We recently had a friendly debate in our office of which we thought was a better experience but putting personal bias aside there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on the type of service you are providing.
Content is what defines your website and the reason why your audience will return again and again. Choosing the right browsing experience based on your unique content will enrich the experience rather than leave your audience feeling confused and frustrated.
What is infinite scrolling?
I think it’s fair to say at some point we have all fallen down the rabbit hole of endless scrolling. In short infinite scrolling is a technique used to fetch a continuous source of information as a user reaches the bottom of a page. Pinterest and Unsplash are great examples of the use of dynamic content.
What is pagination?
Pagination is the sequence of numbers used up to divide pages of content that a user can control, you’ll see this commonly used on large e-commerce sites or information websites that update content regularly.
The pros and cons of:
- Continually scrolling as we know is addictive, a pro…debatable but it does have a better usability experience than clicking
- There is a better chance of user engagement
- Users have the opportunity to discover new content with little to no thinking
- Thanks to social media continuously scrolling on mobile has become the prefered way to interact with content
- There is no way for the user to reference or bookmark content of interest
- If done incorrectly it can have an impact on site performance as the page needs to load infinite content as the user scrolls
- Your user will never reach the footer which may house important information for them
- Your pages will have a good conversion rate because as people are searching it will show in a specific list of items
- It will give your users a scene of control and clarify how long it will take them to find what they are looking for.
- A returning user will be able to identify quickly where the content is
- It obstructs the user experience which will lead to lower engagement rates
- If not implemented properly can cause confusion
- So which one is better for you? The bottom line is no ideal or stronger one, it all comes down to your UX and content requirements. The best thing to do is to analyse web and user goals and make decisions based on them.
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- Design look and feel
- Structure and navigation
- Features and functionality
- User experience
- Content and layout
- Speed and performance
- And anything else relevant to your project.
9 June, 2023
Exploring the End-to-End Process of Website Development
Approaching a website development project can be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the process and unsure what to expect. In this article, we’ll provide a detailed overview of the web development process to help you understand what’s involved, making it easier for you to approach a project yourself and avoid any pitfalls.
Your Role as the Client
If you read our recent series of in-depth guides through the end-to-end process of web design, you’ll know that process will usually involve a lot of collaboration between you, your team members, and the agency you’re working with.
Once you’ve been through that process and your design is complete, you’ll need to move to the development stage of the project to bring your designs to life.
You’ll likely have less involvement in the development stage, and less collaboration will be required, so your role will primarily be to sit back and relax while a team of skilled developers do their thing.
Depending on the project size, complexity and project management approach, you may have some touch-points with your agency partner throughout the process. If you are taking an Agile approach, this may include sprint retrospective meetings, or if you are working in a different way, this may just include short demonstrations, walk-throughs of certain pieces of bespoke functionality, or it could just be allowing you to start familiarising yourself with different features as they’re being built.
A Smooth Handover from Design to Development
One of our core qualities here at SoBold is ensuring the design and development processes work closely together. That’s achieved by not only having a very integrated design and development team in the office, but also ensuring we hold a thorough, detailed handover meeting between the designers and the developers at this stage. This serves as a key aspect of every project we work on.
The purpose of this is to give the developers a full understanding of the website or platform they need to build before any work begins, reducing the risk of error and accelerating the delivery time.
Every agency will have their own approach to this. It should usually involve the project designer(s) and project manager(s) walking the development team through everything that took place during the design process and explaining the thought process behind the decisions they’ve made. They’ll also give suggestions and guidance for how the design might be best approached from a development point of view.
Any questions the developers have about their task at hand can be answered during the handover meeting, and at any time throughout the development process, allowing the development work to flow efficiently and effectively.
The Benefits of Working with a Full-Service Web Design and Development Agency
It’s so important to align your web designers and developers, because, more often than not, there are fundamental differences in how they think and approach their work. If you decide to work with an out-and-out web design agency to design your site, with a separate development agency building it, you may encounter gaps in understanding between the two processes.
