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How Do You Choose The Right Open-Source CMS?

Open Source CMS

Choosing the right Content Management System may be the most critical decision you have to make when stepping into the online world. It is essential to think of the CMS that aligns with your situation, demands, and goals, one that's future proof and offers you the right online performance. Besides that, it's crucial to have an open-source CMS. Read this blog to find out how a CMS can help you fulfill these requirements.


Content Management System

A Content Management System, or CMS, is an online platform used for quickly uploading, editing, and distributing all kinds of content. This content can be text, images, videos, PDFs, and all other content and data you want to show online.

Although it would make the decision incredibly easy, it's good to know that there isn't a one size fits all solution for Content Management Systems. The reason that a CMS doesn't meet the needs of all companies in the world is that people don't have the same needs, goals, and target groups.

And that's the reason for this blog. With this blog, we help you choose the right CMS for you.



Like we said in the beginning, open-source is vital for your organization when choosing between different CMSs. But exactly is open-source? Open-source means that the source code of the CMS is available to everyone, which shows several benefits for you.

Besides using and changing the software for free, an open-source CMS also gives you a lot of independence. When using an open-source CMS, you can ask the thousands of people developing and improving the CMS every day. You can go to several companies to build your online product, and you also ask multiple contributors that actively update and use the CMS.

Because so many people use this CMS, your system is less vulnerable to hackers. Besides having a team of developers that keep an eye on all the input and solve issues quickly, your CMS gets updated frequently, and developers develop it further.

Updates and plugins can improve the performance of your website. This way, you can adjust the most vital performance pillars like speed, security, and visibility, while enhancing features you need to achieve your goals. That's how you have an online product customized to your goals.

Being an open-source CMS will make sure that the online performance, quality, and security of your website, app, or digital signage is up-to-date while making sure you can improve the features you need.


Online performance

Online performance is crucial and exists out of three pillars: speed, security, and visibility. Finding an open-source CMS that checks all three can be hard; that's why it's good to know how a CMS can help you improve your online performance.



Security gets more critical every day. While legislation is becoming stricter in terms of security and privacy, consumers are feeling less secure online after incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A CMS that ensures protection for your organization, as well as your customers, should be priority number one.

On the basis, every CMS has its own security measures, like encrypting, documentation, a dynamic team that checks all the code, and a security protocol. Still, some Content Management Systems are more vulnerable than others. Hackers, for instance, are more focused on popular CMSs like WordPress and Drupal. Almost half of all the available websites are made in WordPress. You can imagine the enormous amount of data hackers could obtain when hacking the right website.

MODX security vs other CMSs


Not only the popularity makes WordPress more vulnerable in terms of security, but letting everyone add plugins, without checking the code, makes it vulnerable as well. Adding the right features or expanding your website will be harder when someone doesn't know if the plugin is safe enough to use. That's why you have to look at the reviews given, if the plugin is up-to-date, and downloaded more than a few times to make sure your data doesn't get obtained by the wrong people.

Updating your CMS and plugins is vital to maintain security. That's why it's essential to take a look at the quality of the update and to test the update before actually updating the live website, so no severe changes are made within the CMS.

Finally, it's nice to manage roles and rights, so the people in your team can only change the things they need to worry about. This is how you avoid unexplainable changes in the CMS and your online products. Choose a CMS that lets you manage the roles and rights of your team.

Want to know more about how a CMS and you can make an online product more secure? Read all about it in our blog about MODX and security.



In an earlier blog, we wrote about the importance of speed and how a CMS, like MODX, can help you with that. Speed is crucial; users already leave a website when loading takes more than three seconds1! Although speed coincides with the size of your content (many large images and videos delays your loading speed), a CMS can help you too.

Some CMSs don't have a lot of code in their base. A CMS like MODX can be seen as a framework only featuring the most essential functionalities everyone needs. With a framework CMS, you only have to add those features or plugins you need to achieve your goals. That's how your website doesn't get loaded with unnecessary code, which can result in a faster website.

Caching the content on your website can enhance the loading speed too. Caching is saving the content shown on pages when users have seen the page. When saving or caching this content, it doesn't have to get loaded all again when a user revisits your website. Not all CMSs offer this functionality, so it's essential to consider this when choosing a CMS.



Finally, it's important to be visible online. Besides writing amazing SEO content, CMSs can help you too.

Many Content Management Systems offer plugins that help you meet specific SEO criteria—keeping track of the number of keywords used in your texts, titles, headers, and meta description, for example. But simplifying the creation of redirects is a vital SEO functionality too. When you can add redirects, you don't lose the SEO value of a page when this gets a new URL.


Future proof


Every organization starts small before becoming a big enterprise; in the online world, it's the same. Some CMSs are more suitable for smaller websites like a blog or a simple one-pager. Other CMSs are ideal for both small sites and complex, multilingual, and big ones. Both CMSs are good, but do consider that your organization might grow in the future and may need a more solid content and data platform. It's smart to consider this, before adding all the content in a CMS that can't be expanded. So ask yourself the question, 'what's the goal of your organization in terms of expanding online?'.



Besides expanding your website, adapting it is crucial too. Your brand has to be up-to-date every day. Trends are continuously changing, and the needs of your target group also. Focus on the adaptability of the CMS. Can you easily make changes in the design, template, or theme yourself, or do you need developers for this? How many revisions do you think you want to make, and how much are these changes worth to you? These are all critical questions to make your online product future proof.

Besides that, it's also great when the systems you already use can be integrated into the CMS, so you don't need to adapt to the CMS. This way, you can quickly get to know how to work in a certain CMS while still using the software for ERP, CRM, chat, and marketing automation you're familiar with.



Besides the CMS, it's good to have a support team ready to answer your questions and give you advice. Luckily (almost) every CMS offers excellent support. One by comprehensive documentation, another by forums, support chats, or a dedicated online community.

Mostly, when a CMS is more popular, it's easier to find an answer to your questions. That's why WordPress shows you the right solution in no-time. It also depends on how dedicated the community is. At Sterc, we have a direct line with many integrators of the system and even the US MODX organization. Having a direct line with developers of the CMS gives you a huge advantage. When you want fast support, it's crucial to keep this in mind.


As you might have read, it all takes a lot of consideration when choosing the right open-source CMS for your organization and its goals. Do you want to get help on your online goals, or do you think the MODX CMS is the right CMS for you? Feel free to contact us, we'd love to help you!


1: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-154/marketing-collections/mobile/how-meet-increasing-mobile-speed-expectations/

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