Once upon a time, experts advised that companies would spend between three and five times their licensing costs on implementation. Occasionally, a renegade expert would declare that the ratio should be more like 8 times the licensing costs or that simply doubling the licensing costs would yield a more accurate estimate. Although this mythical ratio is still being perpetuated, if it ever had any merit, it certainly has none today. It is a holdover from a time when a CMS was simply installed like any other software upgrade. Therefore, it reinforces the idea that a CMS implementation is strictly an IT function and overlooks the need to integrate the CMS into business processes.
Trying to calculate a budget for a CMS implementation without analyzing the specifics involved is a bit like estimating the cost of a house without knowing where it is located, its size and the finishing appointments. Before you can establish a budget, you will need to answer a number of questions, including:
- Which CMS do you want to use? An open-source platform such as DNN will not be nearly as expensive as a CMS based on a proprietary platform.
- What activities do you want the vendor to perform?
- Should the quote include user research, third-party integrations, content strategy, translation services, custom app development or data migration? How much data must be migrated?
- Do you have existing content that is already in a compatible format?
- How many websites do you operate?
- Will you be providing team members to assist with the implementation?
- Do you have any exceptional security requirements?
Only after all factors have been carefully evaluated can you arrive at an estimate.
Vendors who have handled numerous CMS implementations have become very adept at helping clients establish a budget. They may not have a magic formula, but they have the benefit of experience. They have handled comparable projects and possess an in-depth understanding of the various options. Therefore, they can typically provide prospective clients with a very accurate estimate in just a short time.
PhaseAlpha is dedicated to creating value for our clients. We can help you with all of your web development needs, including custom apps and systems integration. We can provide you with a content management system based on one of a number of possible platforms, including DNN, Drupal, Joomla and Umbraco. To discuss your project, call us at 1-888-559-5673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.