Working with an agency partner that has specialist expertise for both disciplines in-house will ensure your website is delivered on time, within budget, and directly aligned with your requirements. Having designers and developers in the same team who can share knowledge throughout the processes will almost always result in the delivery of a higher quality project too.
Building Your Website
With the handover complete, the developers will begin building your website.
Most development agencies will likely start with setting up the base. This involves setting up the base styles of the site which includes and is not limited to default colours, typography styles and global components – including button and link styles.
Once the base is set up, your developers would typically move onto the navigation and footer set up before moving onto building out all the page templates and blocks in the design should they be taking a block based approach.
Part of this process will often involve integrating certain components of your site with other systems you use within your business.
Peer Reviews and Testing to Maintain High-Performance Standards
It’s important for your agency to review and test internally all the elements that have been built, so any bugs are identified and rectified as early as possible.
Again, different agencies will have differing approaches to this. Here at SoBold, we leverage the size and experience of our team to conduct a thorough peer review process on every single component we build.
Following this internal review process, you’ll usually be given a link to your site in a staging environment.
All your content will have likely been carried over from your existing site and redirects should also be in place so that when you push the site live, any old redundant links will be redirected to the appropriate page on your new site.
If you have any live marketing campaigns running, it’s important to ensure your development agency and your marketing team (or agency) are in regular communication prior to this, so they can keep your campaigns updated in line with your new site’s launch.
Smooth Sailing Post-Launch
Once your new website is live, you’ll likely have a period of time whereby your agency will be on hand to fix any bugs that relate to the content on the new site. Here at SoBold we work with our clients for a period of 30 days following the launch of their sites, and any ongoing support beyond this 30-day bug-fix window will require a separate maintenance agreement.
Your agency should also go through the back-end of your platform with you, so you know exactly how to make changes to your website. For the most part, agencies will understand how important it is for you to be able to manage the site yourselves internally, and this is something we believe is crucial for you to be shown in detail at the end of the development process.
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29 March, 2023
Just How Scalable is WordPress?
When looking at content management systems (CMS), scalability refers to the ability to expand and grow your site with more content, capabilities, features, and functionality.
Your CMS is a long-term investment, and its scalability will have a strong influence on whether or not that investment is successful.
“When sustainable business growth is a top strategic objective, you need full confidence that your web presence can seamlessly scale and evolve to support that growth.”
This requires a platform that allows you to quickly and easily create new features and functionality. Ideally, you should be able to do this without having to invest significant time and resources into additional costly development work.
WordPress is One of the Most Scalable Platforms Around
Evidence of WordPress’s great scalability can be found in the fact that almost 45% of the world’s websites are built on the platform. That includes global enterprises such as investment firm Blackstone, research and advisory leader Forrester, the NHS England, and leading pharmaceutical company Hutch Med.
This is because WordPress websites can seamlessly scale as your needs change and your business grows. You can easily add a high volume of new content to your site at speed without compromising on quality.
WordPress is also renowned for how easily you, or your development partner, can build bespoke features and functionality, so your site can keep evolving with new capabilities to support more advanced requirements.
“No matter the size or complexity of your site, WordPress can provide fast, intuitive development capabilities with ongoing growth acting as a natural outcome.”
Using WordPress at Scale
Developing, managing, and maintaining a high-performance website at scale is a complex challenge. For that reason, it’s important to work with an experienced web design and development agency who can enable continual growth and support you through it.
Part of your agency’s services will include configuring your platform, and building your site in the back-end, in a way that encourages long-term scalability. We’ll explain our own approach to this in more detail in the next section. But first, let’s look at some of the fundamental ways to use WordPress at scale:
Bespoke Features and Functionality
If you want to build out your website with new capabilities, WordPress stands above all its competitors thanks to its ability to develop bespoke features that are unique to your site.
