In response to COVID-19, we’ve put in place a number of measures at SoBold to make sure we can continue to provide our services to our clients around the world as well as do what we can to help contain the spread of the virus.
It’s helpful to reflect on the fact that we offer a service whereby the performance and outcome of work produced will not be affected at all.
We’ve moved to full-time remote work
SoBold has decided to close our office in London and have our employees work remotely until further notice.
We’re doing this in an effort to help prevent the spread of the virus because, while most SoBold employees are healthy and not in the high-risk category, we appreciate that is not the case for all of those around us, or in the wider community we live in.
We have a responsibility towards these people, including others who work in our building and those we come into contact with during each others’ daily commute.
We’ve set up enhanced support for remote work
We don’t believe it’ll cause much disruption to the rest of the team and business.
Most of our clients, for example, will be familiar with remote meetings; we regularly host virtual meetings between clients and SoBold.
All team members have access to reliable remote conferencing and workflow tools, so they can speak to anyone either within SoBold or outside of the organisation, whenever they need or want to.
This means we can continue to frictionlessly share and work collaboratively cross-functionally, with the ultimate goal of always delighting our clients and partners.
Free support to those directly affected by the closure of their businesses
We want to give back and help businesses and individuals that have been so badly damaged by the closure of their shopfronts, gyms, restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry.
We are offering free website help to these businesses during these tough times.
If you would like to get in touch with a team member about this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like these insights straight to your mailbox?
- What’s the purpose of your project?
- What objectives do you want to achieve?
- What exactly are you looking to build?
- How much budget do you have to spend?
- What existing technology do you need to integrate with?
- What features and functionality do you need?
- What skills and expertise do you have in-house?
- Stick with your existing platform and update or build on to it
- Buy a custom, purpose-built, ‘out the box’ platform or piece of software
- Work with an agency to adopt a new platform and/or build something bespoke.
- Bespoke development
- Customisable design, features, and functionality
- Migration from legacy systems to a new platform
- Seamless scalability
- A secure infrastructure
- Performance in peak traffic volumes
- Integration with back-end systems like Salesforce, HubSpot, PowerBi, and more
- Ease-of-use in both the front and back-end
- Quick and easy editing capabilities
- Multi-site development for multiple languages across different countries
- Responsive or ‘headless’ design for web and mobile, enabling omni-channel customer experience.
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.
Would you like these insights straight to your mailbox?
8 March, 2023
5 Women To Shape the Design and Tech Worlds
March 8th is still an important date to remind us of the brilliance of being a woman in our society. Even though it can be a struggle every day, we know that women are capable of anything and we are very proud to celebrate the achievements of these creative and intelligent women.
Who can live without Wi-Fi nowadays? In 1942, Hedy invented the technology that later helped the creation of wireless signals.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
If you’re not in the programming world, you may not have heard of COBOL. This programming language created in 1952 is still used on business applications to this day. Grace was one of the first ever compilers and her work led to the creation of COBOL.
Even in the age of Sat Nav, you’ve probably relied on a road sign at some point, right? Either driving or walking down the street, the reliable signs are a source of comfort when technology fails. Margaret was part of the team that redesigned the whole UK road sign system. It all started in the late 1950s and her work still guides us even to this day.
‘Just do it’ – the famous tagline from a brand you might have heard of, called Nike. The tick logo was first developed by Carolyn when she was just starting design and the idea behind it to represent speed and motion. Even though the Nike tick is now one of the top 10 most recognised logos worldwide, Carolyn has only made $35 from her design.
We all know Apple. We all know that they’ve conquered the world of technology by consistently presenting unique designs with both their hardware and software. What you probably didn’t know was that Susan was the designer responsible for developing all the typefaces, icons and other elements that serve as the core for what we now know as the Apple brand.
Would you like these insights straight to your mailbox?
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.
Would you like these insights straight to your mailbox?
31 October, 2022
Understanding and Evaluating Enterprise Options for Bespoke Web Development
Evaluating and selecting the best option for a bespoke web development project is an important decision, with a lot riding on it. But with so many technology providers, platforms, and agency partners out there today, that decision can be overwhelming.
In this article, we’ll guide you through this evaluation process, explore the options available, and help you choose the right technology platform for your own web development project.
We all know that a large business or enterprise relies on technology to function. With dozens of sites across different countries, hundreds of employees, and thousands of customers, technology is the heartbeat of your organisation.
You need sophisticated technology to facilitate mission-critical digital assets like your website, mobile applications, staff portals, communications channels, and various other systems. Many businesses also leverage technology to facilitate processes or capabilities that are entirely unique to the organisation, like internal training platforms or bespoke tools for certain departments.
With that in mind, it’s important to find a platform that can meet your specific requirements and enable you to accomplish your strategic objectives.
