Remixing Your Own CMS
So many shrink-wrapped CMS’s to choose from… and none fit. But a completely custom CMS would be too expensive.
Is there a third way? Indeed there is: Your developer can pull features in from open source CMS’s and put them in otherwise custom solutions. This approach can speed development, while cutting costs enough to let you make substantial customizations.
For example, an implementation we undertook for a high-profile entity uses some of WordPress’s user-friendly, intuitive interfaces, integrated into a custom CMS that goes far beyond WordPress to meet a challenging set of requirements:
- Enhancing security. We architected many features and functions to safeguard the website against hackers and automated attacks. These include improved protection against script injections and malicious queries, careful configuration of the custom database schema to eliminate weak points, and a well-crafted system of permissions to regulate access to the system. The system backs up data regularly and includes monitoring to detect possible intruders and unauthorized changes.
- Implementing approvals. Approvals generally are not part of WordPress implementations. In this case, we architected a completely custom approval workflow that supports the client’s process for posting content, while giving administrators the ability to sidestep the approval process in an emergency. For instance, some personnel have the ability to create but not publish content, which must then be reviewed and approved by a designated editor. Administrators can create logins for multiple staff members, specifying their roles and what each of them is permitted to edit or publish.
- Integrating social media. The CMS includes a custom workflow that autosuggests social-media strategies. If a user adds a press release, for instance, the system could ask the user if he or she wants to add a blog post or tweet about the same topic. This functionality is designed to help maintain a steady flow of content from the website to the client’s preferred social media outlets.
Containing Project Costs
By using some ready-made components from WordPress, we cut labor time and costs for this project. These components not only already existed, but had been refined over multiple iterations. As a result, we could incorporate them into the system without sacrificing quality or having to spend an excessive amount of time weeding out bugs. Moreover, using open-source components freed us to focus energy and resources on crafting the system’s most essential custom features.
To learn if a hybrid open-source/custom CMS is right for your organization, give us a call at 212-447-1100.