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Why I don't use Wordpress

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 | Eva Pettifor |

Why I don't use Wordpress

or Drupal, Magento, Open Cart, Joomla, Concrete5, ModX, Prestashop, Silver Stripe, ez Publish, CMS Made Simple ...

Open Source

These systems are all Open Source which means they are free to download and the source code is available to any one to access and modify as they wish. This is popular for many web developers who enjoy the freedom to tinker with code and have the ultimate in flexibility with what their website can achieve. I am not suggesting these systems are 'bad' in fact I have created many websites for my clients on open source platforms in the past and many reputable web developers have good results with these systems. I respect their choice.

Unfortunately a few of the online business workshops and seminars around town advise participants to 'go and get themselves a free Wordpress website, pick a theme and add some widgets' (which might be fine for a hobby site) or to ask their web designer specifically to use this system for their business because it 'is the best'. This is very disappointing as it is one-sided advice based on the personal preference of whoever is taking the seminar.

Reasons I do not to use open source CMS for my client's websites:

  • There are no automatic software updates to the core system, a site launched yesterday could be outdated with a bug release the very next day leaving your website at risk.
  • Hackings! I have seen a few open source sites get hacked over the years ... it's no fun for the client when their website suddenly goes offline and not always possible to reinstate it. The code is open and accessible to any one, so hackers spend a lot of time trying to bring down these popular systems. The risk is high.
  • Add on modules (or 'widgets') created by a third party give a site more features and flexibility but may have security flaws, even if the main system has been patched manually. Some modules are actually created by hackers in the first place.
  • Patching the main system could break a module's functionality if the person who designed the module didn't release a patch for the module as well.
  • Support is limited to the goodwill of the community. Although the community is very active, it is a risk to ensure problems will get answered by a volunteer who wants to help and they don't always have the answers - it's not the sort of risk I like to take with my client's valuable business websites.
  • A server upgrade by the hosting company could wreak havoc on the website itself, this sort of thing can happen out of the blue and I have also seen this in the past.
  • I don't 'tinker' with code or server configurations.
  • I want to sleep at night, I want my clients to be able to sleep at night too! We don't want to worry about a site getting bugs or being hacked.
If a client insists on using Wordpress (or any of the other open source system), I will unfortunately need to turn down that job.

SaaS

Amongst a couple of others, the system I mainly use is Adobe Business Catalyst which is SaaS based. This means the content management system is based on the popular model of: Software as a Service. The system does not come free to download (infact you cannot download it at all because it is securely hosted by the supplier). I find the license fee well worth the cost to ensure:

  • Automatic system updates, bug releases and security patches - they are applied to the main software which is then automatically fed to the thousands of websites without the website owner (or web developer) needing to do anything at all.
  • Professional support - as a partner, I have access to Adobe software engineers via instant online chat or support ticketing system to ask questions or troubleshoot any issues if they arise.
  • Server maintenance - the web hosting server is maintained by Adobe on their secure Amazon servers in Sydney, there is no software to install or configure. Hackers aren't drawn to this system as the source code is hidden from the public and it may seem 'less popular'.
  • There are other wonderful Adobe Partners and a growing community I can call upon to achieve extra functionality if I need to.
  • As a partner, I have a partner portal where I can access and control all of my client's websites quickly from the same interface making my support procedure more efficient.
  • My client's receives a weekly emailed report displaying the progress of their website (stats and other messages) with a login to the admin to drill down further if desired.
  • Adobe BC is an 'All-in'One' online solution which means the website, eCommerce, Email Marketing plus a selection of popular modules are built right into the same system meaning one central login for my client's to learn and access. These modules can be added over time to evolve with my client's needs.

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Copyright Eva Pettifor, Darwin Web Design. Please seek my permission prior to reproducing this article in any way but feel free to link directly to this page if you wish to use this content - thanks!

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