Is WordPress the Right Tool for the Job?

I recently got an email that asked:

Do you ever question whether WordPress is the correct CMS for something?

I am a big WordPress fan too and I’ve solved some really cool content management challenges with it but there are times when I think, this site would probably be faster and more efficient if it were built using some MVC framework?

[...]

With small business sites, this isn’t really that big a deal but with some of the enterprise-level clients you work with I wonder whether it becomes an issue.

Rather than replying via email, I thought this might be a good topic for a blog post.

First off, I should mention that when clients come to Crowd Favorite, it is often because they have already made a technology choice to use WordPress and have found us because of our reputation in working with WordPress. That said, we believe in using the right tool for the job.

Most often that tool is WordPress, but there are times when we suggest alternative solutions that are a better fit for their specific problem. We’ve used our Oxygen MVC platform for a number of client projects, sometimes in conjunction with a WordPress powered site.

One of the great benefits to using WordPress vs. a custom solution is that scaling WordPress is generally a solved problem. There are lots of smart folks who have figured this out and shared their knowledge within the community. We are very comfortable deploying high traffic sites on WordPress.

Scaling a custom application is often a journey of discovery. Sometimes this journey can be a bit rocky, and lonely. You will need to solve most of your problems on your own. This makes WordPress a safer choice when all other things are equal.

I’m on record saying I don’t believe WordPress is a good general application platform, but I think it’s wonderful for certain types of apps. Our developer journal, Capsule is a great example of this. We created a distributed journal app that can sync back to a central server/hub – all on WordPress. I’ve also created an HR logging system using WordPress. These have worked quite nicely.

At the end of the day, I believe in a pragmatic approach. The things that go into this decision include:

  • comparing site needs to what WordPress does out of the box
  • consider known and projected future enhancements
  • consider potential scaling concerns
  • consider the importance of the community and lack of vendor lock-in to the client

Happily, that means we choose WordPress much of the time.