Make more cost-effective decisions for your CMS

We share strategies for long-term savings

David Steeb

At b13, we’re often approached by CMOs and CEOs disgruntled by escalating costs. What seems like a relatively “cheap” CMS or software solution can often come with hidden or long-term expenses—like multiple relaunches, jumps in licensing fees, or pricey additions. As an agency committed to free and open source software like TYPO3, we’re dedicated to helping companies make forward-thinking decisions for their content strategy. In the process, we’ve identified some best practices for making smart, cost-effective decisions for your CMS.

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Begin with a concept, not a design

One of the most exciting phases of a project is the visual design reveal: you finally get to see what a project looks like after thinking about it for so long. But don’t let impatience get the better of you. We recommend beginning with a concept document detailing your organization’s objectives, the current state of your digital infrastructure and frontend, and how the future state of your system would be structured. Visual design should come last. 

Beginning with a concept document gives your organization time to organize your data and content elements. You need to know what you’re trying to communicate and how you want to communicate it before developing a design, because designs tend to be difficult and expensive to change down the line. Once you have a concept in place, updates to design should be surface-level only.

Choose a CMS with a strong core and built-in flexibility

Choosing a CMS with built-in flexibility for editors is essential because it will save your developers or IT team a lot of time in the long run. Editors should be able to post and edit landing pages and other content easily without consulting IT, making breaking changes, or veering off-brand. TYPO3 grants content editors powerful features, including approval workflows, bulk editing, and a reusable asset library. 

In the same vein, we recommend choosing a CMS with a lot of built-in Core functionality. Using built-in features means the code is already written, and maintained by the community. Further, when it comes to updates, the features you use won’t break or there is more likely to be a smooth upgrade path across major versions. This is why writing and maintaining your own code, or using external tools, can be more expensive.

TYPO3 ships with a range of built-in features by default, including multilingual support, SEO optimization, and workspaces to support your workflow. A strong core means upgrades in TYPO3 are a breeze.

Invest in high-performance open source software

Open source software isn’t a panacea, but it is often a more cost-effective solution than closed-source software, whose licenses are expensive and lock you in for set time periods. We recommend investing in open source development as a way to save costs in the long run.  Maintenance and testing are resources shared by the community, and you can always add closed-source (or open source) solutions through integrations, especially for marketing tools. 

As a CMS, TYPO3 pays special attention to page-load speeds and performance—because the community knows these factors are crucial for business. TYPO3’s high-performance and essential SEO features help companies generate revenue.

Upgrade early and often

We always recommend upgrading early and often, so any code you develop is for the latest version, and there's less code to rewrite when you next upgrade. Extensive upgrades can be exceedingly time-consuming and block development, content creation, and other productive activity for weeks on end. Trying to make sure nothing breaks in a massive upgrade takes time. Small, incremental steps and upgrades help you avoid the all-hands-on-deck strategy and free up your marketers and editors to do their regular jobs.

Start saving today

There are many ways to save with an open source CMS— b13 team members have given these strategies a lot of thought because our business model and our clients’ businesses depend on it.

Need help determining the best approach for your organization?

We can help develop a custom strategy for you and your team.

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