WordPress or Custom CMS: Which Is Better for Your Website?

Selecting a content management system (CMS) is one of the most important decisions you make when building a website for your business. CMS is where you’ll update content, create new pages and manage everything else on your site. As a rule, you have two options to choose from: use an off-the-shelf solution like WordPress, or build a custom CMS from scratch. Let’s see how WordPress is different from custom-built CMS and what the major advantages and disadvantages of the two solutions are.

WordPress vs Custom CMS

  • WP: WordPress has gained huge popularity because it’s easy to use, provides thousands of ready-made themes, offers a wide range of plugins and has broad capabilities for customisation. Due to its widespread use, WordPress has a broad community of developers and many resources that you can consult if you need any help with managing your WordPress website.
  • Custom CMS: Despite its popularity, WordPress has many proponents who nevertheless prefer the advantages of a custom-built CMS, which are created as bespoke solutions tailored to meet the needs of a particular company. As a result, custom content management systems offer functionality that is flexible, highly relevant and not limited by presets.

Flexibility

  • WP: Do you want to implement a third-party commenting service on your website? Or are you thinking of using a cloud CDN (content delivery network) to reduce loading time? With WordPress, you can easily find all kinds of plugins and tutorials on how to implement them within minutes.
  • Custom CMS: On the other hand, if you have a custom CMS, you are not limited to the choice of plugins available on the market. You can build anything you can imagine. Moreover, you are no longer confined to a template on both the front and back end. Although it may take more time and require more experience, you will receive functionality that is tailored to your specific demands.

Security

  • WP: As WordPress’s popularity grows, cyber criminals and malware target WordPress websites more and more. Anyone who has ever used a WP-based website knows that it’s not rare to see thousands of failed login attempts even if your website only has a few visitors. WordPress plugins also pose a major threat to your website as most of them have security loopholes and bugs that make your website vulnerable to hacker attacks. You will have to monitor all the updates of dozens of plugins that you install to ensure that your CMS is updated and meets the latest security standards.
  • Custom CMS: As opposed to WP, custom CMS solutions offer a higher level of security. First of all, your website will not be targeted by huge numbers of bots. While there still may be holes in some of the third-party scripts or risks caused by poor code quality, it is the developer who is fully responsible for any security issues. If you hire a reputable and experienced web developer to build your custom CMS, you’re unlikely to face any security problems.

Ease of Use

  • WP: WordPress is famous for its simplicity. With a large community of developers and a huge number of users the platform is constantly improving, providing a better user experience.
  • Custom CMS: A platform that is designed to meet the specific needs of your company is without a doubt easier to use than an off-the-shelf solution that is forced onto your established business processes. A bespoke CMS will provide you with all the tools you need without offering you hundreds of unwanted and sometimes annoying features. This will leave you with a clean, comprehensive and intuitive interface that is a pleasure to use.

Now that you know the basic characteristics of the two options for a CMS, it’s time to choose which one suits you best. We’ve summarised the features in this table to make things easier:

 

WordPress

Custom CMS

Flexibility

  • Frontend and backend functionality is limited to a template
  • Wide choice of off-the-shelf plugins that are easy to integrate
  • Limited options for customisation
  • Ability to implement custom plugins and tools
  • Functionality is tailored to the specific needs of your website

Security

  • High risk of hacker attacks and cybercrime
  • Hard to maintain a high level of security due to many plugins and third-party services
  • No major cyber threats
  • High level of security is easy to maintain because the entire system is built by a single developer

Ease of use

  • Simple interface
  • Large community of developers and users with many resources and tutorials
  • Clean and comprehensive interface
  • No need to adjust the established workflow for the CMS
  • Only tools and features that your employees need - nothing in excess


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e’d like to share our professional opinion about WordPress and tailormade CMS. Without doubt, WP is an easy-to-use platform that boasts great support and lots of plugins, which makes it possible to solve any business task with minimum effort and expense. However, despite all its benefits, we wouldn’t recommend it to our clients because security has always been our top priority. WordPress exposes your business to many risks due to its open source. If you care about confidentiality, safety and security of valuable data about your business and customers, choose bespoke CMS and know that your data won’t fall into the wrong hands. Your site will never be among the many thousands of hacked websites swarming with poisonous links.  

Whatever choice you make, you can count on us to help you with development and implementation of your custom management system. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss your content management options with our IT consultants.

April 19, 2017
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