TYPO3 – the TCO-Champion

There are many questions to be settled prior to launching or relaunching a website. One of the most important is: which editorial system shall we use? TYPO3 is frequently the best solution for a low total cost of ownership (TCO) and high security standards.

Every content management system (CMS) has its advantages and disadvantages. Commercial enterprise solutions such as Sitecore, FirstSpirit, and Abobe Experience Manager have a huge range of functions, but their annual licensing fees are in the mid five-digit range and they are simply overkill for most projects. Hence, open-source solutions like TYPO3, Adobe Experience Manager, Joomla, WordPress oder Drupal have caught on for medium-sized to large websites with several hundred or thousand pages.

Infinite possibilities with TYPO3

TYPO3 is very popular, especially in Germany. Therefore, it is relatively easy to find a service provider for new developments and enhancements. You should not underestimate the fact that it is highly likely that experience with TYPO3 already exists within your own web team, due to the solution’s pervasiveness. This would cut down the time required for training in the rollout phase. TYPO3 is modern and sophisticated – just like us as TYPO3-Silver-Members!

A good compromise between powerful and slim

TYPO3 is enterprise capable, allowing it to be connected to the rest of the company’s IT infrastructure. This is a clear advantage over WordPress , which is even slimmer and has been implemented millions of times worldwide, but is weak in terms of database connections. Naturally, commercial solutions can do this too, but their architecture is cumbersome: everything has to be meticulously planned at the outset, because later changes frequently require a disproportionate amount of effort. In contrast, you can quickly start developing – and prototyping – with TYPO3, which is why TYPO3 is considered a very good compromise between a powerful range of functions and a slim implementation.

Complexity is a major issue because of subsequent costs. The implementation of a web project now often constitutes the lowest cost factor. However, compatibility has become a significantly higher cost factor in the TCO over the years. The speed at which any software develops quickly does away with the original plans, because the system roadmap and what is actually implemented are often worlds apart. Smooth migration from one release to the next is certainly one of the major advantages of TYPO3 – even the massive system kernel modifications in the TYPO3 CMS 6.2 LTS release in March 2014 had a manageable impact on operations.

Agency-side know-how greatly reduces costs

Project Manager Bert Brückmann is familiar with the situation due to his many projects: "Now every customer wants to know what system maintenance will cost in the next few years. From a TCO point of view, we recommend TYPO3." TWT Digital Health always uses the LTS (long-term support) TYPO3 version, which allows for somewhat more reliable planning for a period of at least three years. The TWT Digital Health expert knows that, "There are only a few technical differences between the various systems, which quickly makes TCO the central argument." The TCO factor underscores that, in the case of TYPO3, the training burden for the editorial maintenance of websites is pleasingly low – even employees lacking web experience can usually update content within a day.

TYPO3 security support is excellent: the system is constantly tested for vulnerabilities and any security patches are quickly released. Still, it is not necessary to install each new version immediately. According to Brückmann, "You must separate the wheat from the chaff. I know from experience which update is relevant for which customer, and what would merely be nice to have."

This is a good example of how agency-side know-how can significantly reduce project costs and why technical knowledge of the system should play a decisive role in selecting the agency. "TWT Digital Health has accumulated many years’ know-how in the implementation and maintenance of websites using TYPO3. We provide a single implementation and maintenance service, including operation on a server platform optimized for security-related maintenance. This significantly reduces costs in the medium term, which is the ultimate persuasive argument for Financial Control," adds Klaus Mueller, Managing Director of TWT Digital Health.

TYPO3 for the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets too

User-group management is one of the specific requirements of the pharmaceutical business – after all, dermatologists have different interests than internists. TYPO3 can score points here too. “TYPO3’s concept of personalization is one of the most powerful on the market. Especially customers in the pharmaceutical sector get much more out of this than by connecting to a production and enterprise resource planning system,” explains Bert Brückmann. "A release workflow has also been integrated into the system, although most pharmaceutical customers use their own solutions, such as Zinc."

TWT Digital Health operates TYPO3 on its own platform with server-side access restriction for the TYPO3 administration. "This eliminates virtually all external vulnerabilities a hacker might exploit," continues Brückmann. This is certainly another good argument for TYPO3 in times when cybercrime is on the rise

What to expect from a TYPO3 provider:

  • professional system installation by experienced specialists;
  • implementation of websites, ideally without modifying the system kernel and with minimal plugin dependency;
  • use of LTS (long-term support) versions to sustainably guarantee compatibility;
  • periodic checks for the availability of new security updates;
  • timely and controlled security-update installation and testing;
  • systematic versioning of changes to the TYPO3 installation and the website;
  • login access only with SSL;
  • server-side access restriction for the TYPO3 administration; and
  • operation on a server platform optimized for security-related maintenance.

Do you have any questions?

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Bert Brückmann, Project Manager at TWT Digital Health:

"Aspects of system security and maintainability already have to be taken into account when designing projects. This saves significant costs in the medium term and enables the reliable operation of a website."