Are all web content management systems “the same”?

November 10, 2009

During a CMS selection project someone said that he thought the CMS systems he had seen demonstrated appeared to be the same! The reasons for this were:

  • They performed the same functions e.g. content publishing, versioning, workflow, searching etc.
  • They used similar ter`minology to refer to the products e.g. Content Server, Deliver server, modules etc.
  • The vendors presentations were performed in much the same way, e.g. complany profile, client list, product demos

I agree, that CMS demos can be a bit of  a blur especially when you have a few on the same day! Most clients want to focus on content, usability, and their audiences, and they do not want a CMS selection project to be about “technology”. CMS selection teams should consist of staff from different departments and skillsets e.g. IT, finance, Marketing, Press and Communication, and it is easy for them to become overwhelmed with the amount of information they need to make sense of.

With an estimated 4000 CMS systems in the world there is a vast amount of choice out there. CMSWatch covers around 40 products as part of their WCM report, so the evidence suggests that they are not the same! Even on a shortlist of 2 vendors they usually differ in their :

  • strengths and weaknesses
  • licenses models,
  • costs (and discounts),
  • implementation partners,
  • customers,
  • sizes and types of projects,
  • architecture etc.

So next time anyone in your team says “but they are all the same!” whack them over the head with this post!

See Also

5 Biggest Mistakes in CMS Selection

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One Response to “Are all web content management systems “the same”?”


  1. Stunning, I didn’t heard about this topic until now. Thankz.


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