Modern enterprise systems need to be dynamic, scalable, and intuitive, and achieving that involves some complexity behind the scenes. For that reason, it’s often necessary to take the route of a bespoke development project to ensure your business gains exactly what it needs in terms of both functionality and capability.
A content management system (CMS) is the most common technology platform for businesses to deliver these projects, with almost two thirds (63%) of all sites on the Internet powered by a CMS today. This is a type of software used to build websites and similar systems, allowing you to easily create, edit, and publish digital content across a range of online channels and devices. But determining the best CMS, let alone choosing the right one for your own bespoke development project, can be a daunting challenge.
So, let’s explore the situations in which it’s wise to adopt a CMS to deliver a development project. We’ll then walk you through the next steps, giving you the confidence to make the best decisions for your business along the way.
Enterprise Challenges with Technology
There are plenty of situations in which a marketing team might be struggling to identify the right technology platform for a project like this.
Perhaps you need to find a way to deliver something very niche, like building a new website or internal system from scratch. Maybe your project requires you to build a website on a new platform, and that platform needs to integrate with your internal systems like Salesforce, HubSpot, PowerBi, and other back-end applications.
Or, you may be trying to solve a challenge, like finding a suitable way to replace your current legacy systems. If, for example, your current website is built on a CMS like Drupal, and it’s no longer capable of meeting your requirements, you’ll need to find a new platform and migrate everything over.
A CMS is an ideal solution in each of these scenarios, and many others. Of course, with such a vast technology landscape to navigate, finding the right CMS is no easy task. It’s even difficult to know where to begin for most enterprise marketers.
So, let’s take a look at how you can approach this evaluation process in a cost-effective, efficient way.
How to Approach an Enterprise Web Development Project
Firstly, as an aside, it’s important to regularly review and reassess whether your CMS is fit for purpose, even if you don’t have an immediate requirement for something new.
Modern technology is advancing so rapidly. With that, your users’ expectations – both employees and customers – are evolving as well. You need to keep up with the pace of change and ensure your technology can still meet the current demands it faces from those users.
Back to the task at hand, though. Before you begin looking into different CMS, you should try to define exactly what it is you need from them.
Whether you’re building a bespoke website or migrating an existing site to a new platform, make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve by doing so.
Start by asking questions like:
Make sure you have a very specific brief and clear set of requirements to take to whichever solution providers and agencies you’ll be speaking to. If you don’t, you’ll struggle to fully understand whether the platforms you’re evaluating can actually deliver what you need.
Once you’ve got that, you can decide which approach is the best for your project. This could be:
It’s worth noting that most web development projects for large businesses will have complex requirements that are almost impossible to achieve without strategic guidance and ongoing support from an experienced partner. An agency partner will work closely with you to understand your strategic objectives and requirements, then provide you with platform-specific skills, tools, and expertise to achieve those. We’ll look at this in more detail later in the article.
Defining Your Requirements
As mentioned above, it’s important to have a specific set of objectives for your project and know what requirements are necessary to achieve those. These will also ensure the partner or agency you work with understands your brief and is able to deliver the exact finished product you’re looking for.
When scoping this out, there are some common capabilities and qualities most enterprise-grade platforms should have in order to meet expectations. Here are some things you should ensure your new platform – and the agency you work with, if you decide to go that route – can provide for your business:
Your Options for Enterprise CMS
Drupal is popular among enterprises because it’s a highly secure platform. It’s also great if your team contains technical resources with good coding ability, as it’s very intuitive for people that have more advanced content management skills.
On the other hand, Drupal can be very difficult to get up and running, and is lacking in terms of simplicity. Because of this, your agency costs will also likely be higher than with other CMSs if you take that route.
Even if you do have that technical skill in your team, however, the platform itself is somewhat limited with customisation. It’s also worth noting that the version of Drupal most businesses currently use (Drupal 7) is soon reaching end-of-life. This has caused many Drupal users to migrate their existing sites to new, more intuitive platforms, such as WordPress.
Sitecore is a robust CMS that provides more capabilities than the average platform. It’s popular because it actually offers a fully-managed ‘digital experience platform’ that delivers most of the qualities mentioned in the previous section.
Sitecore comes with a good level of personalisation and is well suited for bespoke development projects. However, it’s an expensive system, requiring the procurement of licenses to begin using it. It also restricts certain capabilities unless you progress to higher tiers (and costs) of your licenses.
From a practical perspective, Sitecore operates on quite hierarchical, complex workflows, which may not suit more agile or smaller teams.
The scalability of Umbraco is great for large organisations, as it allows you to manage a high volume of pages and build out your website to meet the changing needs of your business.
Similar to Drupal, Umbraco is mostly suitable for users with more advanced content management skills and some development experience. This makes it difficult to use for the average marketing team, which increases the likelihood of higher costs, either through more expensive agency projects or even the need to hire someone in-house.
