We’re working with an agency in Northern California and their client balked when they heard that we were proposing WordPress for their content management system.  Why you ask?  After all, some of the world’s largest companies have build sites with WordPress.  Take Best Buy, Sears, MTV, NASA, Ben and Jerry’s to name a few.  If you’d like to see some more examples, visit the WordPress Showcase.

This client in California was pushing for a hosted CMS solution so I wrote my friend the following email to help him justify why I would discourage that option.

“One reason for steering them away from a hosted CMS solution is that the CMS company get’s their claws into you and you can’t leave.  If you use something like WordPress and one day decide that you don’t like WordPress, you can just copy the code into Joomla and you’re set.  With a hosted solution, it’s likely you wouldn’t have access to all of the code so you’re stuck with that company. If you choose to leave them, you lose the site and all of the work that you’ve put into it.  I’ve seen countless people come to us wanting us to move their site from something like Volusion into WordPress but it’s just not that easy.  They’re stuck.  We try to make their site better but our hands are tied.  Hosted solutions are only as good as the host chooses to make them.  They’re not open source.  You can’t just hire a developer to change the things you don’t like.  You’re stuck with that too.

Furthermore, how many people have really tested an oddball CMS that I’ve never heard of.  Nearly 20% of the world’s websites are running on WordPress so it’s been thoroughly tested. 

And what about security?  Is your hosted CMS solution secure?  If it’s not, what choice do you have to increase the security of your site?  None.  You’re stuck.  With WordPress, if you learn of a vulnerability, it’s likely that an update will roll out to fix it or you can always adjust the code to fix it yourself if it’s urgent.  Can’t do that with a hosted solution.”

I could go on and on about the benefits of using an open source CMS like WordPress but I realize that your eyelids may start to droop.  Until next time, I hope that helps.

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