Open Source Content Management Systems vs. Proprietary Content Management Systems: An Unbiased Outlook

Online presence is key in every business venture to date. At the heart of an online presence is a website that is easy to update and maintain with current content from your place of business. There are hundreds of content management platforms available divided into proprietary and open sourced software. So the question arises, what do you choose? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each so you can decide what is best for your business.

What is a CMS? First and foremost, to answer your questions, a “CMS” is a Content Management System where you have total control and access to all the content on your website without the knowledge of computer code. You can post blogs, pictures, events and update web page content with nothing more than basic computer knowledge.

What is an open source Content Management System? This simply means that the code source and platform is shared across everyone. One party manages it (i.e. Wordpress) but anyone can access it, contribute to it or modify their site if they have the skillset to do so. Open source can be hosted anywhere and the software is typically free; the modification, customization, hosting and design of your website are not unless you have the knowledge to change it yourself.


What is a proprietary Content Management System? Proprietary CMS’s are built and maintained by a single company. This company is in charge of the features and functionality offered, the hosting of the site itself, and it is often required to have a license of use for this software. Proprietary software companies typically do not allow access to the source code of their product, but often offer API’s or other integration capabilities.

Check out PART TWO of this Three Part Series where I lay out the Pros & Cons of Open Source CMS.

Read Part Two