WordPress is the platform that powers almost 45% of the world’s websites. It’s so popular because it’s affordable, flexible, dynamic, and very easy to use.
There is a common misconception that WordPress isn’t robust or scalable enough for large businesses. However, this continues to be proven as a myth, as some of the biggest brands in the world are now using WordPress for their CMS, from Nike to Bloomberg.
We’ll provide a detailed breakdown of the benefits and advantages WordPress offers in the next section.
Which is the Best Option?
It’s important to remember every web development project will be different, and each of these platforms are good options in their own way. That’s why you should make your decision based on the solution that best aligns with your objectives, requirements, budget, and other factors.
One common point related to all these platforms that’s worth noting is that each of them are exponentially easier to use, and will deliver far greater return on investment (ROI), if you have the support of an experienced specialist partner to guide you. An agency with platform-specific skills and expertise will ensure your business gains the maximum value from the platform you select, and help you leverage it strategically to harness its full potential.
Business Benefits and Opportunities with WordPress
Using WordPress is an excellent option for any business. For large organisations in particular, there are a number of qualities that make it particularly beneficial.
Scalability and Agility
The WordPress platform is highly scalable. This means that the size and complexity of your website, and the amount of traffic passing through it, won’t be a concern. WordPress can also grow with your business and easily adapt to continue meeting your changing needs. Scalability is one of WordPress’s most prominent advantages for enterprises.
Low TCO and Strong ROI
Of all the options listed above, WordPress comes with the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). Unlike most platforms, you won’t need to bolt on new features or capabilities with WordPress, nor will you have to worry about costly extra work to manage platform upgrades or updates. Additionally, because WordPress is so flexible and rich with dynamic features and capabilities, it’s proven to deliver strong ROI.
Flexibility and Customisation
WordPress is ideal for a bespoke development project because it’s highly customisable. You can use its flexibility to build bespoke features and functionality into your website or create an entirely unique system.
Because of its great usability and simplicity, WordPress allows for a very fast time-to-market, meaning you can deliver your project quickly and efficiently. However, it should be noted that most businesses will need the support of a skilled agency to be able to achieve that.
WordPress is very easy to integrate with other systems, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and others. This means your business will experience minimal disruption due to integration, whether migrating to WordPress or starting a new development project from scratch.
In the back-end, WordPress is renowned for its usability. As a CMS, it’s extremely easy to use, meaning you can get up-to-speed quickly and share responsibilities across more members of your team.
The performance, speed, and ease-of-use with WordPress are all enterprise-grade when building websites on the platform. This means user adoption and retention will be high, ensuring the success of your project and driving greater ROI.
When working with WordPress, you’ll also gain advantages that will deliver added value to your business, especially if you have the support of a specialist partner who can help you unlock the full power of the technology.
The project doesn’t stop with the initial implementation of WordPress, either. As your requirements change, or your project evolves, WordPress is the best platform to adapt with you and deliver value to your business in the long-term.
Why WordPress is the Future of the Enterprise
WordPress is the most popular and widely used CMSs in the world today. And that popularity has been consistently spreading into the enterprise market over the past decade or so.
This is no coincidence, either. It’s unsurprising to see how quickly WordPress is growing in popularity, as more and more businesses realise the vast potential of the platform and the benefits it can deliver.
When taking into account its unprecedented scalability, flexibility, and usability, not to mention its low TCO, WordPress is one of the leading options for bespoke web development projects for large organisations.
When it comes to evaluating the options for your own project, remember to carefully consider how each platform aligns with your requirements and objectives. Once you’ve identified the CMS that is most suitable to deliver what you’re looking for, consider the value that could be added to your project by working with an agency partner who specialises in that technology.
Would you like these insights straight to your mailbox?
2 March, 2023
Harnessing Your New Website’s Full Potential by Taking a Block-Based Approach With WordPress
Did you know you can use a block-based approach with your WordPress website to gain more value from the platform, with significant advantages in flexibility, scalability, and ease-of-use?
In this article, we’ll explain what blocks are, how they work, and how you can use them to build enterprise-grade websites quickly and efficiently, without compromising on quality.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world right now, and it has been for a while. Unfortunately, though, some people still have the wrong impression that it is a CMS that can only be used to build more simple websites that do not have any real complex functionality or integrations, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, WordPress is far more intuitive and robust than most realise. The fact that around 45% of all websites online today are built on the platform goes a long way to prove that. WordPress also provides more scalable, agile capabilities that are perfectly suited to building enterprise-grade websites if leveraged in the right way.
There are intelligent – but still very straightforward – ways to use WordPress that can unlock more value from the CMS. If done with the right guidance, this can make WordPress a far better option than the more traditional, rigid approach of building websites.
This is an opportunity most large businesses are currently missing out on. In this article, we’ll show you how using blocks is a more flexible approach that can provide you with a wealth of benefits.
