Boston: the hub of the CMS world?

There’s a reason Bostonians like to call their city “The Hub of the Universe.” We’ve always been the epicenter for a lot of stuff: great universities, world-class hospitals, tech innovation, the most talented sports teams in the universe. (Pay no attention to that recent Big Football Game.)

The American Revolution started right here. I can walk from my office at Connective DX and visit Paul Revere’s house. That’s right. Boston: 382 years of #WINNING.

So let’s put another stake in the ground: Boston is absolutely, positively the hub of the web content management world. Anyone care to debate?

Take a quick spin through a list of commonly cited web CMS market leaders and you’ll be hard pressed to find a greater concentration of content management software providers in one geographic location.  It took me all of two minutes to type up the following list of vendors with world HQ or, at the least, a major presence in or around Boston. (If I’ve missed any, help me out in the comments, please!).

Boston CMS Vendors

Draw a 40-mile circle around Boston and you can plot these companies inside:

Adding to that, Day Software opened a location here and got acquired by Adobe (some say to be acquired). And if you broaden the category to other web marketing tools and platforms, the list gets miles long: Quasi-CMS and web marketing platform provider HubSpot is here (now with 300+ staff, we knew them back in ’06 when it was two guys, Brian and Dharmesh, across the hall in Cambridge).

The question is: Why this abundance of CMS leadership here?

There’s no single answer, although I have a few. There is a ton of technical and developer talent here. And Boston is rife with entrepreneurs who’ve started many of these companies from the ground up. And there are many angel investors and venture capitalists to fuel the growth. Naturally, having  all these companies in one region means there’s a base of experienced talent to recruit from, bringing in more vendors who open major outposts in or around Boston (see: Sitecore).

This creates a fertile territory for staffing, and for nurturing … robust competition. Employees leaving one vendor can find a fast home at another. [Disclosure: I previously hung my hat at one of the vendors mentioned in the list. It happens.]

With all the CMS consulting and implementation work we do, we’re constantly amazed how small the world is, who we run into in far-flung cities, and how Boston is usually in the mix.  It’s not uncommon for sales reps from competing Boston CMS vendors to be on the same cross-country flight, prepared to make back-to-back pitches to the same client in San Francisco, or Denver, or Dallas.

The same in our business: Boston has a healthy crop of agencies that specialize in CMS. (Point of fact: Connective DX founded and runs the Sitecore New England User Group – currently the largest Sitecore UG in the world, with 181 members from in and around Boston/Cambridge. Typically the largest contingent at monthly meetings is agency developers.)

CMS vendors in the Boston region – what brings you here? What does this region have going for it, in your eyes? And just as important, what does it lack? What would improve the climate?

Vendors elsewhere: Care to stand up for your city? Why are you where you are?

About the Author
Katie Del Angel

Formerly the Marketing Manager at Connective DX, Katie was responsible for content marketing and community building for the agency.

More articles from Katie Del Angel


6 responses… read them below or add one.

  1. Deane says:

    It’s more than just CMS — I would say that Boston is the Silicon Valley of the East Coast. Has MIT had the same effect as Stanford did on the original Silicon Valley?

  2. Deane says:

    For the record, though, I think it’s certainly the hub of North America, but perhaps not the world. Scandinavia has a ridiculous amount of CMS companies too. See this post:

    What is it with Scandinavia and Content Management?

  3. Andy says:

    Lobster rolls. Need I say more?

  4. Deane says:

    Also (last comment, I promise), it’s worth noting that the only reason Sitecore and Kentico have a presence in New Hampshire is because they’re both staffed by ex-Ektron employees who didn’t move to join their new companies. I don’t think those are corporate headquarters for either.

  5. SiteNoMore says:

    As Deane said the heavy NH presence is mostly because of ex-Ektron employees. The headquarters of these companies are more around SF and Silicon Valley, these ones are mainly local offices.

  6. This was a great article to see – and you’ve made a compelling presentation which I hadn’t seen before. I’d add that having strong local VC’s and many educational institutions which have pursued CMS solutions – open source and otherwise over the years – have been big drivers.

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