Custom vs Off-the-shelf CMS: Interview with Demetrio Fortman

Our today’s guest is Demetrio Fortman, the founder of quite a few successful web projects, among which MotoCMS and MotoPress. In this interview, Demetrio opens up on the main peculiarities of his job and gives insights into his fast-growing business and challenges it faces.


Interviewer: Demetrio, thanks for joining us on such a lovely spring day. The list of your accomplishments looks really impressive. You seem to never stop working. I hope this interview does not distract you from the new web project that you may be working on right now, does it?


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Demetrio: Thanks for having me today. As I see it, every day can bring inspiration and that it why I am more than thrilled to be here with you. What I hope for is that I do not just give answers, but also find new ideas while talking to you!


Interviewer: This would be great! Let’s get started then. Tell me more about MotoCMS, a relatively new project of yours. Who is it for? Who are the ideal users of MotoCMS?

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Demetrio: I believe that the ideal user of MotoCMS is a satisfied user (Smiling). But to be serious, I do not believe in ideals. Especially, when it comes to websites. A website should function like an online reflection of a certain company. Even two companies that have the same number of staff and work in the same industry may need completely different online tools for their promotion.


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Every business is unique. That is why we at MotoCMS believe not in ideals but in diversity. We constantly enlarge our collection of website templates. This way businesses of different sizes and budgets can get access to what I believe is the most approachable CMS available at the moment at the web market. We offer the functionality that is more than enough to start a successful venture online, especially if you have zero web development expertise.


Interviewer: It is a very bold assumption. What do you think are the top benefits of an off-the-shelf CMS?

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Demetrio: My answer is time and money. Opting for an off-the-shelf CMS means no looking for a reliable web development agency, no extra hours negotiating the price and deadlines, no waiting. Let alone the fact that an off-the-shelf CMS is more affordable in comparison to the custom one. Probably, the best part about choosing an off-the-shelf CMS is that you can actually see what you buy. Moreover, when you get a website template, you do not depend on another business to support you along the way every time you need to change a tiny detail about your online project. Being independent always feels great!


Interviewer: No doubts about that! But what about disadvantages? Can you describe a situation when your CMS is not an optimal solution?


Demetrio: Well, sure. MotoCMS is not an optimal solution for you in two cases. The first one is when a business owner is too conservative to try something new. Some business people are still convinced that without an in-house IT-specialist creating a website is too challenging. One more reason that is sometimes mentioned is that maintaining an off-the-shelf website is costly in the long run. As you see, both reasons are connected with the stereotypical thinking. We at MotoCMS try to fight this thinking with a free 14-day trial for each template.


Interviewer: So, are you saying that MotoCMS has no technical limitations whatsoever? Is there nothing you cannot do or can hardly do using MotoCMS? And what are the workarounds?


Demetrio: To be honest, there used to be certain technical limitations that our team successfully eliminated. All of them were brought to my attention by our customers. For example, some of our customers desperately required the blog functionality. It took us some time and now all MotoCMS 3 responsive website templates are equipped with the blogging feature.


I also remember the time when eCommerce became the in-thing. To keep up with the time, our team developed the e-commerce plugin. With the time, we realized that the plugin is not enough. Our developers came up with the whole new collection of MotoCMS eCommerce templates that are very popular these days among our clients.


Also, I would like to mention that MotoCMS is proud to present the online audience with a free 14-day trial for all of our templates. Do you know what the best part is? After 14 days are gone, you can try another template for free. And you are free to keep on trying till you find what you like.


What else? Right now we are working on expanding the number of languages that can be used in our admin panel. The more languages you speak, the more you are a human, or in our case – a user-friendly CMS. And you know what? If you learn about something you cannot do with MotoCMS, let me know. And I am not joking! I really like spending time on thinking about the ways to improve MotoCMS. Usually, my tech support provides me with all the information concerning the requests or recommendations from our customers. Basically, this is how I get my ideas for the constant improvement of MotoCMS. Any feedback means that there is one more chance to improve our product, to push boundaries, to aim for more.


As for workarounds, I 100% rely on our 24/7 tech support team and the tutorials we offer.


Interviewer: How about customization? How much extra features or added functionality can your CMS tolerate?


Demetrio: You should simply have a look at the number of widgets that our admin panel offers! There are many widgets that are responsible for structural (e.g. Row and Container) and basic (e.g. Menu, Contact form) features. There are the widgets for Social Media, like Social Links widget, Facebook Feed etc. Let’s not forget about Google Map, Disqus, MailChimp, and other widgets that you can use for customizing your website in one place.


What is more, MotoCMS is the only platform that offers its customers the Block Editor. It contains a ready-made layout element that a user can apply to own website and significantly save time on its customization.


Interviewer: What is the difference between your MotoCMS platform and another popular CMS’s, like WordPress and Drupal?


Demetrio: The biggest difference between MotoCMS and other popular services of the kind is the level of user-friendliness. Our products are created to meet the demands of a full range of business owners, including those who know next to nothing about the web development.


Let’s take the Drag-and-Drop Editor we offer as an example. The main idea behind this editor is that you can move (drag) a content block in any direction till you (drop) find the appropriate place for it on your website. This way even beginners can create an exquisite website from scratch. In addition, the MotoCMS team includes the professional tech support unit I mentioned few moments before that. You as a client can be sure that all your issues will be tackled professionally and as quickly as possible.


Interviewer: Thank you, Demetrio, for this fruitful discussion. We will be happy to hear about your new victories and hope to see you soon!


Demetrio: I will do my best not let you down. See you!