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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- 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.
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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3 August, 2022
Celebrating 3 years with Leonardo Esposito
A fresh-faced Leo joined SoBold in August 2019, with a big booming smile and speaking in broken English. It was immediately clear how driven he was to learn and pick up new skills and it was a no-brainer to offer him a job to join our development team.
For much of his first year at SoBold, Leo was glued to Google Translate to try and properly understand the tasks he had been set, but each and every time the output of his work would be the same, outstanding.
As Leo’s English picked up, as did his confidence and skill-set and he made it clear that he wanted to focus on Back-End Development and he really wanted to take SoBold forward. Leo championed innovation in our development approach and much of the workflow we do today has been driven by Leo’s desire to set the highest of standards.
He is a key figure at SoBold and we are very fortunate to have him.
We caught up with Leo to find out more about what he get’s up to in his day-to-day life!
At what point in your life did you decide to become a developer?
During middle school, I tried to learn how to make games, which led me to development. I started exploring different languages and realized I really liked learning the syntax of as many languages as I could. Eventually, I got into web development, and since then I have tried to expand my knowledge of web development languages, trying out new frameworks, and both front and back end sides.
Describe your typical day
As of now I’m trying out double gym days, which means an early wake up (5.30am), gym at 6am, and finishing at around 8am. Then I go to work, have my day, and when I finish I go home and back to the gym. When I get back home it’s circa 8.30pm, so I have dinner, watch something on Netflix (not too much otherwise I end up snacking), then go to my room, and if there’s time and I’m not too tired I play piano, otherwise I go to bed ready to do it all again.
What’s your favourite project to date
Favourite project to date is Rede partners
Any advice for junior developers?
Never stop learning, be curious, and be always ready to challenge yourself, and question what you do. Change your way of doing things if someone else out there is doing it better.
If you had to change careers what would you do instead?
Theoretical Physicist or Volleyball coach
What was your most recent challenge and how did you overcome It?
Hit a plateau in terms of motivation, but managed to overcome it by getting less on my plate, and focusing on meaning, eventually, it became better.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Workout, play music (piano, guitar), play video games (fav ones are Skyrim, Horizon Forbidden West and Fallout)
How do you think the designer/developer relationship could improve?
The main thing is communication and chemistry, once those are there the relationship improves by itself.
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24 November, 2022
SoBold obtain Skilled Worker Sponsorship Licence
SoBold are delighted to announce that we have obtained a sponsor licence in order to sponsor international skilled workers to come and work at SoBold.
SoBold have always put heavy emphasis on hiring the best global talent for our needs, and we have strengthened our ability to do this by obtaining a Skilled Worker Sponsorship Licence.
With all sponsorship licences that the Home Offices grants they need to be reassured that the sponsors can live up to the “significant trust” that the department places in them. The Home Office further made checks that SoBold is a “honest, dependable and reliable” workplace, and capable of meeting the responsibilities that it expects from sponsors.
Since being granted our Skiller Worker Licence, we have been fortunate enough to put it to use to hire two new team members.
Anna de Moraes, joined SoBold, from Portuguese company, SpringParrot. Anna had been able to work remotely, and was living and working from the UK, when she got in touch with SoBold. Anna, who is natively from Brazil, said of the process:
“The steps were pretty clear and the whole process was quite simple. I’ve had friends waiting years for their visas to be approved while we were able to complete everything in a short period of time! I was already excited to start and, in a blink of an eye, I was finally part of the SoBold team!”
More recently, SoBold hired Santosh Gajera as a Back End WordPress Developer. Santosh has relocated from India in order to provide his services to SoBold. When asked about the process behind him getting his Skilled Worker VISA granted, Santosh said:
“To keep my IT career moving forward, I needed sponsorship from an organisation that sponsored my visa. SoBold has been an invaluable help in obtaining my Tier-2 (Skilled worker) visa. I am very thankful to their hard work and professionalism. My documents were handled very scrupulously by them, and they provided full support throughout the whole application process . I got my visa approved in two days, which is amazing, and they handled everything for me.”
