Open Source Vs Enterprise

Should you build or buy your CMS software?


Publicly-developed software where users are encouraged to collaborate and are granted the rights to modify, copy, test and distribute the source code without paying royalties or fees.


Commercially-developed proprietary software where users purchase a subscription or license to use the software under certain conditions and are restricted from modification and redistribution.

No upfront license fees but be aware of hidden costs that may add up over time to self-train, develop and maintain your site.


Upfront costs to license software can seem high but remember they include support, training, maintenance, security and more.

Support and training are not guaranteed. Users can seek tutorials or documentation in online forums or pay hired consultants to help.


Support and training is usually included in the cost to use the software through chat, a dedicated phone line or an account manager.

No formal integration or implementation process exists with open source software. Video and written tutorials may be offered by the developer or worldwide community, especially if the software is popular and widely used.


Enterprise vendors often conduct onboarding and migration processes with dedicated teams to help. Vendors often make strategic alignments to streamline integration with commonly-used software products so systems can communicate.

Open source software provides the utmost in flexibility and customization as developers can make unlimited modifications to the code. Plug-ins can provide added capabilities and help with integrations with other tools in the technology stack.


Most enterprise software vendors provide the ability to customize your software with various tools, features and support levels offered. In this way, the software is already built and tested and can be added to a package as needed.

The security of open souce software depends upon the developers who created it. Most follow security guidelines to protect their reputation but you should do your own research to be sure. Since open source is highly customizable and accessible, any vulnerabilities in the code are easier to detect. This means a higher chance of someone exploiting the code for malicious intent.


Proprietary software vendors do not release their code to the public and are accountable for the quality of their product to paying customers. If you work with a reputable vendor with high-profile clients, you can be sure that if updates and fixes are required for the software to operate properly, they will be done quickly and efficiently to maintain customer satisfaction.