For businesses looking to gain the most flexibility, power and affordability in their websites, WordPress is unmatched.
I’ve been a professional developer since 2005, which has given me the experience to create just about any custom code I want. Yet, when it comes to real-world business applications, WordPress is my go-to in nearly every situation because it almost always makes the most sense for businesses.
The problem with paid platforms
When it comes to choosing a platform, you have an incredible amount of choice. Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace are some of the most popular. For the most part, these platforms are designed for you to be able to quickly launch something in a few clicks and have it look good enough. They usually do that job well.
The problem comes into place when inevitably you need to do something that should be simple and straightforward, but the platform itself doesn’t support it. In order to make things easy, a lot of code editing abilities have to be restricted. As a result, you have limitations on what you can do.
The other issue is that when you’re using a paid platform, you’re married to it. What you’re allowed to do is tied to the monthly fee you pay and critical business features usually require a higher monthly subscription. Plus, most platforms make it hard to get your data (content) out of the site, so switching is expensive and time-consuming.
To top it all off you don’t own the platform you’re using, so if you unintentionally violate their terms of service, your website can be taken down and removed completely and there’s nothing you can do about it. The cost of convenience is enormous.
The problem with custom development
With custom development, you have no restrictions at all. But the problem is that it’s easily expensive to create and expensive to maintain because you have to build everything from scratch. For most small businesses it’s simply not a viable or affordable option.
If you want to make it easy for a non-technical content editor to post content, you either have to pay a license for another program, write something yourself or hope you can find an open-source program that fits your needs well enough to implement. All of that takes valuable time.
Most small businesses don’t have the budget for even a small-sized development team to create something in-house or hire a competent agency. Plus, managing a project like this isn’t easy. If you don’t have experience doing it or understand the common roadblocks, then it’s going to be incredibly frustrating for you.
When you create something custom you have to have a full-fledged developer to make changes. Even with popular frameworks, finding people who can jump into your project, make the changes and fix the bugs usually cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars more. For example, when I debug or add on features to a Django project, I can easily charge 10 times more for the work.
WordPress enables you to get the custom features you want without reinventing the wheel. If one of the 50,000 plugins available doesn’t help you, you can do any custom coding you want to it without restrictions.