I own a website that was custom built with cakephp. We do not currently have a blog but I want to get a blog set up to provide educational content for our users and to help us for SEO purposes. The question is, do I go with wordpress or have it custom developed like the rest of our website?
I need the blog to completely fit in with what the rest of the website looks like and I want to have the design custom made to be exactly what I want. Can I get a developer to create a custom wordpress theme that's exactly what I want or would I be better off to use my current developer (who does great work) to custom develop it?
Thoughts and feedback much appreciated!
Take a look at this recent discussion for the pros/cons of a custom CMS versus a pre-built CMS like wordpress.
IMHO, it would probably be less expensive in the long run to have a theme worked up for your wordpress site, then move your content and blog over to wordpress.
It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a custom CMS (thus, costly)--especially if it's maintained by only one person.
With a CMS, you also benefit from added functionality that can be roped in using plugins. Typically, this isn't the case with custom CMSes. Often, you have to custom order functionality, which can get expensive.
Security for projects with lots of eyeballs on it is often better than single-developer projects. Developer communities are more likely to catch bugs and issues before they become wide-spread problems.
Thank you for the feedback Force Flow, the feedback and link are both very helpful.
With that said, our CMS is built and it's very custom. Switching over right now just to implement a blog is not going to be the cheapest option. Our website has two user types that have unique qualities. In addition, our CMS has multiple custom things built in to track certain things, produce reports, etc and while those things are probably possible via wordpress/others, we would have to start over from scratch.
I guess a more direct question I should ask is, could have a custom theme developed for wordpress that I would use for the blog and the user wouldn't even know they are looking at two different systems? Users won't be able to comment on the blog posts, we simply need to be able to create articles/content to help our users and for SEO. I just don't know whether I should go through the trouble of custom building a wordpress theme, or just having my developer build article/blog creation options for me within the CMS we have.
A) is it possible to custom theme wordpress to look so identical to my current website that users can't tell the difference
B) what would the rough cost be to have someone implement question A?
Using Wordpress might not be the best option given all the work that has already gone into the custom system. I would think that many things that were developed can be reused in adding a blog/learning management feature to your custom cms. Having said that it might not be cheaper. However, if you go with Wordpress you will probably be hard pressed to have it be anything other than two completely separate sites. You could probably get them to look similar but when it comes to user authentication it would likely be tricky too implement a single sign-on solution that works for both the wordpress site and custom site. I would recommend having a serious talk with your developer since you have said they do good work. All we can do here is speculate based on our own experience. Not to mention you have WP crowd who would recommend rebuilding facebook, amazon, or google search engine on Wordpress if they could.
You can easily create a theme to match your custom website. You could even create a gateway that allows your users to post on the blog too. All you would need to do is create your own WordPress theme; this would mask over the whole of the wordpress site to how you want it to look. You have quite a lot of control about the features and design too, so if you didn't want any comments you can easily block that option.
Would this be your first time working with wordpress?
A lot of your custom code might not actually be as unique as you think.
I wasn't saying immediately switch everything to wordpress--I was suggesting a staged approach. Work up the wordpress template to match your existing site, get the blog up and running, then eventually start migrating things from your main site over to wordpress.
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