WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), powering an estimated 43% of the world’s websites. It comes with a highly evolved ecosystem of apps, plug-ins, templates and add-ons, as well as an extensive list of other applications it can integrate with. There is also a huge global community of WordPress developers.
Despite all this, there remains a perception that WordPress is not a suitable CMS for building the corporate websites of medium- and large-sized organizations. Many still associate WordPress with non-business sites, blogs or smaller business sites. While the roots of WordPress undoubtedly are with smaller sites, it is now a robust technology choice for larger organizations to build their corporate website, generating great customer experiences while also meeting required security levels.
In this post, we’re going to explore enterprise-grade WordPress and why it can be a good choice for larger organizational websites.
What are the advantages of WordPress?
WordPress hasn’t become the world’s most popular CMS by accident. WordPress is very mature and has been around since 2003. Digital teams love using it for a number of reasons:
Ease of use
Above all, WordPress is very easy to use, with a low barrier to entry that helps inexperienced and less confident editors, while appealing to more technically experienced teams too. There are also templates available with easy-to-navigate interfaces for editors.
Many people end up using WordPress at some time or another. A digital marketing or IT team may contain people who have used the CMS in a previous role, and wider content authors might even be familiar with it. This familiarity helps drive confidence and successfully engage a wide group of editors, publishers and authors.
WordPress is an open-source platform. Considering what can be done with the CMS, the associated costs are exceptionally low.
High flexibility and extensibility
WordPress is a very flexible and extensible platform, partly down to the huge ecosystem of WordPress apps and plug-ins. The global WordPress community means there is a vast talent pool to support you in what you want to achieve.
It plays nicely with other systems
Because of the ubiquity of WordPress, many other digital marketing tools and systems will integrate with it smoothly and easily, meaning it can fit well into your existing digital marketing and content management stack. For example, you could use WordPress for headless publishing.
Maturity and stability
WordPress is nearly twenty years old, and it’s open-source. It is a very mature CMS which has been tested to the nth degree by a global community, and is going to be around for many years to come. There is also backwards compatibility for each new release, so you can confidently invest in WordPress as a long-term solution for your website that is here to stay.
Speed to market
All of the above mean you can produce results quickly with a fast speed to market when getting your digital project live. For example, we built Pelion’s corporate website from instruction to launch in a few weeks, with WordPress robustly supporting the rapid project. See https://pantheon.io/wordpress-enterprise.
Is WordPress really suitable for enterprises?
With multiple advantages to using WordPress, it’s an attractive option for both digital marketing and IT teams. But many customers still ask us whether it is really suitable for their enterprise. The answer is yes. Its evolution now means there are the required levels of security, flexible hosting options and ecosystem of plug-ins and apps to meet the needs of an enterprise website. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
Security concerns make some larger organizations hesitant to use WordPress for their corporate website, but the platform is actually very secure, with most vulnerabilities exposed through themes and plug-ins. By ensuring you have a robust process to review apps for security concerns, as well as ongoing comprehensive monitoring, you can achieve the required enterprise-grade security.
For example, for our website build at Pelion, we applied two-factor authentication, attack prevention measures, cross-scripting, vulnerability protection, a strict plugin policy and monitoring to ensure the site was as secure as possible.
Apps that elevate WordPress to a Digital Experience Platform
There are literally thousands of apps that can be used as plug-ins or in combination with WordPress, meaning that WordPress can be catapulted to the level of a sophisticated Digital Experience Platform (DXP). There really is “an app for that”, with many mature, enterprise-grade tools available. This massive apps and development ecosystem is driven by a motivated global community who both make a living from WordPress and safeguard the platform.
Hosting and scalability
There are a variety of different hosting options available for a WordPress site to meet performance, legal and ongoing management requirements. WordPress has almost limitless scalability to meet the needs of a large enterprise’s corporate website. A whole industry has grown around WordPress hosting and it’s worth researching the market to consider your options.
Monitoring and analytics tools
The WordPress plug-ins and apps universe covers all the performance monitoring, analytics and testing tools you would expect to successfully manage a corporate website. For Kigen, we continue to conduct regular health and Google Lighthouse audits, track Core Web Vitals, use SEMRush to track SEO, run always-on performance monitoring and more.
WordPress is so ubiquitous that it will stick around for years to come. It is safeguarded by a passionate global community, so everything is heavily tested. Most technology decisions in larger enterprises take a longer-term view, and with WordPress you are completely future-proofed. WordPress is here to stay.
Headless publishing and the Composable DXP
There is growing interest in both headless publishing and the concept of the composable DXP – an ecosystem of best-of-breed solutions that work together as one flexible, integrated platform. WordPress supports headless publishing and can also fit in well with a composable DXP set-up to manage aspects of content management; if you are heading in the composable or headless direction, WordPress could be worth considering.
You will need a DevOps approach and multi-environment hosting
Making WordPress truly enterprise-grade does rely on the right set-up. You will need to have a robust DevOps approach that covers multiple environments – Development, Testing, Staging and Production – with disciplined deployment processes through the various stages, governed by sophisticated change management that ensures everyone is aligned and all dependencies are met. Again, there can be a perception that enterprise DevOps is hard to apply to WordPress, but this is not the case. When using WordPress for sites like Kigen, we apply a comprehensive development and deployment process with a regular release cadence.
What are the kinds of plug-ins I will need?
The plug-ins and apps that can be applied to your enterprise WordPress site run the gamut of what you might expect to find in any DXP, covering:
· Performance monitoring
· Community and social add-ons
· Publishing themes and frameworks
· And more!
Note that the apps and plug-ins you use need to be reliable and checked by experienced professionals from both a security and support standpoint. You don’t want to use an app that is not being updated and which might lead to security-related risks. For the enterprise-grade WordPress sites we create and continue to monitor, reviewing and monitoring apps is an essential part of what we do.
Ready for enterprise-grade WordPress?
We think WordPress can be a strong choice for an enterprise website. If you’d like to discuss using WordPress for your website, then get in touch!