WordPress is built on PHP, which is the most popular development language around, as it’s currently used by over three quarters (77.5%) of all websites with a known server-side programming language. With PHP, WordPress has a significant advantage over other CMSs, because it allows you to create virtually anything and integrate it with the platform.
WordPress also comes with a vast range of plugins, which can help with adding to, and enhancing, the existing functionality of your site. Plugins are an essential aspect of WordPress development, but it’s crucial that you only choose the most reputable, tested, and proven plugins.
Your agency partner should be experienced in this plugin selection and use their past experience to recommend the best ones to use for your specific requirements. Your agency partner should also be able to advise you on how plugins will scale with increases in website size or traffic volume to help preserve your site’s performance.
Using plugins that are not regularly updated, or that come from unknown development owners, could harm your site by making it heavier, slowing down your page loading times, and possibly even creating security vulnerabilities.
Using a particularly large number of plugins is another situation that could result in slower loading speeds or other performance issues. Be mindful that use of plugins can reduce the bespoke development time needed to build your site, and the use of too many plugins could cause performance issues. If you find yourself in this situation, it could be an indication that your development partner might actually be taking shortcuts.
The Importance of a Trusted Partner
Whether you’re using plugins or building new bespoke features, your agency will be able to take care of all of these crucial aspects of your development for you. Their support and guidance will ensure you can expand your site freely without running into any technical issues.
Once you have everything you need in place, your agency will then be able to accelerate the speed at which you can scale moving forward. A great agency partner will also provide you with ongoing education and support, allowing you and your team to build your site out easily and efficiently by yourself too, whenever you want or need to.
Taking a More Scalable Approach – Building with Blocks
While many agencies still use a more traditional method of developing sites with WordPress, taking a block-based approach provides even greater opportunities for dynamic scalability.
As an alternative to the time-consuming practice of inputting text and images into a rich text editor in your CMS, the block-based approach allows you to create each page on your site more easily with a set of pre-built components.
Components are blocks of code with pre-defined style and input types. You can use and re-use these components across multiple pages of your site to scale it at a much faster pace. Any time you want to create a high volume of new content, you simply pick your already-built components and place them in the correct positions.
This is an approach that enables virtually limitless growth of your website at speed with a high level of quality and accuracy. Building components that can be reused across your site will also deliver added benefits like increased efficiency and reduced costs. This in turn provides you with more time to focus on developing better services and experiences for your site visitors.
The block-based approach to building websites is another way to make your WordPress platform leaner for better performance as well, because it removes the need for a bloated library of unnecessary plugins and features.
An Enterprise-Grade CMS
Scalability should be a key aspect of your criteria when selecting a CMS to build a website. Rapid growth and flexibility are crucial for your platform of choice.
Despite some still mistakenly thinking it might not be up to the task, you can use WordPress to build large, robust, high-performance sites at speed, and easily adapt them as your requirements change.
This arguably makes WordPress one of – if not the – best CMS options available today. When you look at some of the world’s leading businesses currently using the platform to great success, that argument becomes much easier to appreciate.
Like with any CMS, though, the key to successful scalability is having the support of an experienced, trusted agency partner behind you, ensuring you’re leveraging the platform to its full potential.
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18 April, 2023
Understanding the Important Role of Research and Planning When Designing a New Website
Before you begin working on the design elements of a website project, it’s important to begin with, what we at SoBold call, a research and planning phase.
The purpose of a research and planning phase is to ensure that every single decision you make about your design will result in a more effective website, both in terms of your business goals and your users’ needs.
During this phase, you’ll work alongside your chosen agency to define the full scope of your website and all its requirements. This phase will also involve looking closely at your target audience, trends in your market, your competitors, and any data available from your existing website.
This research is extremely useful in shaping the direction you take with your website and helping you to capitalise on certain trends that may align with your strategic objectives.
In this article, we’ll explain how a research and planning phase works to help you know what to expect when entering your own website design project.
Website Strategy Workshop
A research and planning phase usually begins with a strategic workshop. This workshop will bring all the relevant stakeholders together, either in person or over a video call, to agree on the goals and parameters of the project.
