How to scale from WordPress to custom software

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One day you may realize that you need to scale to make your business larger and to add more functionalities. And then, most definitely, you will face different kinds of technical limitations from WordPress.

Things will get fuzzy, you won’t know what decision will be right, as you will probably be the one with a business model that works for years and brings you some money. Well, don’t worry, it’s a very common situation. WordPress might be very good to start with, but not good enough to continue.

WordPress is the CMS system that was originally created as a block publishing tool giving people the ability to make their own websites easily, fast and cheap. Social media weren’t so popular back then, some of them didn’t exist at all, so people were happy to share stories on their own sites.

A lot of engineers and designers started to work with WordPress too. They updated it with different themes and plugins which made functionality bigger. And that is why people started to use WordPress for other aims like making business websites, advertising websites or online shops.

According to the latest data, 35% of all the websites in the world are developed with WordPress (this is huge!). There are two main reasons for that. First, it is very simple. Any person without engineering knowledge can understand how it works. Second, the installation is fast and cheap. But...

Everything that can seem as advantages in the beginning, soon or later becomes disadvantages

When you start adding different plugins, you have to understand that these plugins are not developed by original WordPress developers, there’s a big community of different engineers.

Each of them can write his own plugin, and you can't know exactly what quality it is, how many bugs it has, and how it will work with all the other plugins on your website. It often happens that somebody adds a lot of functionality into their WordPress site, and plugins start to collapse between each other and cause different bugs and failures.

Also, even if things somehow keep working, with adding new functionality, the loading time increases and makes a website work really slow.

Rule number zero: if the horse is dead, get off it

If you don’t want to be in a situation where you spend more time just to support what you have, instead of developing some new things for your business, stop it as soon as you feel it doesn’t work for you anymore. If you have an option to invest in WordPress or invest in custom software, you should always choose the option of investing in custom software.

Here are three things that can help you with this decision:

  1. Analyze your business and your current WordPress to understand the core that actually brings you money. It can be hard because usually we think that everything is important. But one day you should sit down, relax and just set the priorities. This will help you to start fast and develop functionalities that will be the most valuable for the users.
  2. Migrate your database. You can take user data and SEO from your current website and transfer them to your new customer solution. It’s not hard, it will only take a few lines of code, just remember about it.
  3. Do it fast. Moving from WordPress to custom development takes at least three months. Sometimes people keep adding new functionalities to their old website even after deciding to move to custom development. There’s no sense in investing money in both platforms, you can just support it and focus on making a custom solution.

We hope these advices will help you to make the right decision and get off your dead horse fast. Excuse us if we harmed your feelings about WordPress and drop us a line, if you think the opposite.

And of course, don’t forget to listen to our podcast and find out more!