When we meet with clients to talk about new website projects or redesigning existing sites, one of the first points we ponder is "WordPress? Or not WordPress?"
The WordPress content management system (CMS) can be a powerful and affordable way to build a website. And for many business people it's top-of-mind as a path toward putting their business online. But WordPress isn't the ideal tool for every site. (No single CMS is.)
Here are some thoughts on when WordPress might be a good solution for your business website — and when a custom-built site might be a better choice:
You're already a WordPress customer
If you're looking to revamp your existing website and that existing site is powered by WordPress, it might make good sense to stick with it. As long as WordPress has been meeting your needs so far and the list of features your redesigned site will need can also be met by WordPress, you might want to stay the course. You likely have staff people who handle at least minor content additions and updates to your site who are already familiar with the WordPress dashboard, so sticking with it will eliminate a good part of the learning curve of making a switch.
You're on a limited budget (and aren't too concerned with look-and-feel)
Getting a WordPress site up and running "out of the box" can be fast — and fast translates into affordable. With thousands of pre-designed "themes" and "plug-ins" to expand WordPress's functionality — and many of them freely available — as long as your site doesn't require an absolutely unique look-and-feel, using WordPress along with a free pre-defined theme can get your business online affordably.
You're committed to managing your site's content in-house
The real power of WordPress from the site owner's point-of-view is the ability it affords you to maintain your website without paying a developer for every revision you might need in the future. Sure, there is a learning curve to becoming familiar with the WordPress dashboard. But after you invest the time and energy to familiarize yourself with it, the long-term effect can be saving money.
On the other hand, we occasionally encounter businesses that request WordPress sites only to continue to turn to us to make content additions and revisions for them throughout the life of the site, which largely negates the reason for launching a WordPress site in the first place.
Also keep in mind while site owners can learn to make minor to moderate revisions to their site without assistance, the services of a professional web developer will still be needed when it comes to more complex revisions and new features. And the WordPress CMS itself along with any installed themes and plug-ins will need to be updated on a regular basis to keep them secure and up-to-date, and those updates are best performed by a web developer.
Your site is on the simpler side of somewhat complex
You've probably heard the expression, "To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail." In a similar vein, despite what a WordPress-centric shop might say, WordPress has its limits. Not every website is a good match for WordPress, and many times there's no substitute for a bespoke site built from the ground up custom coded to do exactly what you need to do.
At Root802, our partners' needs dictate the toolset — not the other way around. If you're looking for a new site or need to retool your existing site, we'll help you determine if WordPress is a good match for you.