A workshop is a great collaborative environment to help your agency become even more familiar with your brand, your target audience, and the outcomes you’re looking for from your new website.
Your agency should work closely with you to determine how the objectives you have for your new website feed into your wider business goals. That will be the key to finding the right approach to designing your website.
Once the workshop is completed, the research can begin.
Leveraging Data to Dictate User Experience (UX) Decisions
Every decision you make about your website’s design needs to be informed and justified by data.
As it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture and retain your audience’s attention, nothing can be left to chance. It’s also negligent to overlook the vast range of valuable insights available to you within your data, and the data in the public domain.
Your agency should begin by analysing the performance of your website in Google Analytics. This can help to help understand the current behaviours and trends from your website users.
Most businesses use Google Analytics, but few understand the right things to measure. For many businesses, Google Analytics is an untapped gold mine of data and insights that can help you improve site engagement, retain more visitors, and ultimately grow your business.
You can conduct a thorough analysis of things like:
1 – Your Audience Acquisition
Google Analytics can help you identify where your visitors have found you and accessed your website from.
Whether through organic search, social media, direct, or referral, you’ll learn how all your visitors are acquired. This information is vital, as it can allow you to tailor different parts of your website to certain visitors at various stages of their journey with you.
For example, if organic traffic is a key driver of your website traffic, it’s important for your agency to ensure that lots of the hierarchical structure of copy is maintained throughout the site.
This is also helpful in optimising your wider digital marketing strategy, by recognising what’s working well and what isn’t, from a web traffic perspective.
Bonus Tip – If you’re running Google Adwords, make sure your agency partner is aware of all the URLs that need to be redirected, and that this doesn’t affect your ad spend.
2 – Your Visitors’ Demographics
Google Analytics can provide detailed insights into your website’s visitors, with data covering everything from age, gender, location, language, and more. This helps you gain a clear, specific understanding of who’s coming to your website, and that can inform important decisions about your design.
It will also help you determine whether or not you’re attracting the right audience, which could alert you to a need for changes in your design and branding.
Bonus Tip – If you have a lot of visitors from other countries, you may need to talk to your agency about setting up a content delivery network (CDN) on the hosting server to deliver content from that location.
3 – Your Visitors’ Interests
You can use Google Analytics to view information about your visitors’ interests, past searches, and other online behaviour. This can help you identify what they’re looking for when they’re visiting your site. You can then tailor your design and content to match any unaddressed questions, challenges, or needs they might be looking to meet.
4 – Your Visitors’ Behaviour
Google Analytics can give you a graphical representation of your visitors’ behaviour when interacting with your site. This includes where they’ve entered your site, where they went next, what their whole journey through your site looks like, and where they eventually left.
This provides great opportunities to optimise certain pages that aren’t performing well enough. You can also learn what your visitors respond well to from pages that already have strong engagement.
Mapping your users’ journeys may also uncover insights to help you create links between certain services, hone in on special offers that will drive increased conversions, and many other ways to boost engagement.
5 – Your Conversions
Your conversions are a critical measurement of your site’s success. Whether you’re aiming for subscriptions, demo sign-ups, contact form submissions, downloads, or anything else, failing to achieve your conversion targets means something isn’t working.
You can use Google Analytics to set goals for conversions, monitor performance, and highlight areas where you need to improve.
Taking this analytical approach will ensure your website’s design is tailored to supporting your strategic objectives.
Bonus Tip – On July 1, 2023, for continued website measurement, you’ll need to migrate your original property settings to a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property. Your agency partner should be on top of this though.
Next, if applicable, your agency should review any existing tracking resources you have in place on your website.
A successful website design is based on many different factors, each an important component in engaging your audience, converting them into clients, and growing your business.
This is why it’s useful to look into key metrics you may use to measure your success against, then use the related data and analytics to inform your design. Tailoring your UX based on your findings will ensure your website is designed specifically to optimise your user behaviours.
