We’ve been building sites using WordPress for nearly four years now, and it’s never let us down. But there’s no getting around this fact; some clients find it a little too complicated, and it needs ongoing maintenance (such as plugin updates) to keep things ticking over.
When we consider any new website project for a client, it’s important to find out what content needs to be changed, and the level of complexity the site owner is comfortable with when doing so. This isn’t the same for everyone.
For these reasons, we’re also now offering websites built using an alternative to WordPress, called Statamic, which we believe is more suitable for site owners wanting something more “hands off”.
We’ve compared WordPress with Statamic below, so we hope this sheds some light on what might work best for you.
At Pechrian Digital, most websites we build use WordPress. It’s a great system, and it’s extremely popular, now powering 30% of all websites.
Below are some good reasons to use it.
It’s easy to add and update content
The admin area in WordPress is well designed, and after spending some time with it, it’s possible to make changes to the website easily.
You have used it before
Since WordPress is so widely used, there’s a good chance you’ve used it on another website, so you’ll find it easy to pick up. There’s a lot of sense in sticking with what you already know.
The blogging engine is best in class
If you want a blog, or have a content marketing strategy, then WordPress is a great choice. And with the forthcoming “Gutenberg” content editor, you get a Medium style experience when writing posts.
You want to to use a page builder
A page builder allows you to drag and drop content elements on to a page and build it visually, including the layout, fonts and colours. Although we recommend custom built WordPress websites to keep the design safely locked away, a page builder is a great choice for those on smaller budgets, or who need total freedom to change anything on the site.
We’ve written previously comparing page builders to custom websites, and when they’re a good option.
You need an eCommerce site
WordPress has an accompanying eCommerce plugin called WooCommerce. It’s very widely used and has the backing of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
WordPress isn’t always the right choice though. As mentioned at the start of this article, for some people WordPress can be a little intimidating to use, and the need to keep a bunch of plugins up to date is a hassle. For these clients, we now recommend Statamic.
Here are some of Statamic’s advantages over WordPress.
Very easy to edit and manage your website
The content editing experience is as good as it gets. It’s extremely simple and easy to use. Check out the Statamic website for a video showing how good this is.
Advanced media handling
It’s easier to manage your photos and other assets than with WordPress. Images can be saved in folders rather than in one big area like they are in WordPress.
Images can also have a “focal point” set which means the important part of an image is always kept in frame for different sized devices.
No plugins required
WordPress sites often need a selection of plugins to add the required functionality for the site. These then need to be kept up to date.
Not so with Statamic. The vast majority of what you need is built in, so no plugins to keep up to date. This reduces the total cost of ownership of the website.
Advanced content management
Perhaps you have a more sophisticated content requirement.
Let’s say you’re a sports coach and you want to be able to easily add all your content (courses, venues and instructors) on to the site. You want to be able to setup which courses are held at which venues, along with the relevant instructors.
Once this has been done, all the content will then flow throughout the site in the right places, without any unnecessary copying and pasting. Whenever new content gets added, courses, instructors and venues will automatically appear where they should, with the correct layout and consistent design.
This may be sound complicated, but trust us, this makes ongoing changes to the website much easier.
Who else uses Statamic?
If you’ve never heard of Statamic, have a look at some of the sites that have been built with it. If you decide to choose it, you’re in very good company.