The easiest way for most people to get a high-functionality, easily updatable website is to use a Content Management System (CMS). The first wave of these in the web 1.0 days of the 1990s was custom-build CMSs. Early in the 2000s, these gave rise to...
...proprietary CMSs. These grew naturally from the first wave as follows:
A developer writes a custom CMS and sells it. Then another client wants a similar site, so he re-uses most of the code from the first site on the new one. A third site comes along and most of the code is re-used again. After a half-dozen or so of these, the developer starts seeing patterns in what he's developing and 'does it right' by writing one CMS that can handle all his clients so far. He upgrades the half-dozen sites to his new, unified CMS. He now only has to update one code base and can resell it again and again.
A number of these companies that grew up like mushrooms after a spring rain--I know, I was one of them. I wrote such a custom CMS that became a proprietary CMS that's still running a few sites to this day. And there are still a few companies selling these proprietary CMSs. Emory university just signed up for one called Cascade. But these CMSs started coming under pressure from a new direction in the mid-2000s, to such a degree that in March 2010, Network World ran an article called Is this the year the proprietary CMS dies?
We'll see more about that in the next article.