Bonus Tip – If you don’t have any additional tracking in place, both HotJar and Crazy Egg are great tools to use.
Analysing External Factors
Understanding Your Target Audience
One of the most important parts of building a new website is understanding the preferences of the audience you’re targeting. You know what your ideal customer profiles (ICP) look like, but do you understand how they behave when interacting with websites online?
Every decision about your website’s design must be made with consideration and empathy for your users. As touched on in the previous section, audience research will include a wide range of variables, including:
This part of the research will contribute towards building user personas and user journeys at a later stage of the design process.
A user persona is a fictional person that you can use to represent the target audience of your website. These personas will help you focus on the desired interactions between the ideal user and the website you’re building. Creating personas also helps to map the users’ needs to your goals for the project.
A user journey is a path that a user may take to reach their goal when using your website. Hypothetical user journeys are created at this stage, as they help to identify the different ways the site’s design needs to enable the user to achieve their goal as quickly and easily as possible.
With these, you can begin to paint a picture of how your target audience will interact with your website, allowing you to create a satisfying user experience.
Researching your industry landscape will reveal a great deal about what to do, and what not to do. An analysis of the wider market you operate in will help you benchmark yourself against industry leaders, and highlight mistakes being made by any businesses lagging behind. It’s useful to be aware of any industry trends or points of influence that may inform your website’s design as well.
Bonus Tip – You’re an expert in your industry. Your agency is not, but they are experts in web design and marketing trends. Work closely together by leveraging each other’s knowledge and expertise to paint the full picture of what makes modern websites successful from a design perspective.
It’s also crucial to conduct a thorough competitor analysis to see what the benchmark is for a successful website in your industry. Conversely, some competitors may provide examples of bad design that can help you identify pitfalls to avoid with your own site.
Around five of your competitors is usually a good number to look into. To do this, your agency should work with you on assessing their websites in key areas such as:
This research will allow you to recognise opportunities, gaps in the market, important trends, and any other insights you can gather.
Making Data-Driven Decisions
Following all this research, your agency will work on developing a strategy for your website, recommending the optimum route through the rest of the design process.
Your agency will provide a report detailing all the findings from the strategy workshop and research. This should often include a sitemap document and a content framework for your site as well.
An agency should always provide the opportunity for feedback and iterations on crucial documents like this, so you should then be given time to review this and provide feedback.
Bonus Tip – Don’t be afraid to ask questions, challenge things you’re unsure about, or change your mind during this feedback and revision process. These are big decisions, and it’s important to be 100% sure about the direction your website’s design is being taken.
Once you’ve worked through this feedback with your agency and you’re happy with everything they’ve planned, you can then move into the phase of the project that focuses on the visual identity of your site.
Bringing it All Together in the Design
A thorough, well managed research and planning phase is an essential part of designing a successful website. By having a strategy backed up by tangible data in place, you’ll be able to work through the remaining phases of the overall design process in a more efficient and effective way.
It also helps anticipate any challenges or potential issues in the design process and allows you to mitigate them before they arise, saving you time and money in the long-run.
This phase is arguably the most important in ensuring your agency can meet your specific requirements and expectations, on time and within budget.
If you’d like to discover what’s involved in the next phase of a web design project, exploring the visual identity of your site, read our next article here.
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5 January, 2023
WordPress vs Sitecore – Comparing Both Content Management Systems
Large businesses and enterprises in need of a content management system (CMS) today are spoilt for choice, because there are plenty of excellent platforms available. From WordPress to Sitecore to Drupal, the technology currently on offer is highly intelligent and intuitive.
But so much choice can make the task of finding the right CMS for your own specific business complicated and time-consuming.
Selecting a CMS is an important decision that requires a lot of research, followed by careful evaluation of all the various options. Of course, those processes can be very time-consuming. When you’re already extremely busy juggling dozens of other priorities, it’s challenging to give this the attention and effort it deserves.
