What we have chosen to do is design our own Content Management System in house, that can be fully customized to the clients specifications or needs. Our system can also integrate any other modules that we develop, so you can choose to just purchase one of our products, and then at a later date simply purchase another. For example if you wish to just manage your products first, then you can purchase our Product Manager. If later you choose that you want articles and news bulletins (or a blog) on your website then you can purchase our News Bulletin Manager. Each application is essentially stand-alone and can function with or without the others having been purchased.
This means that you only have to choose the applications you are interested in and therefore it makes your administration section much easier to navigate and operate. This is not possible with these free applications because you install all of it or none of it, even if you choose not to use many of the included features. Customers we have that are using our administration section have commented on how much easier and faster it is to use compared to other CMS admin sections which are installed on their other websites (not designed or managed by us).
The other aspect with the free applications is the way their databases are configured. Each database, be it for products or articles is fixed, so if you need to store additional information about your products you can't have custom columns or fields.
As all our software is written in house, we can tailor it to your specific needs, so if you have specific information you wish to enter for your products and also just as important, allow customers to search using that as a criteria, then we can easily provide that functionality for you.
Our News Article searching is a good example of having the ability to see the latest entries, single click to see any entries from a month of the current year, or a single click to see a list of all entries for previous years. There is also a multi keyword search, which also allows you to exclude keywords too. All of this from a single column on the News Page. Sure many other applications can provide these features as well, but usually not from a single page and not in such an easy to use display.
Our Product Manager also includes our Product Search feature, which allows you to search all products, based on many criteria. You can use keywords or exclude keywords, or you can display all products from a single manufacturer, or limit the display to a single category or sub category. All quick and easy from a single page. Also you can choose to display the results as text only. This makes it much faster to operate and provides you many more products per page which drastically reduces the amount of scrolling required. Displaying thumbnail examples with brief descriptions is still the default option, but it's only one click on a checkbox to use the text mode feature.
As our system is not designed around Templates, you can have your website display any way you choose. You are not forced into having your website displayed in columns, which when there is no further content in a column that whole section of the page remains blank, and you are not forced into a fixed style layout. You could for example have each page display differently depending on what type of content that page is to display. A good example of this can be seen on the Doug Kwok Art Website. Here you will see that each of the 4 main pages and the actual product display pages are all using a complete different layout, but are still based on a similar theme; that being his art.
The Final and important point to consider is the fact that as our software is written in house and is usually customized to your specific needs it operates much faster than the other CMS applications simply because we can optimize the layout and the code so that only what you require is in use. These other applications you must install all or none. So for things you do not want to use, there is no option of turning them off, so they are always consuming resources, including disk space.