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Why open source CMS's like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal are difficult and costly to use

By Joe Conlon, Wednesday, 19th December 2012 | 0 comments
Filed under: UX/Design, Web Development.

90% of Webtrade's new customers moved to us having used an previous open source CMS and much preferred how much easier Siternity CMS is to use and the aftercare we're able to provide.

Open source website content management systems like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal and a raft of others, by their nature, are hugely technical and difficult to use - fine for a web developer, but awkward for the normal non-technical owner of a website.

Open Source Versus Commercial CMS?

Ask yourself whether you'd prefer using Microsoft Windows on your PC or one of the many open source Linux operating systems you've probably never heard of? Would you prefer Microsoft Word for your word processing or the open source Open Office package? It's a simple answer, a no brainer really. Apple products are renowned for their usability - iPhone and iPad are both based on Apple's commercial iOS software and is pure simplicity to use. Commercial and 100% user focused.

For commercial software companies, like Apple, Microsoft and indeed Webtrade, we believe in making the best products, simple to use, and functionally excellent. Open source is techie in nature, just the way techies like it, but not what regular business people and website owners really want.

Why Avoid Open Source CMS's?

  • They're developed by web developers for web developers meaning they're technical and hugely complicated to use.
  • Traditional web and graphic designers make huge proportions of their income through retainers, website maintenance work and small content changes. There's really no incentive to make things as easy and flexible as possible for their customers to make changes themselves.
  • Costs are higher over the lifetime of the website because you'll need more support & maintenance time and add-on charges for dealing with any upgrades and dealing with problems and glitches.
  • Warranties rarely stretch past 12 month unlike our lifetime warranty.
  • Websites are developed the old fashioned way, as traditional standalone sites that quickly grow old and out of date as technologies constantly change, unlike our always upgraded websites.
  • Some people we're quoting for websites tell us that a rival developer mentioned that Wordpress has upgrades too and wonder why is this any different to Siternity. Yes, that's true. Wordpress let you know that upgrades are available for your system. But clients hardly ever click the upgrade button because they're too scared of what might happen - because it's all technical. Will it break my site? Quite possibly, especially more likely if you've has customisations make to it. Could it take my site down completely? Also possible. All of our Siternity upgrades happen automatically behind the scenes for you by our development team in a controlled and reliable way. You don't need to worry about anything other than your day to day business.
  • Harder for the open source developers to support because programming is so different between their standalone websites. Some have very old code, some have newer code, but they're all coded differently, often by different people with different coding styles. Compare this to our cleanly coded, centralised Siternity platform where all of our clients use the same stable software that's always up to date.
  • Most open source designers are usually too small to develop and support their own CMS. They might have limited programming skills, and can only provide a very basic 'template' site to their customers.
  • Open source systems are more susceptible to hack attempts. The hacking community has direct access to and is more familiar with open source code making it easier for them to hack than commercial software which is completely closed off to hackers. Your website can be vulnerable to hacking, defacing and downtime unless your web developer checks and updates your website on a regular basis. Siternity customers automatically get security updates rolled out as you go, meaning peace of mind and without the manual cost. Our Siternity servers are also fully secured. All of the traditional access routes that hackers use to penetrate regular shared hosting servers are completely shut off making these types of hacks impossible.
  • Before buying, some of our clients raised the myth that open source does not lock you into one particular web developer. The reality is that if you decide to move your open source website from one web developer to another, the new developer will want to start again with a clean slate anyway. Developers don't like taking on 'baggage' from other developers, their coding styles, bugs, problems, code workarounds etc. They'll want to code it their way with a different open source CMS or a fresh version of your own open source CMS. They'll start again anyway. Working with a fresh site means you can stand over your own work and be confident that work you quote for won't have any surprises or problems passed on by bad coding from a previous developer.
  • Some designers give the impression that open source is quicker and cheaper to setup than commercial software because it has lots of modules available. Siternity has the very same modules available too, cost effective and quick to setup out of the box, or customise to your exact needs.
  • The typical web developers you deal with don't really have any control over the open source CMS they use, what it can do, it's development direction or if newly added code will cause problems down the road or break something else on the website. If it's not their system or code how can they properly support it, customise it to your exact requirements or manage bugs or problems that inevitably come on stream? They're relying on faceless others to roll out any fixes for them.
  • Who's actually built your CMS or the modules you're using to power your website? Businesses invest in huge due diligence in choosing their web designer and ensuring they have a solid partner, however think little about the faceless people behind the open source software and modules a web designer will choose to use? Are they well built, buggy or do they have security vulnerabilities? Will they be supported and updated by the faceless people who created them or will these people lose interest, change career etc. and where does this leave your website?

We guarantee you cost savings, total ease of use, upgrades always, a lifetime warranty, quality support and knowledge that whatever you need developed for your website can be built, and built right with Webtrade 100% responsible for deliverables.