To solve that challenge, we’ve done the bulk of the hard work for you. In a new series of articles, we’ll provide you with direct, objective comparisons between some of the leading options for CMSs, helping you relieve the headache of researching and evaluating them yourself.
In the first article of this series, we’ll be looking at the comparison between Sitecore and WordPress.
How Does the Security Compare for Both Platforms?
As we face ever-increasing concerns with cyber security, data protection, and various other digital challenges, finding a platform with robust security should be a top priority.
Sitecore has a reputation of being the leading CMS for large businesses, guaranteeing an enterprise-grade experience that includes a high level of security.
Sitecore’s security is also strengthened by the vast range of in-built features within the platform, which we’ll discuss in more detail later. There’s no need to purchase more third-party software or plug-ins to enhance its functionality, which means you won’t be creating any additional vulnerabilities or risks. The platform also receives frequent security updates which bolster your protection even further.
If security is a concern for your business, Sitecore should be high on your list of potential candidates for a CMS.
For a long time, many people believed the misconception that WordPress isn’t secure enough for large businesses. However, industry leaders such as global investment firm Blackstone, the NHS in England, global research and advisory leader Forrester, and multinational bank Standard Chartered now use WordPress for their CMS. This goes a long way to proving that wrong.
In fact, WordPress is already a secure, stable platform out-of-the-box. So, where did this myth come from?
Well, vulnerabilities can arise in certain scenarios. Firstly, strong security with any technology is dependent on a well-managed hosting environment. If you have WordPress hosted in a secure environment from an experienced provider, with proactive security measures in place, your risk will be extremely low.
Secondly, plugins are something to be cautious of when it comes to security, both in terms of where they come from and keeping them properly maintained. Security threats will be minimised if you only use plugins from trusted sources. You should also ensure you always keep them tested and updated, ideally working alongside security-specific plugins like WordFence.
We appreciate this may sound like a lot of work. That’s why all the examples of the businesses succeeding with WordPress have the support of an agency partner who ensures all these things are taken care of during the development stage. It’s worth noting, though, that this will also be the case when adopting any CMS in a business setting.
Which Platform is More Scalable?
One of the most important aspects of a CMS is its scalability. A CMS is a long-term investment, and this is one of the most influential factors in determining whether that investment will be successful or not.
You’ll need to ensure your site can evolve as your business grows and your needs change over time. This will require an infrastructure that can quickly and easily scale with more pages, additional functionality, and perhaps even more sites, without the burden of hefty costs for more development work.
How Scalable is Sitecore?
Sitecore is designed specifically for large businesses, so its scalability is up there with the very best. Sitecore is a robust platform that allows your digital presence to grow seamlessly as your business grows, even if you need to build multiple sites to serve different groups of users in different languages.
How Scalable is WordPress?
WordPress is another highly scalable platform. Despite some still mistakenly believing that WordPress is suited to smaller businesses, you can use the CMS to build sophisticated, industry-leading sites. Like Sitecore, WordPress is agile and scalable enough to grow alongside your business and adapt to your changing requirements.
How Capable are these Content Management Systems?
The main purpose of a CMS is to provide a software-based infrastructure upon which you can build and manage websites and applications. While most CMSs are similar on the surface, with the same fundamental functionality, they each have unique features and capabilities that differentiate them
For example, one critical indication of quality for a CMS is how easy it is to use. Once you’ve adopted a platform, you and your colleagues will need to feel immediately comfortable using it on a daily basis. If a CMS can’t provide good usability, it’s probably one you should avoid.
Sitecore as a Content Management System
Sitecore is actually considered a fully managed ‘digital experience platform’ that comes with more capabilities than the average CMS.
Most of its best features are readily available as soon as you begin using Sitecore. That allows you to get a high quality site live very quickly without additional work within the platform.
However, Sitecore typically provides quite hierarchical, complex workflows that might be frustrating for small or agile teams. This can also create longer development cycles than usual, giving you a slower time-to-market than more intuitive systems like WordPress.
