"Well, our site is currently built on (insert closed source, proprietary CMS here), but we'd like to switch to WordPress. Is that possible?" It's a question that's posed to our web development company fairly often, and it's a good one to ask. Maybe you built your site a long time ago on Drupal, Joomla or DNN, and your organization has since outgrown that solution. Maybe you've realized that your closed source CMS is expensive to maintain and difficult for your team to use. Regardless of the reason, the answer to that question is, "Yes, we can help your company migrate to WordPress!"
It could also be that you've never liked your current CMS, but the idea that you could profit from switching to a different option never occurred to you. After all, you already invested in web design and development for the platform you're on, so what would be the use of starting the process all over again? Well, we'll break down some of the reasons it could be worth it.
I personally consider this as one of the top reasons to make the move to WordPress. Working at a web development company, I'm exposed to a wide variety of CMS platforms (and recently shared a breakdown of the most popular platforms of 2018) and have the luxury of easy access to talented, helpful developers that are willing to teach me the ins and outs of updating content on some of the trickier systems. But chances are, your content management team doesn't have that same luxury.
Many users of DNN, Drupal and Joomla find that the systems are overly complicated and confusing. I myself once spent over an hour trying to get a simple table to display correctly on a DNN page before throwing in the towel and enlisting the help of a dev. While WordPress can be customized to handle more advanced features, it's still delightfully simple to use. That's because it's based on a WYSIWYG concept - aka, "what you see is what you get." You don't have to be able to code to create and style a web page or post. If your business doesn't have an in-house web developer, but needs to update its site with new content fairly frequently, WordPress can save you time, effort and money.
Another big reason you could benefit from making the switch - WordPress comes with a lovely, $0 price tag. (Assuming your needs don't require the enterprise version, that is.) Since WordPress is open source, rather than a proprietary system, it requires no costly licensing fees. Plus, there are literally thousands upon thousands of free plugin options, whereas many closed source systems charge extra for additional features and plugins. You’ll still have to pay the cost for hosting and domain, but the software itself won’t break the bank.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; the user experience on your site is everything. And you can’t just have good user experience on desktop alone. These days, about 51% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. With over half the traffic online coming from mobile, responsive web design is a basic necessity for any site. Not to mention, Google has started to decrease the SEO ranking of sites that it finds to be lacking in mobile-friendliness or that load slowly on mobile.
When it comes to responsiveness and SEO, WordPress is ahead of the game. Nearly all WordPress themes are mobile-friendly out of the box, and keeping the theme updated for responsiveness is usually as simple as a few clicks on the backend. For SEO, WordPress is also pretty good out of the box, but there is also a variety of free plugins you can use to enhance your SEO abilities even more. Our personal preference is the Yoast SEO plugin, as it makes creating optimized URLs, title tags, meta descriptions and more a breeze.
The nice thing about open source platforms is that they can be taken with you anywhere. If you leave your web agency today, you can find a WordPress developer that can take over your site as-is tomorrow. With a proprietary CMS company, it’s not going to be that simple. In all likelihood, they’re going to be like that clingy ex who just won’t accept that it’s over and does anything they can to make it hard for you to leave.
Also unlike your ex, WordPress is open to changing itself to better meet your needs. Need to add a blog to your site? Simple – it’s what WP was originally built for. Want to change some styles, add a feature or create a page quickly? No sweat. WordPress is built to be easy to use and since it is open source, it has a ton of online support forums and documentation to help you accomplish nearly any desired task. There’s a misconception among some that open source systems are inherently not as secure as closed source, but we’ve previously discussed that this concern is mostly just a myth.
These are just a few good reasons why you might want to seriously consider making the move to WordPress, or simply start your site on it if you don’t have one yet. As a web development company that uses WP as its preferred CMS, we’re more than familiar with all the benefits. Although we’ve encountered and even tested some plugins that claim they can migrate to WordPress automatically, none of them quite hit the mark. The bulk of them will simply spider a site, copy the HTML and slap it into the page content area. If you want a successful site, you’ll need a little more hands-on work than that. Don’t be discouraged, though! Think of it as an opportunity to evaluate your current design, HTML, CSS, content and SEO, and make improvements. Good news – we know a pretty awesome web development company that can help!
Need help evaluating your site and deciding if it’s time to make a change? Get in touch with our talented web design and development team today!
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