This might be more of a meta question but thought I would give it a try on the main site first.

I am in charge of a technology group at a very large company. We use a lot of vendors and do a lot of in-house stuff - some with WP some with other CMS/DMS/LMS iterations.

The second time in the last 3 months I was on the phone with a vendor and upper management (VP and up) and the vendor was tooting that "and our technology isn't some wordpress site or isn't using wordpress."

The last vendor no kidding charges $10 a head per year + admin fees + others so almost a million a year for a very very basic CMS. One so basic that it would take maybe a few weeks to do in WP. Their code/site/technology is so ghetto that there is virtually nothing that can't be done in WP out of the box plus a couple basic plugins. Not only that but their authentication and user system is full of holes because it is a self made CMS and just hasn't accounted for the 100s of cases of permissioning/issues.

So my question is what should someone say to a vendor when they make a comment like this?

Based on the assumptions: - Their site/code does not have the basic functionality of WP. - They have nothing "special" differentiating their product - They take forever to update/produce anything because everything is home baked, start from scratch - We have no idea of the security risks. Given their functionality looks like crap we have to at least assume that security might be just as bad and we have no way of looking at this.

My most basic answer would be - "You wish your site was using WP." But I would like to know how to answer this without coming off as a tech smartass and doing it in language non-techies and managers would understand.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Michael, Mark Kaplun, Pieter Goosen, Sumit, Mayeenul Islam Jun 12 '16 at 4:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I don't know, this sounds very off-topic, but the ROI case sounds very obvious, unless they supply features which are hard to develop. Even some workflows that require good versioning of the content or being able to handle edit by multiple users might be non trivial to code in WP. Even if you can code it there is a cost to maintain it. – Mark Kaplun Jun 7 '16 at 18:54
  • @MarkKaplun - Those are actually two things that I laugh at right away when talking to vendors who have an editor that has bugs every other week, no versioning, spits out wonky code and so on. I used to build from scratch until I realized it took me so long to just handle revisions, editors and user perms I was a complete idiot for wasting my time there vs time spent on stuff that I will never get off the shelf. – STing Jun 7 '16 at 20:06
  • Easy, talk in the language these people understand: money – TheDeadMedic Jun 8 '16 at 9:52
  • If you don't think the question is on topic at least leave a comment to move to meta if you are downvoting. – STing Jun 8 '16 at 22:49
  • @TheDeadMedic - Maybe you don't understand big companies. There are layers of managment. They want to spend money on a big vendor because it gives them something to manage. My group is the last thing they want to use because when it works, internal praise will go to my team members instead of them. Also managing a large amount of budget is the equivalent to driving a fancy car. – STing Jun 9 '16 at 20:52

This is off topic and opinion based, but hey, I've been in charge of cms procurement and my day job concerns explaining tech to non-techies, so I'll give it a go. Most lists of arguments (example) concentrate on price and ease of use for administrators, but that may not be convincing to execs who favour (imaginary) quality over everything.

  1. Lots of big brands use WordPress. The Walt Disney Company, for instance, is at the moment switching all its sites to WordPress. A quarter of the web is now powered by WP. Even if it were not a good cms, it is becoming the de facto standard. Not wanting to use WordPress is like not wanting to use MS Word.

  2. If you don't adhere to standard software, you face continuity problems. What if your vendor goes bust or discontinues the product for lack of customers? You might get seriously stuck. A minimum requirement when purchasing a cms is that it comes with an option to convert all data to an external format. Never become hostage of your vendor. That will never happen to you with WordPress, provided you own themes/plugins you let made to order. Even if Automattic would go under, the installed base is so large another company would take over. It's open source, after all. And if WP would cease to exist, any new kid on the block would have an importer for WP content.

  3. Those stories about the limits of WP are something of the past. It's like complaining about features Windows XP didn't have. Not relevant anymore. Don't believe it? Let's build a hotel site (or any other site with complex functionality). Look who has it ready within a week. For $100.

  4. WordPress is not something built by geeks in their spare time. Its brand owner, Automattic, is a business that is valued at over 1 billion dollar. Its business model is non-standard, but sound.

That's my quick thoughts. Feel free to add or edit.

  • Really strong answer. #1 is often something I bring up. But I hate it too. Because my company is almost as big as Disney and we use it - and we get suckered by 10s of crappy CMS vendors too. We really pay vendors on a weekly basis hundreds of thousands of dollars for sites that can be built in a few days on WP. #2 in my opinion is the strongest argument. It is why we have a lot of our platforms on WP. We had been in the process of starting over every 2-3 years. Not worried about that now. cont... – STing Jun 8 '16 at 22:55
  • #3 is really true. I have used WP for a long long time. Only the past couple years would I do large platforms on it. I still think some people think WP = 5 page small business site though so it is hard to explain this to them. If you want to add a #5 - Increases usability of new technology across multiple site. For instance I have written a ton of plugins for our internal sites. I can use X plugin in one site and move it to another without worrying about licensing fees or worrying about having to change code for a different platform. I have an SSO plugin used on 15 sites. cont... – STing Jun 8 '16 at 23:01
  • I still work with vendors for 2-3 days AT LEAST to get corporate logins working. Now the only negative on WP is reporting. WP is set up to be a display and organization mechanism. It does these things beautifully. Now reporting on all the ins and outs that you are doing is a freaking mess in WP. I am not talking about analytics. In the most simplistic example - if we have 500 pages in a category with 10 custom fields... How can I download that in an Excel type format? Can't. I have to reproduce a json script with complex methods to capture it, outside WP. – STing Jun 8 '16 at 23:08
  • Glad you like the answer. I'd say, if your company can afford to throw money at crappy vendors, they can also have a custom reporting plugin built. – cjbj Jun 9 '16 at 7:20
  • Obviously you don't know how huge companies work. They pay lots of money for something or nothing. So unless I get someone to charge 200K+ for some fancy addon that reports everything my group will end up doing it. The company also has to have layers of managers, PMs, and possibly set up a meeting off campus on some island of course! – STing Jun 9 '16 at 20:40

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