Does Size Matter with CMS Vendors?

With all the factors to consider when selecting a CMS, how much should the size of the CMS vendor matter?  If you are considering open source options, does it matter how large a community supports it?  In this Mythbuster’s opinion, CMS vendor size really does matter. There are some relevant questions you should ask yourself and your vendors prior to the final decision.

  • Can I get the support I need when I need it?
  • Can the company offer the professional services we might need for implementation?
  • Can the company offer the regular training I need on an ongoing basis so you can continue to add content contributors.
  • Is the vendor committed to providing ongoing thought leadership and best practices?
  • Are the online forums, portals and support areas active or a ghost town?
  • Does the vendor have a deep enough partner network with good regional options?
  • Is there a healthy and active developer community around the product?

With the diversity of the CMS vendors, there are certainly plenty of smaller companies with solid offerings. In some cases a strong partner network can even compensate for lack of size on the vendor’s part.  But depending on the needs of your organization, the footprint of the CMS vendor can have real ramifications on the ongoing success of your implementation. There are simply economies of scale that larger vendors can offer around support, training, education, thought leadership and community support.

 

At a recent CMS conference panel, a CEO of a large CMS vender said, "Don't focus on product, focus on service.  Any of the top vendors on the CMS Watch list can get the job done technically but can they take care of you post sale?"  As the CMS market continues to mature and the feature gaps between products close, a crucial measure of CMS products will be the service offerings, company viability and community support.

 

We’re not saying don’t consider smaller vendors, but we do recommend going in with your eyes wide open and asking the right questions up front.

About the Author
George Ross

With more than a dozen years of experience leading enterprise web projects, George has seen the good, bad and ugly when it comes to CMS deployments. George brings an objective eye and a healthy dose of cynicism in evaluating the role of technology in the enterprise.

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