When we started building websites in 2015, we were huge proponents of WordPress. We still have many clients with WordPress CMS websites, which we manage and run with our Maintenance Packages, and will continue to do for the roughly 90 clients with WordPress sites.
Well, 2015 is a lifetime ago in terms of digital innovation and since innovation is one of our core values we are always researching and finding new, improved and more secure ways of guiding our clients on the path to online success.
Here are the reasons we've been moving away from WordPress (open source) in the past 2 years:
While there are also many benefits, one of the main drawbacks of a WordPress CMS is that it uses open source software. Open source CMS is a content management system built with source code that is accessible to all rather than being owned and managed by a single company. Anyone can use or modify it to create whatever functionality they desire.
Many people assume that open source software is free. While it is usually free to acquire, there are many other associated costs involved in using open source software which people fail to consider before implementation. Additional costs of open source software may include:
Making specific customisations will require a developer. These customisations often make use of plugins, which can break functionality on your website, so if you are not planning on taking out a maintenance package with your developer, this could be problematic and costly to fix.
Available updates need to be monitored and installed to keep your system safe and performing smoothly. It is estimated that about 56% of hacked open source sites run outdated versions and are therefore not protected by current security patches.
Which leads us to our next point:
Security is perhaps the biggest downside of using an open source CMS (Content Management System), since a single security vulnerability can be used to launch large-scale attacks (like this recent large-scale attack which redirected WordPress sites to scam sites).
According to the Website Threat Research Report, about 94% of hacked websites are using WordPress.
The benefits of using proprietary software (aka closed source software) are endless, from the impressive functionality to the superior customer support on offer.
Webflow is a proprietary web development company that has become our preferred platform for web design. Have a look at our previous blog if you'd like to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of both: WordPress vs. Webflow.
Here are some of the key advantages of proprietary software:
Proprietary software has usually been designed for monetisation. For this reason, the developer will have put a lot of effort into ensuring a great customer experience, making the software easy to use and packing it full of impressive functionality.
Investing in proprietary software, comes with specialist technical support to back it up. Most proprietary software has been created by large organisations for monetisation, so they want you to have a great customer experience and recommend the software to your friends, colleagues and other business owners.
As developers, we can access support quickly to resolve any issues. In fact, many of these companies offer 24/7 assistance including the option for live chat, making it easier than ever to access technical support when needed.
Whilst open source software can be tempting due to its low initial cost, it’s important to note that there can be some hidden costs involved with open source software that you need to be aware of. For example, if you need to customise the software, or if you need help with the installation or updates, you’ll need to pay for third party support. This is because there is no default support available with open source.
With proprietary software, your costs are reduced after the initial investment in the software. You’ll usually be provided with regular updates, so that you always have the latest functionality, as well as having assistance with maintenance and other technical issues available when you need it the most.