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A common argument against custom CMSs is that they are more risky. If you stop working with your web designer it’s harder to find someone else to work on it.

There may be some truth in that but choosing a CMS based on that eventuality may mean you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not choosing the best platform for your business.

I think the most important decision you make when getting a website built is not the CMS but the person or company you use to build it. Choose the right web designer or agency and let them use their knowledge and expertise to choose the right platform.

The fact of the matter is web developers rarely like taking on other people’s projects, regardless of the CMS

WordPress developers are quick to point out they have the largest community. However, something that clients aren’t often told is web developers rarely like taking on other people’s projects, regardless of the CMS.

There are perfectly valid reasons why most developers, myself included, feel this way. Websites can be complex things. When a client comes to you and asks you to pick up a site and do “a few amends” it means trawling through the site and getting acquainted with it. Oftentimes, you will also need to create a test site since the old development site is on the previous developer’s server. What might take the old developer an hour could take you a couple of days. That puts you in a difficult position because you then need to charge a client much more than they were expecting.

Working on sites you aren’t familiar are also very difficult to quote for and you can’t say for certain whether they’ve been secured properly.

Another point is as much as developers love coding we do need to make a living and it’s simply not cost-effective to go through someone else’s site to try only to find out there’s hardly any work to do on it.

I was asked to work on someone else’s just yesterday and I said no. The reasons I said no were not actually related to the platform but rather the fact that it just wasn’t an attractive proposition to me both as a coder and someone with bills to pay.

Prevention better is better than cure. You can’t guarantee your web designer will stick with you throughout but choosing the right web designer is more important than choosing the right CMS because if they leave you, it’s going to cause you problems regardless.

Tim Bennett is a Leeds-based web designer from Yorkshire. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.