Wherever possible I have always chosen to develop bespoke designs for my websites, be they static marketing sites or developed using content management systems.
When discussing the design for a new project with a client I tend to suggest looking at a representative sample of sites (usually, but not necessarily) within their industry in order to identify features and design aspects that they like. I then seek to bring together these features, in combination with the client’s existing corporate branding, to develop a best of breed site intended to be greater than the sum of it’s parts.
I do, however, find template sites to be great sources of inspiration. This is due in part to the fact that they are often instrumental in highlighting emerging technologies and techniques within the design sector.
When it comes to choosing a content management system, however, there are a number of very compelling reasons why bespoke is not best. Content Management Systems broadly fall into one of three major groups.
- Open Source Content Management Systems include Joomla!, WordPress and Drupal, each of which can provide different strengths and benefits depending on the nature of the project.
- Proprietary Content Management Systems
- Bespoke Content Management Systems are created on an ad-hoc basis by in-house development teams, often to meet the specific requirements of a particular company or project.
I would not advocate the use of bespoke systems for a number of reasons.
- They are High Risk.
- They become quickly dated or obsolete.
- Lack of extensibility.
[article still in draft stages]