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BC vs Wordpress

Open Source software is good, and is very important to the development of the internet BUT you need to know what your are doing if it is going to be secure and work effectively for your business.

In some ways it is like buying a 1990’s model car. As long as you know how to service the car, what additions have been made, how each of the systems within the car work, you can probably have a great drive. You might even produce the fastest, or most secure car. But your old car will simply not perform well, unless you really know what you are doing to tune it, make changes and get the best from it.

Wordpress and other open source software is similar. They work really well in a well managed environment, but that is no place for most small or even medium size business’s to lay their primary business website.

You see, Wordpress is pretty basic on it’s own. What happens is you add a bunch of tools to the system call ‘plug-ins’. While this is one of the things that make Wordpress so powerful, it is also its Achilles heel. You’ll see why in just a moment.

Hackers, like to show they can break in to ‘secure’ systems. It is most easy to break in to a system, if you can study the lock. In this case, Wordpress, is open source, so to study the lock is very easy. For this reason, Wordpress has a constant stream of updates and security patches. (see this link for the list)

So it makes sense to update to the latest security update when it is released for Wordpress. BUT, before you do, you need to make sure all of your plug-ins are going to continue to work after the update. Sometimes your plug-in might not be being updated anymore, and will require the sourcing of a new plug-in. This is not too much of a drama if you are a programmer, but for the average business owner, it is a huge waste of time, and money.

This, in my opinion, is the biggest reason to be very selective about what you use Wordpress for in your business. If you do have it running, ensure regular updates, and ideally, a maintenance contract with a programmer to manage all the updates. Otherwise it is a ticking time bomb for when you will be targeted by the next security breach.

So, what are your alternatives?

I use and recommend Adobe Business Catalyst CMS. Most of the plug-ins that you need to add to Wordpress are included as standard, and the code is not open-source, so hacking in is much harder.

Here is a Comparison Chart:

(Click image to view full size version)

So, while you can do all the same things, each plug-in might introduce a security hole, or become un-stable after your next upgrade, so now you understand the risks, you can choose your CMS with confidence.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014