Dallas Web Design Agency Prespective

Should your Agency WordPress or Craft your Website?

Web Development Content Management Systems from a Dallas Web Design Agency Perspective

Wordpress VS Craft CMS

You’ve decided you need a website that you can update yourself. DIY platforms like Wix or Weebly are for amateurs. You need your website to stand out, look professional and give your business the image it deserves. Next you look to a design firm or Web development agency for help. The decision must be made as to which Web platform will best serve your needs. Below you can read this Dallas agency’s thoughts for your consideration.

First of all, if you know anything at all about the Internet, you probably have heard of WordPress. Maybe a friend or colleague said something like, “why don’t you just throw a WordPress site up?” Well meaning advice but let’s make sure you’re spending money on something that is great for you and not just “good enough.”

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of content management systems available. Some of the most common names you’ll hear are Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal. We’ll introduce another contender, Craft.

At 70kft, we care a lot about code, performance, security and what’s best for our clients. So I’m going to pass at talking about Joomla because the core system is overly complex and the administrator control panel unintuitive. Drupal is very powerful and has a lot of ardent fans. In some cases it could be a good fit for you, but for most, we don’t think so. 70kft takes this position in part because development on Drupal in general is tricky, extending your timelines and increasing the costs of websites unnecessarily. It also tends to be a little on the slow side. Now that Drupal 8 is finally ready for prime time we’ll give it another look solely due to the adoption of Twig as a templating language, which Craft has used since day one.

Our agency most commonly develops sites with Craft and WordPress though we have competently worked with many other CMS platforms at one time or another either due to necessity, legacy or because it was the right tool for the job.

While you likely have many concerns influencing your CMS choice, the following three should be high on your list.

Security

Getting hacked is expensive. The cost of clean up, lost content and heartache isn’t something you want to deal with. Any website visible to the world has some risk of being targeted by hackers.

Wordpress (WP) is notorious for having vulnerabilities pop up, and plugins can add to the headache. Because a large percentage of the Web, 25 percent according to W3techs.com, is running on WordPress, there is big ROI for hackers to create exploits for WP. We think some of that risk can be mitigated through careful configuration of your server and a few security plugins. We’ll discuss that more in a future post. Take note however, there are things which can be done to lower the risk to WP sites; it just takes time and therefore money to do so. If you choose WordPress your risk will be at least moderate.

Craft, on the other hand, was designed with security in mind. Warning, nerd speak ahead: It was built on the Yii framework which uses PDO for all database connections which protects against SQL injection. Craft validates sensitive cookie data and uses CSRF token validation to help prevent cross-site request forgery. It’s templating language, Twig, auto-encodes HTML to avoid cross-site scripting. HTML Purifier filters user input. Passwords are encrypted using one of the most reliable methods available, mcrypt with blowfish. Additionally, there are many other security features built in and Craft is frequently audited by third party firms. Finally, Craft has a one button update process so an administrator can quickly and painlessly update the CMS through the administrator control panel.

Ease of Use

Wordpress and Craft have good UI/UX which make it easy to administer and add new content. Your CMS should help you make changes, not hinder you.

Both WordPress and Craft are excellent in this regard. Additionally they both have responsive administrator sections so you can edit or create content on your mobile phone if you need to.

Thinking about migrating your existing website/blog to Craft? 70kft built a Craft plugin that makes it a cinch to import your WordPress blog into Craft .

Flexibility / Control

Flexibility in page layout can be achieved with WordPress though manipulation and third party plugins. Craft has something it calls a Matrix Field, which can be used to create extremely flexible layouts right out of the box.

Craft was designed with a concept of relationships that allows you to relate multiple “things” to each other. If you don’t need content relationships then this is not a benefit to you but if you do, then Craft is definitely your best option.

Some businesses have the need for various user types. Users who can create content, others who can only edit and of course admins who can do everything. WordPress comes with a hand full of user types that satisfy this need in most cases, but if you need granular control over who can do what in various areas of the site it won’t keep up. Not without plugins or custom tweaking. Craft has this figured out. User groups can be created with very granular control over what they can / can’t do in every area of the CMS.

Choosing the right CMS for your company will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Don’t waste time with overly complex and underpowered, insecure or non-user friendly tools. Your content creators, financial stakeholders and the Internet will all thank you.

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