Cost of Enterprise Content Management Systems

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Costs of Enterprise Content Management Systems

Cost of Enterprise Content Management Systems

Harry Bartlett

What follows is pricing and other information about a few different fee-based CMS software applications and the open source application Drupal. Note the comparisons are informal and not definitive. They are meant to highlight the fact that enterprise level CMSs are very expensive compared to Drupal.


  • Price: Depending on amount of users price varies from $12,000 - $14,000 in software costs, $7,500 - $250,000 in user licenses, and $15,000-200,000 in implementation, intranet planning and launch costs. Note however Sharepoint is included with Enterprise Microsoft licensing fees so Sharepoint is seen as a low-cost solution.
  • Sharepoint is ideal for information management and internal projects.
  • Popular websites using Sharepoint: City of London, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
  • Advantages: Team collaboration, document management, Intranets, centralized administration
  • Disadvantages: Far more expensive than other CMS options, inflexible user interface design capabilities, not mobile friendly, not SEO friendly, CSS issues.

OpenText (formerly Vignette)

  • Price: Complex fee-based licensed software that typically runs over $100,000. See this document for a summary of various costs.
  • OpenText produces and distributes Enterprise Information Management software solutions for large corporations across all industries.
  • Popular websites using OpenText: CNET, UnitedHealth Group, National Geographic
  • Advantages: Advanced information management, resource allocation, personalization, content marketing
  • Disadvantages: Expensive


  • Price: SiteCore''s licensing fee starts at $40,000 and is another $8,000 for each additional year. The implementation cost starts at $65,000, and support and other licensing fees cost around $10,000 ongoing each year.
  • SiteCore provides customer experience management software that is automated and flexible.
  • Popular websites using SiteCore: Bissell, Sonos
  • Advantages: Fully integrated, full marketing suite of tools for interactive content management functions
  • Disadvantages: Expensive


  • Price: Free
  • Drupal is full featured CMS capable of powering large, complex websites.
  • Popular websites using Drupal:, BBC, United Nations, MTV, U.S. Federal Agencies, Warner Brothers, Harvard, MIT, the White House, and the Discovery Channel.
  • Advantages: Flexibility, advanced taxonomy, SEO friendly, enterprise-level security features., multi-lingual, Drupal Commerce, large developer base.
  • Disadvantages: Steeper learning curve than other open source CMSs like WordPress, fewer existing template/theme choices.

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If you are looking for an enterprise level CMS, we recommend reviewing Drupal’s capabilities before committing to expensive fee-based software. See also companies like Acquia and Pantheon who serve enterprise level clients with advanced hosting and support.  Learn more about Drupal at our web development services page and  

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About the author

Harry started BI in 1998 and focuses on integrating best practices in branding, user experience design, Internet marketing, and technology to increase the value of an online presence.
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