Posted 28 November 2016

What is an Open Source CMS?

Written By : Marco Rosano Visit Marco's LinkedIn Profile

Stuart Gonsal founded Wolf in 2014. He presents extensively to industry groups and is on the Advisory Committee for Swinburne University’s Masters of Commerce (International Business).

The world of tech is rife with impenetrable terms and acronyms, but once you decode them, you can Pointdexter with the best of them.

So – what is an open source CMS? Hell, what’s a CMS?!

A CMS is a Content Management System – the system your website is built on that also lets you log in and make changes, such as publishing, editing, managing and deleting content.

Open source technologies give clients an opportunity leverage technologies created collaboratively by talented people around the world. It can be a jungle, but if you choose the correct platform and a professional team, the benefits can be huge. You can achieve an enterprise-level solution and platform support, catering for both private sector and government type projects.

There are two kinds of Content Management Systems – Open Source and Proprietary.

Open Source vs Proprietary

Open Source systems are a collaborative effort, created and maintained by a global community of developers. The source code is available to anyone and any member of this tech community can extend and modify the code and create new features. They are generally a cheaper option than Proprietary Systems which are built, maintained and, generally, hosted by a single company.

In Australia, the top three most popular open source platforms are WordPress (by a massive margin), Drupal and Joomla!

Open source platforms are preferable if you’re a small company looking for something basic and affordable. There are lots of add-ons out there so you can customise and enhance your site with additional functionality. There are also some amazing, premium open source e-commerce sites out there, producing vibrant and dynamic content management systems.

So what are the potential downsides to open source sites? Well, they can look a little low budget at times, if you’re paying the bare minimum. You also don’t get that personalised support crew dedicated to your website. You often get stuck with the version that was originally installed, so upgrades can be costly.

There certainly are pros and cons to both kinds of CMS, but here at Wolf Interactive, we are definitely Team Open Source. We want our clients have the opportunity to access a global ecosystem of partners, developers and add-ons so they can have a highly tailored, unique online offering. Our favourite platforms? Magento for ecommerce and SilverStripe for marketing.

Best platforms for marketing and ecommerce


Magento is the most popular ecommerce platform in the world, with more than 250,000 merchants around the world, 150,000 developers and a network of 300+ highly-trained solution partners. Consumer behaviour can turn on a dime, and this robust and agile platform is innovating to meet those new behaviours.


Similarly, SilverStripe is a global community of thousands of developers who design functionality so you don’t have to force your business outcomes into an out-of-the-box solution.

We love Open Source systems here at Wolf Interactive because they are frequently updated, cost-effective, easy to customise and easy to integrate. They’re agile, dynamic, organic and exciting. A site we developed for G. H. Lilley Regalia is a great example of how you can take an open-source platform like Magento and tailor it to distinguish a business and position that business ahead of its competitors.

If your business needs a unique, robust open source solution to take it to the next level, our dedicated SilverStripe and Magento specialists can do that, making something bespoke and dynamic. Get in touch with Wolf Interactive and get your business growing.

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