There are many benefits of using WordPress — it’s flexible, open-source and has an excellent user experience for editors.
We’ve used it ourselves on client projects for many years with good results. WordPress is a safe choice and it’s been around for ages.
But WordPress isn’t the most efficient way to build and maintain websites with a CMS anymore.
One downside of WordPress has always been the technologies. Using WordPress means writing code in PHP and being stuck with the tools of that ecosystem. Developers cannot pick the front-end stack that best fits a given situation.
The biggest problem of all though is the time-killers involved with using WordPress in general. To manage databases for many environments, setup hosting servers and worrying about security updates. This time is better spent on building a great experience.
Today, there is a movement in the industry towards CMSs as a service.
These are external services that use the “headless” approach with an API, but are without the problems of WordPress. The time-killers are basically outsourced to a 3rd party provider.
Our favorite CMS service is Prismic, which we often recommend to our clients these days. Another good one is Contentful that we’ve also used on projects, but it lacks some flexibility compared with Prismic.
The benefits are:
- Development time is faster since we don’t have to worry about any back-end related tasks such as managing databases.
- It gives flexibility on how we build the site and allows more modern technologies such as Vue and React.
- Less maintenance, as we don’t have to worry about security updates and/or changes between versions.
- Better performance as WP has become a bit slow over the years, especially for custom websites with many plugins.
- Pricing is quite fair and will end up being similar to using a solid WordPress hosting provider.
- Excellent user experience for editors. Including publishing workflows and other useful features.
There are people that might say that using open-source software is a more safe way to host their content. The truth is that most companies are already using 3rd party providers for different things, so I can’t see why a CMS needs to be any different.
For us, we will recommend the CMS as a service approach as a first alternative. It’s simply a better use of time, and our clients have been very happy with it.