Let’s start with the things that WordPress is excellent at.
1. Being a content management system (CMS, blog, etc) – LadyBoss runs on WordPress
2. Intuitive publishing (simple UI means no development skills are needed)
3. Being popular
WordPress’ ease-of- use is a huge draw for users new to IT systems. Non-technical users tend to develop an affection for WordPress. This leads them to be overly forgiving when they run into system limitations. When you run a business being inflexible will cost you sales and lead to missed opportunities – this is the #1 reason WordPress is not a good tool for powering your business.
What about all the extensions? WordPress’ popularity means that thousands of developers work on and sell “add-ons”. These are predominantly built as afterthoughts – helping meet an unexpected demand. When WordPress was started nobody expected it would be used to sell products, manage inventory or generate sales reports. WooCommerce is essentially a huge add-on designed to fill this deficit. Think of WooCommerce as powerful car strapped atop a bicycle (WordPress).
ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems or business intelligence platforms are designed from the ground up to consolidate data. From the languages used to write the applications to the functional workflows that automate processes for end-users, the entire system was built with businesses in mind.
Although certain ERP systems are modular, their similarities with WordPress end there. Add-Ons in the WordPress marketplace are numerous and the developers behind them are often faceless. Many “duplicates” exist with near identical features. This sea of unchecked code tends to add security vulnerabilities to the system as many of these add-ons tend to fall out of active development.
Without going into too much depth, it is also important to highlight some key differences between PHP (WordPress) and Python (used in BiTS and similar platforms). While no programming language is inherently “better” than another, Python Web applications have the distinct advantage of being able to run in a separate process. Objects in PHP are call-by- value whereas Python is neither call-by- value nor call-by- reference allowing it to be used in more powerful and flexible constructs. In the age of big data, many feel that Python is soon to be the undisputed king of languages. PHP is also notorious for its poor security track record.
The development communities also play an important role in this assessment. Although PHP has a huge installed user base they also have a low signal-to- noise ratio wherein its popularity means that most community forums (where developers go to learn and troubleshoot) tend to be filled with irrelevant information. Python’s large community is split into many specialized interest groups who tend to delve deep into domain specific technical issues.
Does your business run on WordPress? What are some pros and cons of your experience? Do you think it would be a feasible system as your business scales? Let me know in the comments section below!