Wizards at “Inside Design Orlando.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  We wish you the luck of the Irish this year!
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer and SEO Professional


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