The True Cost of a Content Management System

hand-holding-a-money-bagWe all know you can’t get something for nothing. Obviously, in order to leverage the benefits of a quality content management system, you will need to make some type of an investment. But it’s also important to point out that not all CMS products are created equal. It’s even more critical to note that the cost alone is not always an indicator of how good the product is. That said, let’s take a closer look at the true costs behind a content management system and how you can use this knowledge to maximize your ROI.

First, let’s consider what’s actually involved. Content management systems, like many other software products, are not just a one-time investment. True, many require an initial up-front payment to purchase the software, but it goes well beyond this one single expense. That’s because with a CMS, you have to maintain your site and the content contained within. You must also take into consideration any software updates, upgrades or maintenance that may be required along the way. Without these things, your site could quickly become unusable and outdated.

For the purpose of this blog post, let’s assume some approximate numbers, based on industry research, published case studies and other reports.

Typical CMS:

  • Upfront Purchase Cost: $60,000
  • Annual Website Hosting: $55,000
  • Annual Subscription for Upgrade/Maintenance: $15,000
  • Annual Professional Services Fee (for Upgrades): $10,000


  • Total Annual Cost of CMS: $80,000


This $80k does not include the up-front software purchase, nor does it include the cost of in-house resources required to maintain and manage the CMS software.

Here’s where AcademicsWeb is different. Firstly, we don’t require an up-front purchase fee. That’s right…no out of pocket fee to get started. That’s a significant savings right off the bat. Beyond this, we also include all of the upgrade, maintenance, professional services and CMS maintenance fees in one annual charge, which is also considerably lower than what other providers charge for these services individually.


In addition to realizing lower costs and subsequent higher ROI, our product also provides a greater benefit to our clients because it has been specifically designed to support the unique needs of the higher education industry. As a result, your school could not only be saving money, but your content performance can also be more optimized for better results. It’s a win-win!


Want to learn more? Request a free demo or contact us today!

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