SoBold worked with all-in-one digital platform, Nation Better in order to achieve our sponsorship licence and the process was streamlined, affordable and transparent.
SoBold already have a diverse talent pool, with staff from all over Europe, and with the help of Nation Better, we have been able to improve the way in which we hire international talent and open up opportunities further afield. We look forward to continue growing our team with exceptional overseas talent and have access to a wider talent pool.
SoBold Managing Director, Will Newland said:
We are absolutely delighted to welcome both Anna and Santosh to the SoBold team. Without our Sponsorship Licence we would be missing out on a large pool of talent that is the future of our business. We very much look forward to continuing to use our Sponsorship Licence to our advantage and giving skilled employees the opportunity to come and work here at SoBold.
For more information on what current vacancies we have, please visit our website careers page.
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8 December, 2022
Sam Phillips and Will Newland interviewed by Cloudways
SoBold has been working with Cloudways since 2019 to help host development environments for all of their clients.
You can learn more about Cloudways, Managed Cloud Hosting services by visiting their website here.
See what they had to say in the video below.
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9 June, 2023
Craft vs WordPress: Which Platform is the Best Option for Your Business?
When you’re responsible for managing a new website development process, you’ll have some difficult decisions to make. Two of the most difficult decisions will be finding an agency that you can trust, and finding a content management system (CMS) that will give you the flexibility and performance to drive your business forward online.
Your CMS will play a significant role in helping you meet your specific website requirements and enabling you to achieve your strategic goals.
We’ve compared lots of different CMSs in our recent series of articles, and each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we’ll compare WordPress and Craft.
It’s vitally important to ensure that the platform you choose is straightforward to manage. You’ll want a platform that’s approachable, with a low barrier for entry, to avoid any challenges in the daily running of your website.
Whilst Craft is an open-source CMS, it requires technical development expertise in order to manage the platform once built. Management for non-technical teams will likely be difficult, thus limiting you in your ability to build out content and new features over time.
If you do have expertise in-house, that will allow you to manage your website more easily, as the CMS itself is efficient for publishing and managing content.
Craft also makes it easy to collaborate and share responsibilities across teams without any interference or complications. For example, you can save draft versions of pages and share them with colleagues – with private links that don’t even require you to be signed in – before publishing live on your site.
Conversely, WordPress is specifically built so that content can be managed in-house. WordPress provides you with a convenient, intuitive user interface (UI) that allows quick and easy publishing, management, and editing of content on your sites.
Put simply, WordPress is a more traditional CMS that’s suitable for a wider range of users and teams. It allows you to easily manage the content on the front-end, whilst also facilitating a quick time-to-market for the development of your website.
This ease-of-use also helps to share responsibilities throughout your team.
Flexibility will always be high on your list of priorities when looking for a CMS. Tailoring your platform to fit your own unique requirements is a crucial capability in today’s digital business landscape.
How Flexible is Craft?
Craft is all code-based, which allows you to build virtually any type of website you want, with great flexibility. The only limitations, really, will be with the platform-specific development capabilities of your agency.
How Flexible is WordPress?
WordPress also offers a great deal of flexibility and customisation, but the difference here is that it’s unlikely you’ll need to alter much about WordPress’s pre-existing tools and features to be able to build a website you’re happy with.
With WordPress, you have everything you need to build a high-performance website. But that’s complemented by the flexibility to make enhancements and seamlessly scale the platform with new bespoke features if you wish to.
Before you select a CMS, you’ll need to ensure it can easily integrate with any existing systems your business has in place. Whilst most CMSs will be able to integrate well with a variety of third party systems, it’s important to be aware of any limiting capabilities of the platforms.
Integrations with the most popular third-party platforms are typically supported in Craft through plugins. However, you may need to integrate manually with platforms using API’s.
