The decisions you make with your websites can have wide ranging effects on the future of your business, time, money and energy.
First of all, use WordPress. I'm slightly biased, but I truly believe that it's hands down one of the best options for most businesses online.
Second, make sure you don't pin yourself down either and use something like Divi Builder (or other page builders) that makes it SUPER difficult to get off of.
Third, once you're using WordPress, there's little reason to move to another platform or some custom option.
Let me tell you a couple quick stories to drive home my reasoning..
Example 1 – A Custom CMS Solution
We're working with a new client that has a relatively large business and organization.. a restaurant. Large enough where there are numerous decision makers to deal with.
Some years back they actually were using WordPress, but someone decided it would be better to go with a company that would build them a custom solution (CMS).
Fast forward to today and we are poised to manage their site, however.. after deep analysis, it is TRULY custom. And it's using a very out of date MVC PHP framework (not to get too technical here). Something similar to Laravel. So now we are having to decide if we make changes they need ‘now' or discuss moving them back to WordPress right away. A move that will cost this company $1000s of dollars and extra time.
There are a lot of decisions to be made and I won't bore you with too many details to make my point.
We can actually manage this site.. we have enough depth to be able to work in almost any framework, but it's going to be costly. It might be cheaper for them to move off what they are currently on in the long run.
But what if they would have just stayed with WordPress? If we were to redesign the site, it'd been way cheaper .. even if it was a total custom theme build, it would have been a more painless process.
So those decisions had consequences. Careful who advises you. 😉
Example 2 – Divi Nightmares
I am not one to bash other solutions or businesses. For some people Divi Builder is a reasonable solution. But I think people have to be educated about the consequences. Like the above CMS solution it can have long term impacts.
Well, this past year we had to move someone off Divi. Not because we advised them too, but the client requested it.
This was a large 20+ year old site with a LOT of content. Not all of it was using Divi (thankfully), but enough to make it a real challenge to convert to a new theme. There are challenges around converting their shortcodes and modules.. rebuilding layouts and content.
And in our case, the client didn't want to deviate from the current design. So we were also translating the live site design/layouts into the new theme.
My point..? This added cost and time. If it was a simple theme like a Hexater Theme.. a theme that just leveraged WordPress' core way of doing things, then the transition could have been much simpler.
WordPress to WordPress
Once you're on WordPress, you don't need to fret about changing the site design. You don't need to go to another platform or custom solution.
You can just move to another theme. Simple.
I imagine most sites need to be refreshed every few years.. 4-5 years. But that doesn't mean it has to be a start from scratch situation. If you stick with WordPress:
- The content doesn't have to be moved.
- The assets, media, images don't need to move.
- The theme may not even have to be changed if a child theme is used and it's just customized.
- Or if you do move to another theme (and you aren't using a builder), switching on a new theme can be relatively painless.
Separate the design from the platform. The content lives separately from the theme in the database; along with the media. When you change themes, it's just changing the look and feel. Change the design and layout; don't leave WordPress. 🙂