With the popularity of mobile devices such as Tablets and Smartphones, the business landscape has changed. More and more people are using their smartphones to search and view websites. With this shifting trend, the development side of building websites has also got to make the shift. We are writing this article to explain why we have chosen to shift away from the large (and sometimes slow-loading) Content Management System (CMS) such as Wordpress, and to stick with the static html/php flat-file technology.
Pros & Cons of WordPress
We have always preferred using static html over Wordpress. However, back a few years ago, Wordpress was all the rage and a few clients wanted us to use that platform; so we offered it. However, since Smartphones became the new medium for websites, we have noticed some troubling trends with Wordpress. Below, we are going to explain what we have found.
Wordpress (i.e. WP) is best used so that users can edit their own content. However, "WP" is better served if it is ONLY used under certain conditions. WP is best as a content platform that is geared towards heavy users of content, such as bloggers, news sites and other large scale content sites. WP is best used by people who are running just one site, on one web host server, and who can tend to the constant maintenance and upgrades. It's not recommended on shared hosting accounts with weak security. WP is best for companies that are constantly updating their content on a weekly, hourly and daily basis.
Wordpress is an open source project that has many plugins made by anybody and everybody. Some of these “plugin developers” do not code properly and that can leave “holes” in the code for hackers to exploit… and that brings us to the main reason we dis-like Wordpress for clients.
Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal are some of the most heavily targeted web platforms by hackers because of their popularity. These hackers are relentless in trying to crash and destroy a WordPress site. Even with all the security measures, keeping WP updated, and yet, we have seen some WP sites completely disabled and taken down. That leaves us scrambling to get the site back up quickly; and sometimes it takes hours. And, if there is no good backup... the site has to be re-built.
Even another downside to WordPress, is the constant upgrades to the core platform and plugins. The core upgrades are mostly for security holes. And everytime Wordpress has a major version update, it usually always effects 3rd party plugins, which can break the site. By far, the most frustrating thing with a Wordpress site is worrying whether an update will crash the site or a hacker takes it down.
What About Databases?
We have nothing against databases; they are needed in some cases. A MySQL or SQLite database can be used if the code is simple and can quickly access the data. But, a basic 5 page website doesn't need a "WordPress" environment with a database to run.
What Is A Static Flat-file Website?
So, when a person visits the “aboutus.html” page, it only has to load the content of that file unto the screen. It doesn’t have to fetch the content from a database and 100+ code files (i.e. WordPress); which means, the aboutus.html page loads much faster.
PROS & CONS of Static Html/PHP site
The best things about static html/php files is that it doesn't require a database for most sites. It is more flexible to build because it is not confined to a template system (such as WP). It loads so much faster than WP sites. And most importantly... Static sites are more secure and do not get hacked and brought down. Backup of the site is already on our PC's so if by chance something ever happens, we can just simply re-upload... in minutes!!
The only real con to a static site is that you can't edit it yourself, which isn't a bad thing because we do this for you so that your site is bug-free and looks good and consistant all the time. Unlike a WP site, if a user doesn't have a website design "eye" sometimes a website will look bad because a user doesn't format content properly (images, fonts etc).
What Is Pixelink Media Doing For CMS?
In an effort to make our websites simple, fast and easy to navigate, we are developing using only HTML and PHP. We hand code all the content for our clients. This assures that the content and look of the site is consistent. Plus, we take the load off our clients by handling the website for them. Most of our clients love this aspect of our services.
As far as a CMS system goes, we have no plans at this time to offer any self-editing website platform. We prefer to handle it all for you so it stays stable, secure, fast and looks consistant when edited!
Our Clients Deserve Better
In an effort to provide clients with good service, sometimes we have to make decisions even though it seems to be against the trend of today. But, what client wants to hear that their website is broken from an upgrade or even hacked? Not only do they want to feel secure in their site being up 24/7, they want to know that we have their best interest in mind.
In discontinuing WordPress (and the other big players in cms), we feel it is best to think about what is really trending and what is the best and most affordable way to provide that. Wordpress may of been okay back several years ago when Desktop PC's was all there was... but with Smartphones becoming more-and-more popular, we feel the simplest, lighter-loading and easiest technology for our clients website is still plain old fashion html/php!!