WordPress as a Content Management System
WordPress is easily the most popular CMS in the world right now, with around 45% of all websites built on the platform. One of the main reasons for that is its ease-of-use, with simple and efficient content management
This usability allows you to get up-to-speed quickly and share responsibilities across several members of your team, even if they have no previous content management experience.
WordPress also makes it convenient to edit content on a page-by-page basis, saving you valuable time, with its block-based design an ideal method for customisation and site management.
How Much Personalisation do they Provide?
The ability to customise and tailor your site’s content to your target audiences is more important today than ever before, with so much of modern business now taking place online. Therefore, this is another important point to consider when choosing between your various CMS options.
Personalisation in Sitecore
When compared with other platforms, Sitecore’s personalisation is excellent. Sitecore will provide you with a great deal of control over the structure and design of your pages, allowing you to tailor your user experience and drive greater performance for your site.
This is particularly useful for larger businesses with high volumes of potential site visitors, delivering competitive differentiation and driving increased conversion rates.
Personalisation in WordPress
WordPress is also highly customisable. You can use its flexibility to get creative with your design, and build bespoke features and functionality to better engage with your audience.
There’s not much to separate Sitecore and WordPress in this area. The gap in personalisation becomes even smaller if you find an experienced agency with WordPress-specific expertise to help develop your site and improve your customer experience.
Integrating with Other Systems
Before your business invests in any digital platform, it’s important to ensure that technology can integrate easily with your existing software. Whether it’s your customer relationship management (CRM) or any other marketing systems, any digital tools you currently have should ideally be compatible with your new CMS.
How Sitecore Integrates with Other Systems
Sitecore integrates well with other systems. It allows you to achieve out-of-the-box integration with most of the leading CRM software, and plenty of other digital tools and platforms.
How WordPress Integrates with Other Systems
WordPress tends to be the easiest platform to integrate with your existing systems, because most brands and other SaaS products have already made themselves compatible.
This means you can deploy WordPress with minimal disruption, regardless of whether you’re building a new site from scratch or migrating your current site from a different CMS.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Of course, you’ll also want to ensure you’re getting a solution that will deliver good value for money. With a CMS, the total cost of ownership (TCO) can vary greatly from one platform to another, due to factors like licensing fees and update-driven maintenance.
Sitecore Initial Investment and Ongoing Costs
Sitecore is an expensive option, even if you have a large budget to work with. You’ll be required to purchase licences for the platform with an ongoing renewal fee each year. These licenses come in tiers, so if you want to access the full range of benefits from Sitecore you’ll have to opt for the most expensive offering.
On top of that, you’ll also need to account for development costs with an agency, hosting costs, maintenance and support fees, and various other expenses that give Sitecore a very hefty total cost of ownership (TCO).
Furthermore, Sitecore requires ongoing management and maintenance to handle regular large-scale updates to the platform. When updates occur, new versions of the software come with a big price tag and may cause you to pay for additional development work to get your site up-to-speed.
However, this could be a worthwhile investment if Sitecore’s features and capabilities are necessary for your specific requirements. If you’re looking for a quality, trustworthy enterprise-grade platform, Sitecore can justify the cost.
WordPress TCO and Value
Conversely, WordPress is a much more cost-effective solution with a drastically lower TCO. Licenses for WordPress come at no cost and the software is entirely open-source. That means your implementation costs would be limited to just hosting, agency fees, and post-deployment support.
If you decide to use any plugins or extensions of the platform, these will be licensed and paid for separately. However, businesses rarely need to bolt on many new tools or capabilities because WordPress is such a feature-rich platform already.
When WordPress is updated, unlike Sitecore, managing and testing your site can be done in just a few hours at a much lower cost.
A Word on Agency Partners
One thing both Sitecore and WordPress have in common is the small selection of platform-specific agencies who can build high performance sites for large businesses using this technology.