While this gives you more control over your CMS’s functionality and security, it’s another area in which you’ll likely have to spend more time and money on agency development work. Those integrations will also need to be maintained and updated manually as well, which may be a financial and time burden on your agency.
WordPress’s global popularity means that it’s readily compatible with most of the third-party systems you’ll already have within your business.
You’ll have a wide range of native plugins available that will integrate your WordPress site with virtually any other tool. Even if you have more advanced requirements, it’s usually easier for your agency partner to do this bespoke development work in WordPress than it is with other CMSs.
Investing in a platform that’s supported by a community of developers will provide you with additional benefits and advantages. It’s always helpful to have other users working to continuously create additions and updates to help the CMS grow and improve.
Craft has a passionate community working hard to help enhance the platform, but it’s only a fraction of the size when compared to more mainstream CMSs like WordPress.
Still, size isn’t all that counts here. Craft’s community is very supportive and highly active on channels like Slack and Discord. Craft also has a StackExchange, which is a Q&A forum that many developers use to share learnings as they work through projects.
The WordPress Community
At 20 years old now, WordPress’s popularity and global market share means it has an enormous community supporting it.
WordPress’s community consists of millions of users who work tirelessly to offer support, collaboration, knowledge sharing, events, and much more.
Any questions, problems, or requirements you have are often answered very quickly by members of the WordPress community. This also results in exciting new enhancements and features being released on a near-constant basis to drive the platform forward.
Being part of the WordPress community will also give you access to free events that help users learn to get as much value as possible from the platform.
Cost and TCO
Cost is a key factor when choosing a CMS. It’s also important to remember the up-front costs aren’t the only thing you need to consider here. Since your CMS is a long-term investment, you should be looking for a low total cost of ownership (TCO) for all your related costs over time.
Craft’s Initial Investment and Ongoing Costs
With Craft, you’ll need to purchase either the pro or enterprise plan. Pro comes with a one-time payment of £250 per project, and an additional annual payment to continue receiving updates. The cost of the enterprise plan will vary depending on your requirements and usage.
As mentioned earlier, the costs associated with the platform may also be high. This is due to the need for agency support across many aspects of your project, from setting up your website, to integrations, to ongoing maintenance.
The actual costs of development with Craft may also be higher than with other CMSs because of the smaller scale and more specialist nature of the platform.
It’s also worth mentioning that Craft CMS hosting services are more limited than those of WordPress, again likely making them more expensive.
WordPress Cost and TCO
On the most part, WordPress is a more cost-effective platform than Craft, with a lower TCO.
WordPress is free-to-use, limiting your initial costs to just hosting, development agency fees, and post-deployment support.
As touched on earlier, achieving a much faster time-to-market will allow you to launch a quality website quickly so you can begin gaining strong ROI right away.
Another cost-related benefit of WordPress’s ease-of-use is that if there’s bespoke development work you need your agency to complete, it will usually come at a reasonable cost. Because Craft is such a niche and technical platform, bespoke development work often comes at a premium in comparison to the more widely-used WordPress.
When the WordPress platform receives updates, it’s often fairly quick and straightforward for your agency partner to test and maintain your site.
These advantages add up to create a lower TCO for WordPress than you’ll have with other enterprise CMSs.
Both Craft and WordPress are both great CMSs in their own right, and would serve most businesses. Although, it’s difficult to deny that WordPress is a much more approachable platform than Craft for the average user.
If you’re a team with a great selection of existing development skills, Craft can provide you with some innovative capabilities and could be the right platform for you.
The key thing to remember when making this evaluation is that you should select the platform that directly aligns with your own specific circumstances and requirements.
Every business, and every web development project, is different. Carefully consider your objectives, budget, users, in-house skills, and any other factors that may come into play. That should allow you to determine which CMS is the right one to deliver what you need.
If you need more help finding a CMS for your new website project, read our comprehensive guide to understanding and evaluating the options for large businesses here.