Since 2008 we’ve majored on WordPress development and all new websites and digital assets for the last 3 years have been created using WordPress. So why the great love of WordPress, and why eschew all other web platforms?
What about Drupal, Joomla, Sharepoint, Django, or all the Ruby, Java and .Net solutions? Are they really all dying ? The answers is complex and revolves around the concept of technical debt. When you buy into any technology you are making an investment in a particular ecosystem. For example, if you buy into the Apple world you’ll most likely choose to buy matching Apples products (iPhone, iPad, Mac Air, Apple TV etc) – you’re not likely to switch allegiance to a different platform and buy an Android tablet, or a Google Chromecast. You’re bought in. Or more likely, someone somewhere made a decision to choose your web technology and now you’re stuck with it. As time goes on, people build onto that technology further increasing the investment. To throw this away and move to a different technology would create technical debt – in essence the cost of change. The same applies to WordPress, investment in the platform is generally very specific so moving away in the future will incur a debt-repayment cost.
So why choose WordPress?
Aside from a lot of technical niceties, the rate of adoption and depth of market penetration make is difficult to ignore. It is now the fastest growing enterprise web platform and power over 1/5th of the web. So why isn’t everyone using it? Back to technical debt – there is a second line of technology investment and that’s people. Traditional, old-school, web platforms are dependent on teams of programmers in traditional IT-type structured departments. WordPress (and most other modern web platforms) don’t need hosts of geeks and IT-departments. So what do you do with these old monolithic teams – you can’t just fire them because you’re changing your web platform. It takes time to migrate a larger organisation into a new way of working and that time equals cost. In most cases the traditional dependence of programming is actually only a perception. If organisations formally dropped development and support teams for older systems they would still continue to operate, but at a reduced service level. This buys the time, resource and space to develop the replacement applications. Good planning and a strong leader can easily turnaround a traditional web development environment into a modern agile framework based delivery organisation with a 75% reduction in fixed costs.
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