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Wordpress is not always the best CMS option

03 March 2016

For a site to be easily updateable, easy to use and scalable, it needs to run on top of a robust Content Management System. This is the software in the site that allows you to add/edit and remove content from the site in real time – usually via a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. There are many available, some proprietary and some open source. This article explains why we have chosen to develop a proprietary CMS that we are very proud of.

What is open source?

Open source means a product or piece of software that does not belong to one single person/company, but is maintained and extended by an open community of developers. Anybody with the time/skills in this model can add or remove code at any time. The software is therefore free to download and use. The most popular CMS, Wordpress, is an open source product based on the open source PHP platform.

Why don't we promote Wordpress?

We have many clients come to us and say “we need a Wordpress site”. When asked why, the reply is often “we’ve been told that’s the best way to go, and it means the site can be ported to another developer if we need to”. It seems fairly likely that the people who gave them this advice were Wordpress developers…

In fact, simply because a product is open source doesn not immediately make it portable. Every developer has his/her own style or personal preferences, for example different plugin preferences, markup preferences etc. So unless your developer is simply downloading Wordpress and installing a default template (in which case they can’t really be labelled a ‘developer’, more on this below), there is still going to be a need for a rebuild, refactoring or redesign if the site were to be moved.

The main issues…

Here are the main issues we have with open source Content Management Systems:

  • Thousands of people having access to the source code is not always a good thing. All these different styles and conflicts of opinion can end up finding their way into the code. Security should also be a major concern, especially as the history of Wordpress is rocky in this regard, with break-ins and logs of backdoors having been included in some downloads allowing unauthorized access
  • Making custom changes to the structure or adding improvements/modules a client asks for becomes a costly development task
  • With the source code available to the public, there are constantly new security issues and bots often target open source sites to attack as they know the structure and the flaws
  • Wordpress developers may not actually be developers, as mentioned above. If they are simply installing plugins and templates, should you need a bug fixing or a custom improvement, they will be reliant on the community or other developers
  • Wordpress was originally (and still is) designed to be a blogging platform. Using it for an ordinary website is a square-peg-round-hole job
  • Some plugins, intentionally or not, can introduce new security vulnerabilities not found in the core build of the software, so need to be evaluated carefully
  • Some themes, although they may look nice, will be badly formatted, load unnecessary javascript (making your site slow), not be search engine optimised etc.

Our solution

We have spent years developing, updating and fine-tuning our CMS, running on professional Microsoft ASP.NET and we recommend all our customers to use it as we believe it is the most flexible, cost-effective and secure option available to them.

In our experience, our customers almost always ask for tweaks to a design or little extras here and there. With our CMS we have absolutely no issue in doing this and each customer’s site is unique and tailored to their exact requirements.

Our CMS is not just designed to be a blogging platform (although it can include a fully functional blogging module the same as Wordpress if needed) – it is designed to be used for many applications, from small scale brochure sites to large corporate intranets. This means it is highly flexible and easily scalable.

It is designed to be extremely easy to use. We use a robust WYSIWYG HTML editor, allowing people with no technical skills to add their content. Administration has never been easier either, with our very simple admin panel, leaving the complicated bits to us.

We are proud to say that our CMS driven sites have never been hacked, thanks to an array of security measures and secure Rackspace Cloud hosting.

Not only do you get our robust CMS, a unique custom design and our secure hosting when you build a site with us, you also get our thorough understanding of business, our technical skills and advice, SEO management and technical support for true peace of mind.

But what if I want to move my site?

No, our CMS is not open source, but that does not mean your site is not portable. The codebase is easily readable, easily extendable and fully commented, meaning anybody who has experience in ASP .NET C# will be able to take your site, modify it and host it somewhere else. We give you full rights to your source code - all we ask is that you do not resell the code.

I hear what you’re saying, but I still want Wordpress

Not a problem, we understand some people may still need a Wordpress solution. That’s why we offer business blogging sites built on Wordpress alongside our main ASP.NET offering, just get in touch to talk this through with us.