specialist web design for the agricultural industry

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Symphony vs Wordpress

posted 23 Jul 2018
by Judith

(and other content management systems)

When enquiring about a new website you will have probably heard the term content management system, cms, a lot.

So what is a ‘CMS’?

A content management system is a piece of software that allows you to create, edit and publish content on your website. From Joomla to Wordpress, Drupal to Wix there are many systems available out there all with their pros and cons. Some systems work straight out of the box while others need to be developed to a client’s needs.

The system we use most widely is one known as Symphony. This isn’t as mainstream as the likes of Wordpress, but nonetheless is an extremely powerful enterprise level system used by some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as Virgin Media and the BBC.

Why do we use Symphony over the others available?

Quite simply because we can develop it to exactly meet our clients requirements. Rather than working straight ‘out of the box’ Symphony is more of a framework. We start with the bare bones system and develop it into a fully working customisable website.

We feel the most important part of a website is the structure itself, most CMS’s such as Joomla and Wordpress are ‘plug and play’, the systems have designated structures and standards that can restrict how a website is developed.

With Symphony we have to think before we build; we take the time to work out how a website should be laid out, what content should appear on pages and which content elements can link to others. By working this out before we begin we can develop a website specifically for your business, for your needs and for your clients.

At the forefront of everything we do is ease of use by our clients and their clients. After all if a website is too difficult to update, it quite simply won’t happen. In the same respect if a website is hard to navigate users will go elsewhere.

We understand you and your business are busy, you don’t have time to go on a day long training course to work out how to update your website. You don’t want to read a manual or google how to update a website every time you want to add a news item. Symphony has a very simple, elegant user interface to allow you to update your website content. If you can use software such as Microsoft Word you will be able to use Symphony.

Why not Wordpress?

We get a lot of clients asking us why we don’t use Wordpress. This is the most popular CMS and one that many users have heard of, it is the ‘popular kid in town’. While we can and have developed Wordpress sites in the past, we prefer to use Symphony instead; here are a few reasons why;

  • Wordpress was originally created as a platform for bloggers; functionality outside of this requires the use of extensions. We feel we are taking a piece of software and altering it to make it fit your requirements. Whereas Symphony makes no assumptions, the site can be built exactly how you need it from the ground up.
  • As the standard Wordpress install works ‘straight out of the box’ you are often left with large amounts of code that aren’t required for your site. Unnecessary code leads to longer load times and a slower website. With symphony you only have the code and functionality that you require.
  • While it’s possible to work with very specific data formats (such as estate agents property data for example) within Wordpress it is often ‘clunky’ and difficult to achieve the exact set up you are looking for. The flow often doesn’t feel right and workarounds are created. Symphony allows you to add data in the format you want right from the beginning. The rest of the website will flow around it.
  • Wordpress’s success can also be a bad thing; we are seeing an increasing number of spammers and hackers targeting Wordpress sites as they know the structure of the file system and code.

Perhaps our most important reason for choosing Symphony is that it is easily extendable. You don’t know where your business is going to be in two years time, you need a website that will grow and develop with you. We’ve had clients start out with one site and over time build three or four or more websites into the same system. Others have added functionality such as importing property feeds or external data to create maps and graphs.

If your website has the correct initial grounding and build you can develop it how you like in the future and it’s our job to make sure we recommend the best possible tools for the job.

It is not our intention to say Wordpress shouldn’t be used to develop websites; there are some very powerful and beautiful sites created using the system. We are here to show you that Wordpress isn’t the only content management system available nor is it necessarily the best for your businesses needs.

Why not call us on 01900 822080 to discuss your website requirements and how we can help your business succeed online.

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