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Marketer Developer Agency General

Weaning Your Clients Off WordPress

April 20, 2020

Any professional in the digital marketing field will tell you stories about customers who absolutely insist WordPress will satisfy their needs for flexible, tailored, growth-driven website design. Because they've skimmed a few articles in their tire-kicking phase, they've been repeatedly hit in the head with one word to the point at which it's become the only imaginable solution: 

WordPress.

Given its popularity as an accessible, open-source content management system, it's no wonder digital marketing and web development professionals have a tough time convincing their customers that there are alternatives to WordPress that are more suited to their digital marketing goals. That's why we've got the (re)programming solution for those of you who are trying hard to rescue your clients from WP's addictive appeal. 

Let's review the “pushback questions”. 

“Don't WordPress themes promise low-cost, instant gratification?”

This is a biggie. Your clients have seen ads and reviews for sixty-dollar,  feature-rich, off-the-shelf templates and they've convinced themselves that they can get a WordPress-savvy developer to tweak everything to their specific needs in under four billable hours. 

Reality check:  At first glance, the numbers do look good but WordPress is by no means a quick fix. Nor is it a cheap one. Even with free or reasonably-priced “drag-and-drop” builders, template customization comes with a learning curve and at least some understanding of basic coding. And let's not get started on the misconception that plug-ins are “plug-and-play”. Not only do many popular (and pricey) plug-ins drag down site performance or flat-out don't get along with one another, they often require a degree of back-end tinkering that is beyond most business owner's capability or patience level.  

“The most popular platform has to be safe from bugs... right?”

Sure. Just like Honda Civics are immune to auto theft because they're a top-selling automobile. (Hint: They're not).

WordPress is an open-source CMS, and by its very nature is vulnerable to malicious actors. According to a recent study of more than 34,000 infected websites by cybersecurity company Sucuri, 83% of them were operated on the WordPress platform. Here's some cold comfort from the report: “In most instances, the compromises which were analyzed had little, if anything, to do with the core of the CMS application itself but more with its improper deployment, configuration and overall maintenance by the webmasters.”

Well, that doesn't make anybody feel better, does it?

WordPress websites require frequent—if not constant—monitoring, updates, performance analysis, and security testing. That's not necessarily a problem for developers who are already equipped with the right tools and discipline, but as Sucuri suggests, workflow is the weakest link and downtime costs money and trust. WordPress isn't known for its welcoming interface, and we feel that it contributes to neglect... which, in turn, increases its vulnerability. 

“I can do anything and everything with WordPress!”

Everyone agrees that WordPress offers virtually endless options, but is that a good thing for those struggling with boundary issues? You don't want to have to play “bad cop” with customers who want autonomy and creative freedom, but it's your job to make sure they have the tools to achieve their goals while providing a framework that prevents them from going off the rails. Otherwise, you'll find yourself bailing out your clients at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning and spending the next several days (and twice their budget) on damage control. You've been there before:  Finding out which of the 432 plugins has sprung a leak, fixing “broken” templates, or trying desperately to recover the content your client accidentally dumped while on an editing spree. 

Empower your customers with Marketpath CMS

Give your clients and your development team the creative freedom they demand on a platform that only limits handholding time.  Our content management system has seamless, automated security, backups, and downtime monitoring, all with up-front pricing. Develop and test designs for your customers at a fraction of your cost, integrate your preferred marketing automation and workflow platforms, and deliver all the technical elements required for successful SEO: Lightning speed, responsive interface, page optimization tools, and an intuitive dashboard that takes the pain out of content creation. 

Have questions?

We're here to help at any step of the process, and we have resources to assist you with customer training.  We think they'll get hooked, and once you try out our free demo, you'll be happy to enable them. 

Related Tags: Agencies, Development, Marketing, CMS Comparisons, Web Content Management Systems, Website Development, Client Website

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