Choosing the right CMS for your website: Why WordPress isn’t always the answer…

If your familiar with building websites, or even if your not, you’ve probably heard of WordPress. Even if you’ve heard or it, you may not fully understand what WordPress is or what it is used for.

In short, WordPress is a content management system. It is a great tool for making it easy to input content into your website, with no knowledge of coding or website development.

Where people often go wrong with WordPress, is they mistake it for a website builder. Whilst this isn’t exactly wrong – and it is more than possible to build a website using WordPress alone with the help of themes and plugins, it’s not really the best method to build a website if your looking for a fast and effective site that will deliver results.

The problem

Whilst using pre-made themes and plugins can be a quick solution, they often come with a lot of baggage – unwanted code that will never be used in your site, but code that a browser will still need to load every time a user visits your website. What does this cause? Yep, a very slow and poor site performance and ultimately a bad user experience all round.

The reason this is a real issue is some web designers, agencies or DIY users will often choose this method of building for a quick turn around. But ask yourself, is a quick turn around really worth it if your website is so slow that most users will go somewhere else before it’s even loaded?

Don’t get me wrong, you can build beautiful sites using pre-made themes, but it’s no use being beautiful if no one can see you!

The solution

This article may come across as an attack on WordPress as a system, but that could not be further from the truth. In fact I still use WordPress more than any other CMS. Why? Because after a years of learning, experience and even making a few of the mistakes I’ve highlighted above, I still believe that WordPress is a great way of developing a website and managing content.

But it’s not the only way. These days if a client needs a website, it’s important to understand the requirements of that site. Where does it need to thrive? What could be the potential issues of using WordPress or any CMS at all?

Here is a process I have adapted over the past 18 months or so – choose the best method, not the easiest.

Because in today’s world, WordPress is not alone. There are great alternatives such as Umbraco or Craft.

As a developer, I will always use the CMS that is most suitable to the website I’m building.

A start-up 5 page website, doesn’t need all the plugins and extras WordPress kindly offers. An alternative may well be what’s best for the performance of your site.

I have the experience of using a similar CMS called Umbraco. Where Umbraco differs from WordPress is within its core. As a developer, I feel a sense of freedom with Umbraco that WordPress doesn’t offer. I can code the way I need to – I’m not limited to writing Php.

Why is this potentially better for you? Well, maybe your looking for something specific or complex on your website, maybe a mortgage calculator or a booking system that directly works with existing software your business may use. This is were I wouldn’t always recommend using WordPress. Whilst it is always possible, it’s not always productive.

WordPress works on a coding language called Php – and whilst Php is still widely used, it’s days of being the only option are well and truly over. Today we have over options, arguably more powerful options such as C# – making website possibilities endless.

In summary

To sum up – WordPress is a great option for many websites. However, unlike may web development companies who will only use WordPress, I take the time to study the requirements and choose the best CMS for you.

It’s isn’t just a choice between Umbraco and WordPress either. There are lots of CMS options out there, some of which you may have heard of such as Shopify or Weebly.

Depending on your requirements, depends on your CMS, which could well be WordPress or something a bit different!

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