I’ve completed Part 1 of this blog and now we understand HOW Content management Systems are priced: Part 1 - Ways of Pricing Content Management Systems
Is it free? Do you “rent” it for a monthly cost? Or do you buy it outright? That pretty much sums it up and now we need to talk about WHAT is being priced.
Part 2 - Variables used to Price (and Compare) Content Management Systems [CMS]
What is being priced.
The problem is, like with many things on the web, pricing properties lack a “standard” approach, so making cost comparisons between CMS platforms can be difficult. I’m going to try to illustrate these platforms by sharing variables, all of which are true instances of pricing solutions. I’m not going to share how any exact CMS solutions price their products. That will have to be presented in a forthcoming whitepaper. In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you want to discuss.
It is important to know that often these variables don’t stand alone. Any one method can easily be combined with another to allow more product to the buyer or limit product from the buyer.
Free and/or open-source.
What can I say...a lot of Content Management Systems are given away for absolutely nothing, and oftentimes, they come WITH source code.
Priced per Server.
You purchase the solution and then use it for one (or as many websites as you like) on one server. If you need more space, performance, or security, you may need another server, and per this pricing method, you will need to purchase another license. BlueBolt preferred partner DotNetNuke (DNN) is priced per server.
Priced Per domain/URL/Website.
If the CMS is priced this way, you need to pay for a new license for every domain. Pretty simple but it does start some thinking: Does that include all derived portals? Does it include all languages? Is there a discount if I need to implement more than one domain? Does it offer Multi-server support? Another BlueBolt preferred partner Bridgeline iAPPS is priced per URL.
Priced for a certain number of site pages.
Sometimes, pricing levels depend on the number of pages either expected or exceeded.
Priced per the active number of administrative users or content editors.
While some CMS platforms offer the use of unlimited content administrators, some use this variable for pricing. Each login access is often referred to as a seat. Seat usage can be married with another variable to offer further pricing granularity. It is also important to discover whether each person has to have their own seat, or whether multiple people can use the same seat. Another variation of this method would allow multiple people to use the same login but only one login can be used at a given time.
Priced per processor.
This variable makes light of the fact that not all servers are created equally. If you have a server with a quad-core processor, you may have to purchase four licenses. This might work as an advantage. For example, consider a situation where many locations may need to be served, but with each location having very little traffic. If each area requires a server with only one processor, wide geographical areas may be efficiently covered.
Priced per Extensions or Functional Modules.
Most Content Management Systems have a core solution and then offer ways to add to the existing functionality by suggesting ways to manage more than just on-page content (think of galleries/images, news and press releases, ecommerce or shopping carts, events, documents, etc).
Priced per database size.
The more space required, the more cost.
Priced for any number of specific features:
Web farm support/load balance administration
Database sync or site revisions
Granular user permissions
The Bottom Line
Comparing content management systems, and considering overall costs for the tools may be more difficult than it first seems. Even this short blog highlights a world of complexity for these comparisons. So understanding real business goals is key. Any serious CMS selection process should include a full analysis with the end in mind.
Feel free to contact me via phone or email if you would like to further discuss these options.