The choice of technology is probably something you shouldn't even care about if you give the development process into hands of professionals, but we still feel like letting our customers know why exactly we prefer this or that technology for a future web platform or mobile application.
Based on our previous experience customers often ask us to create a specific software using Wordpress, because they are convinced that it is going to cost less money. Well, in many cases it сan be cheaper, but if you are planning to create some exclusive software with rich functionality and mind blowing design WordPress is not the best pick.
But anyway, let's do first thing first. And in this article we will share our own vision, based on our experience in work with popular software technologies: WordPress and Ruby on Rails.
You have probably heard a lot about WordPress since it is one of the most popular content management systems used for building of general content or marketing websites and web applications. In most cases these are websites of simple content with lots of images which suggest some basic options like making purchases or filling forms. WordPress is also a popular hosting service for personal or business blogs. In accordance with the latest data WordPress controls over 60% of all CMS on the market. About 30-35% of all websites in the world work on this “engine”, which is intended to provide users with convenient and flexible ways of managing the web content.
Perhaps, the main reason why a lot of people prefer WordPress is its overall simplicity. This CMS is so simple, that even a beginner can manage it in few hours. But this is also a controversial issue, because if you expect that your digital product is going to be developed by super experienced professionals with WordPress you can’t be really sure of their competency.
What concerns the user side, well, admin panel is really simple, therefore even inexperienced users can upload extra content, e.g. add new sections, pages, news and images, create blog entries and update the texts themselves.
One more factor influencing the popularity of WordPress is its flexibility. It is not complicated to change the website design by activating a different theme and adding new elements. Also WordPress allows to scale up the functionality due to availability of ready-made solutions (plugins). But here are some hidden dangers. Since Wordpress plugins and themes are created by outside developers they can often contain bugs. And these are undue risks for the functioning of your software and business as a whole. Uploading of plugins requires close attention and it is highly recommended to study the descriptions and read the reviews before the upload to make sure that new elements will not contradict with the functionality of the website.
One more reason for picking WordPress is the speed of its installation. Yes, WordPress installation is super fast, because the size of CMS files is usually small. In fact, it can take less than 5 minutes! But for a professional web project where the timeline is generally months, saving a few minutes is not worth the consideration. It’s necessary to keep the focus on the effect it has on the final product rather than save time on installation and ignore the risks. Of course, speed can mean a lot for hobbyist bloggers, but we are not talking about amateur development.
As it was mentioned in the introduction, one of the major factors which influence people’s choice is that they consider WordPress to be cheaper for software development. Honestly, here everything depends on the kind of product you are planning to create. In our practice, we had cases when the final cost of software, coded on Ruby-on-Rails appeared to be cheaper than the similar product, created on WordPress.
Coming up to the question of significant shortcomings of WordPress it is reasonable to mention the following issues:
WordPress is an engine, which was developed in 2003 as a tool for creating and keeping of blogs. But today due to the efforts of plugin and theme developers this CMS can be used for other types of websites, such as:
Ruby on Rails (RoR) — is an integrated MVC-framework which allows you to create any kind of application you can only imagine. It is suitable for creating of ordinary websites, which must be really fast, fail-safe and able to operate under heavy loads as well as for web-applications with complex business logics, great functional abilities and dynamic web-interfaces. Ruby on Rails is an open-source software, which involves its usability for creating of new product versions and fixing of bugs.
The main reasons why we often choose Ruby on Rails are determined by the following factors:
Ruby on Rails is a mature technology, which is suited for a general purpose idea, it's architecture and ideology can be applied to built any type of web applications whether it is a Science related application, ecommerce-platform, real estate search system, etc. Here are some of the examples what RoR can be used for:
As a matter of our experience, broad Ruby on Rails options allowed us to implement all indended functionality of a web application, customized to the needs of our client. The idea of the app was to build a new branded way of transparent advertising online by using great Pinterest content and to develop a marketplace that can make advertising through it. You can read more about the project here.
Coming back to the question of choice, RoR will definitely give you more versatile web development skills. Ruby on Rails development is a mature and stable technology, which is able to support more sophisticated solutions. This especially works in those cases when a customer needs something more than just “standard” or “commonly used”. And frankly, would you like your company to be “typical” and “standard” one?
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