Understanding How Using Blocks In Your Website Backend works
In 2018, WordPress released a new block-based design and editing user interface (UI), known as Gutenberg. Instead of the typical page creation and editing functionality of a CMS, where you’d input text and images into a rich text editor, you can now build your site by creating and using a set of components. Components are blocks of code which have pre-defined style and input types.
Each component is named, to denote what it is from the perspective of the front-end of your site on the web page.
Note: Some agencies only provide a list of block names, but here at SoBold we also provide screenshots of each block so you can see it first. This makes the process much easier and saves you a great deal of time.
Each part of each web page is made up of these components, as pictured below.
However, taking a bespoke approach, you can design and construct unique blocks that are entirely your own. Blocks or components can be built for you by your agency so they’re bespoke to you, your style guidelines, your design preferences, and so on. And, when building your site, you can go into your pre-built components and edit things, like changing background colours, adding images, adding text, and so on.
This can be set up for you by your agency, so you have everything you need to create, edit, and publish new pages with your pre-built blocks. Anytime you need to create a new page, you just have to pick the appropriate components and place them in the correct position to quickly and easily build the page.
The Business Benefits of Using a Component-Based Approach
Scalability is one of the greatest benefits of using these blocks, especially if you are wanting to continue to build out your sitemap and build out the content.
This scalability is where WordPress really shines, enabling simple, rapid, virtually limitless scaling of your website with a high level of accuracy. This is a cost-effective way of growing without having to compromise on the quality of your design.
Blocks provide you with a great deal of flexibility in building, editing, and structuring of pages as well. The ability to customise all your components, along with the intuitive drag and drop functionality, allows you to effortlessly adapt and expand on your website.
Building components, and repurposing them repeatedly across your website, is a highly efficient way of growing your site. It also makes it very difficult to make mistakes or take a wrong turn.
This efficiency of reusing blocks across your website will free up time for you to develop innovative new features, or focus on improving the service and experience you provide your clients.
If you have non-technical members of your team who would benefit from using WordPress, blocks will almost certainly improve the usability of the CMS for those people.
An easier design and editing function helps more members of your team create web pages within clear, pre-set brand guidelines. That’s another aspect that frees up more time and resources to focus on higher value tasks.
If you’re working with a design and development agency, this also makes it much easier for them to be able to train you and enable you to use the platform to manage your site.
All this efficiency and ease-of-use will enable you to achieve a faster time-to-market for new web pages, extensions of your site, or even entirely new websites.
That can, in turn, create competitive advantages for your business, particularly if your competitors are working with CMSs that are slower and harder to use.
Whether it’s you or your agency handling this, you can create and publish new web pages quicker than you could with any other approach.
Lower Costs and TCO
As a result of all of the above, you can reduce costs on development and design, and achieve a much better total cost of ownership (TCO) with the WordPress platform.
Something that takes an inexperienced agency days to complete with the classic design approach can be done in hours using bespoke blocks. This drastically reduces development costs and gives you a lower TCO in the long-term.
The Importance of Finding a Capable Agency Partner
As mentioned earlier, bespoke blocks provide you with a proven way to unlock more potential with WordPress and gain greater value from the platform. However, in order to do that, it’s important to find the right agency partner. You’ll need an agency with enterprise-grade expertise and a certain level of skill to guide and support you through this process.
Taking this approach to building WordPress websites is nothing new, but the real value here comes in creating blocks that are completely unique and specific to you, then enabling your team to use those to scale your site.
Many WordPress agencies may lean on the generic block editor. But to get this right, you should push beyond that to find a partner who can educate you on the opportunities of using a bespoke design system to build a high-performance website that’s effortless to manage and edit.
A great partner will also facilitate this for you in a way that ensures you have control, removing the risk of any users making mistakes with the flexibility of this system. You won’t need to worry about the integrity or quality of your site being spoiled because all your components will be built specifically to prevent that.
You’ll gain tremendous value from receiving an intuitive, quality website that you can easily grow at will, but one that’s also managed and supported by an experienced partner. Sticking to these blocks helps you stay within brand guidelines, adhere to best practices, and keep your site consistent.
You then have the choice to manage, edit, and expand your site yourself, or rely on your partner to do it for you quicker, easier, and more efficiently than they would with a traditional CMS.
Making the Most of Your WordPress Platform
Modern businesses today require a powerful, sophisticated CMS that can deliver great websites at scale with enterprise-grade performance. WordPress is a platform that’s built to provide all those qualities and more. Embracing this block-based approach is the most effective and efficient way to achieve that.
With a skilled agency partner to help you maximise the value your business gains from the platform, you’ll quickly realise just how well WordPress can deliver agile, intuitive websites.
If you’re in the process of evaluating platforms to deliver a bespoke web development project, check our comprehensive guide to assessing and selecting the right CMS here