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WordPress vs Laravel

By April 26, 2020

When it comes to website-building platforms, there are many options available. That said, the most popular choice remains in content management system (CMS) driven sites.

One of the world’s most popular CMS options is WordPress. It’s been used by thousands of developers to build sites ranging from small to medium, as well as larger content-driven portals. In fact, according to Kinsta, 60% of the world’s CMS-driven websites use WordPress as of May 2020. 

A WordPress-based, or CMS-driven, route is not the only option though. There are other choices available, which could better suit your business requirements, logic, and end goals of your website.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of those other options, and when it’s best to use them.

The WordPress approach

A CMS is generally used for managing content-rich sites, such as news and media, blogs, case studies, or business websites. WordPress is supported by a thriving community of developers across the world, so there is a large number of themes and plugins you can install to add features without writing any code.

Alternatively, thanks to WordPress’s flexibility, you can develop your own plugins and themes to meet bespoke functional requirements.

But if your requirements need more than content coverage—complex calculators, customer portals, API integrations—WordPress may not be the best choice. Instead of architecting an application to meet your requirements, you will be dealing with a large existing codebase that was built for a different purpose.  

So, it’s best to go with WordPress if your site fits into a standard CMS with some complex requirements. But if you have a functional requirement that’s driving the core need for the website, you might want to explore other options which will allow more control without having to hack existing code or change your needs.

Going bespoke with web apps

A web application—or web app—is a custom-coded solution that utilises web browsers and web technology to perform tasks over the internet. Common examples of these are complex calculators, claims management systems, and hotel booking systems. There are lots of web-app technologies available for delivering complex web applications, here at elcap, we’re huge fans of Laravel.

From a technical perspective, web apps use a combination of server-side scripts (such as PHP) to handle the storage and retrieval of information via a database management system (DBMS). Examples of these include MySQL and MariaDB. From a front-end perspective they can benefit from JavaScript-based frameworks like React, JQuery, Angular or of course well-coded HTML5.

These technologies then present information to users in fast, slick and effective way. Web apps offer great flexibility and scalability, so although they can work out to be expensive initially when compared to a standard CMS-driven website, this might not be the case in the long run, as web apps are custom-crafted to meet the exact brief. So, unlike a CMS-driven website, there are no compromises on the functionality, and tweaking the business logic down the line is easier.

The other advantages of custom web apps include higher ROI, better user experience, ease of use, scalability, clean code, third party integration, better security, and improved performance.

When to use web apps instead of CMS

If you need a good looking, content-rich website and you don’t have a particularly complex functional requirement, a CMS-driven website is always a better choice.

But if there are complex business requirements, and where security and performance is key, a web app may be the best choice.

Here at elcap, we specialise in both CMS-driven sites and custom coded web apps. As such, we can advise on the best course of action to take considering your requirements.

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