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Whassamatta with WordPress?
Clients occasionally come to us with the notion they need a WordPress site. Maybe they've used it before, maybe they read that one out of five websites uses it, maybe they heard that some major corporations use it or maybe a committee or the boss floated the idea. So what could be wrong with such a popular platform? The short answer is not much, but there is something better. While WordPress is a fine tool for some purposes and we are happy to build a WordPress site, we almost never do because once we explain the options, clients quickly recognize we have a better solution for them in Build111.
The main virtues often expressed about WordPress are that it's open source so it's free to start with and you can modify it any way you like, it's widely used so lots of people know how to use it and there are tons of plugins so development cost for common features is avoided. However, each of these virtues has a negative side.
WordPress is free and quick to install, but that's where "free" ends. The cost of any customization or personalization can be significant and require substantial development investment. Secondly, because it's open source, everyone has the source code including hackers. That means that you absolutely have to do updates as soon as they come out: updates to WordPress itself, to plugins and to themes. Third, if you have taken advantage of it's open source nature by making custom modifications to WordPress, you risk having your website break when you do an update. Even if you haven't done anything custom, plugins sometimes become incompatible with each other or with your WordPress version when they are updated. So compared to our 111 CMS...
- Cost: Build111 typically takes 60-80% of the development time of a comparable WordPress site.
- Security: WordPress gets hacked because it's open source. 111 is closed source.
- Updates: To prevent hacking, you can turn on auto updates in WordPress, but you risk having the site go down when you're not looking. We take care of updating 111 for you and we're always looking.
Because WordPress is so popular, people try to use it when it's not appropriate. WordPress is good for a small to medium sized blog and for simple websites. Even those major corporations only use it for the things it can do well. However, a true enterprise blog done in WordPress will hog hosting systems resources. A client had a WordPress blog with over 40,000 posts and BlueHost shut the site down for that reason. We put it in Build111 with no problem and it has 48,000 posts now. Secondly, while experienced WordPress editors can find their way around, new editors have trouble because it's not very intuitive. 111 is edited easily every day by non-technical editors all over the country. Because it's popular, developers often try to customize it to do things it wasn't designed to do. This can cause problems when custom code argues with a necessary update. On the other hand, Build111 can be customized by our developers for special needs with no risk of incompatibility. In summary:
- Performance: WordPress is not enterprise software, unlike Build 111.
- Ease of Use: WordPress is difficult for site editors compared to Build 111.
- Customization: Unlike WordPress, 111 can be customized without risk of incompatibility.
WordPress comes with a myriad of plugins for a great many nifty features. When everything works right, these can add functionality and utility to your web presence. However, any seasoned WordPress user knows the risk of having their site stop working when they update something. In fact, standard procedure when a site breaks is to rename the plugins folder and start adding plugins back one by one until you figure out which one broke things. Another risk is security and privacy. You won't know if a plugin developer is harvesting data from your website. Finally, while the array of WordPress plugins available is vast, our Build111 CMS has the advantage of a community approach to upgrades. When a client asks for a feature that will benefit others, it is added for everyone without risk of incompatibility.
- Compatibility: Updates won't break 111 because we do them ourselves without the need for decisions on your part.
- Security: Outside developers don't create software for 111. We do it all in-house.
- Utility: 111 is designed with the features needed by businesses already built in and gets better every day.
So yes... WordPress is good, but we can demonstrate how 111 is even better. If you have heard WordPress is for you, we invite you to take a tour of Build111 or Church111 with us. Call 877.397.7605 for a walk through or contact 111 Web Studio for more information.