Why would you use WordPress for a corporate website in 2019?

Why would you use WordPress for a corporate website in 2019?
Outsourcify Website

Benoit Schneider

Managing Technical Director

Lately, we went through a lot of brainstorming internally at Outsourcify just to figure out which technology we should use to redevelop our website. We already knew we would work on a new design, which would require Design to HTML/CSS integration first. But then where to head? Good old WorPress? Something new?

There are just so any technologies out there to build a website, so many new languages, frameworks and libraries coming out every day or so that’s it practically impossible to make the right choice. The only thing you can do is make a choice depending on your situation, your knowledge, your expectations in term of ease of development and update, and also depending on who’s going to use the website.

Why would we choose WordPress then if there are so many choices? It seems so many people are trying to find alternatives to WordPress, including ourselves as we went through quite a lot of research on headless CMS, as well as on Server Side Rendered (SSR) websites builders using React or Vue.JS.
We could have switched to a static website generator like Jekyll, or a PHP based one. We also could have used Gatsby.JS or Next.JS, two site generator with Server Side Rendering which we actually used lately for customers’ websites. The thing is all those require a headless CMS, to know Markdown, or to compile files from the command line every time you update the content.

Our first website a few years ago used to be made of static HTML pages, which means we could not update it easily, adding blog articles or managing the on-page SEO meant a lot of manual work. With this new website we were aiming at content rich pages, a website that we could update with ease, adding articles about our company, our services, technologies we use, projects we worked on, but also job offers, testimonials from clients, it needed to be as easy as possible to update.

Sure WordPress is bloated, it’s difficult to secure, but it’s also a great Content Management System (CMS) when it’s used correctly. It can be fast enough with a good cache plugin on the right server. The truth is it’s very difficult to find good alternatives. Very often when you try one of these alternative you come up with issues you didn’t have with WordPress. I’m not talking here about the technical challenge most of these new technologies impose, which is not quite a problem for our team as we all are experts in HTML/CSS, PHP and Javascript, we are not the type of developers only used to handling WordPress themes and plugins.

So in the end, we went for it again, what you see now is indeed a WordPress website. We created a custom theme with the HTML/CSS templates we had integrated from our design team’s work and we now have a website that anybody in the team can update.

At Outsourcify, we believe WordPress works when you do it right from start, and that means starting from scratch. Most WordPress developers aren’t really programming but only mixing themes and plugins, figuring out how to achieve what they aim by piling up layers after layers of add-ons. They often start with a so-called premium theme with hundreds of options, huge page builders, and tons of plugins. Sure in these conditions you get a bloated WordPress that’s awful to manage.

With the right plugins, for example Timber to add the MVC design pattern (Model – View – Controller) to WordPress with the help of Twig templates, and a good understanding of custom posts and custom fields (why not use ACF and CPT UI), WordPress can do everything you would expect from a CMS.

And WordPress is better than other CMS on some aspects, for example the Media Library is great and in my search for alternatives to WordPress I never saw anything coming close. The whole shortcodes system is also nice and easy to put in place, and we find the new Gutenberg editor quite handy, the interface where I’m typing this article right now is very clear, with nothing in the way, straight to the point.

So to get to the point and answer the initial question that gave its title to this article, the reason we would use WordPress for our corporate website is just that it does the job and it does the job well.

Benoit Schneider · Managing Technical Director

After studying to become a Web Engineer at the UTBM in France, Benoit experienced working in various IT departments of large companies in Paris as a web developer then as a project manager before becoming a freelance web consultant in 2010, and finally co-founded Outsourcify in Thailand.

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