A CMS becomes far easier to use, and easier to drive strong return on investment (ROI), if you have a specialist partner supporting you.
Finding an agency with the necessary experience and expertise to help you leverage these platforms to their full potential should be another important influence on your choice. From integration, to development, to maintenance, all the benefits and advantages of the platforms will require an agency to help you fully unlock them.
How to Make Your Decision
So, with all that information, how can you decide between the two?
Both of these platforms are excellent options that would serve most businesses extremely well. After all, there’s plenty of good reasons why some of the biggest companies in the world use Sitecore and WordPress.
Ultimately, when looking for a CMS that’s the right fit for your specific business, you should make a detailed assessment of your strategic objectives, unique requirements, budget, users, and other important factors. Use that to determine which solution is most capable of meeting those needs.
If you still need more help working through this process, read our comprehensive guide to understanding and evaluating the enterprise options for large businesses here.
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Latest from agency
19 August, 2022
Celebrating 2 years with Martina Gabrielli
The moment Marti joined us at SoBold, we were excited and eager to see how she would translate her enthusiasm and energy towards development towards real life projects. We were not let down and she hit the ground running.
2 years later, largely hampered by COVID, we now are getting the absolute best out of Marti. She is incredibly reliable, diligent and talented and she is involved in all of our biggest projects.
Marti has never been one to code for the sake of coding, and she always makes sure she understands the bigger picture before diving into a project.
⅓ of the Italian SoBold Office crew, we are very fortunate to have Marti and we truly can’t wait to watch her skillset improve and see her continue to work on the biggest and best projects!
We caught up with Marti to find out more about what she gets up to in her day to day life.
At what point in your life did you decide to become a developer?
Having studied Foreign Languages and Literatures, since uni I had a dream to become a successful translator. I came to London to fulfil this dream but I wasn’t sure which field to specialise in yet. So I started working at a restaurant, and in my spare time, I would translate articles for online media sites and magazines, and also produce subtitles for tv series.
Later on, I started a course in software localisation, and this opened up the dev world to me as I had to put my hands on the software source code. When it was time to search for a job, reality had a massive hit: competition was high, work was difficult to find, it was clear I had to invest more time and specialise furthermore.
I felt stuck and didn’t really know what to do with my life. So I went backpacking around the world for a few months, and I decided to dive more into that dev world that I found so interesting. Time wasn’t really a problem while travelling, so I read a lot about web development and took a lot of online courses. I devoured so many online resources, I just couldn’t believe they were all a click away! Since my first “Hello World” project, I’ve found the process of coding and building a website from scratch a beautiful mix of creative problem solving that never disappoints. Long story short, that’s when I knew I wanted to become a developer.
Describe your typical day
I wake up at 6:30am, I feed Coco and Lucy (my cats), I put some tunes on while having breakfast, quick shower. Then it’s checking the weather time: if it looks cloudy and rainy I’ll take the tube, otherwise, I’ll most probably board my Brompton and off we go to the office! Ideally, I like to conclude the evening by doing some form of exercise, usually rollerskating or a walk/run.
What’s your favourite project to date
I really enjoyed working on the new SoBold website, it’s been a huge team effort and the result it’s simply amazing!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I once read this quote: “If we all threw our problems in a pile, we’d grab ours back.”
I think it’s a beautiful sentence, it makes me appreciate life every day and makes me very grateful for all I have.
If you had to change careers what would you do instead?
Not sure what but surely something related to sport.
What was your most recent challenge and how did you overcome It?
When you’re a developer, every day there’s a new challenge. You just have to learn how to tackle them. In general, I think talking with a colleague helps a lot. Also “rubber ducking” can be a useful method for debugging code. In both cases, they’re powerful methods that consist in taking a break and articulating the problem in plain language.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?
I’m a big ramp skate fanatic. https://www.instagram.com/martymcroll/
What 3 items would you bring to a desert island?
🇨🇭 🔪 🎸 and 🛌🏽