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Do the Right Thing

Recently, in the process of responding to two requests for proposals, the issue of working in the web development software WordPress came up which our potential customers either preferred or were currently using. In the first situation, we were presented with the question of could we work in or build in WordPress. In the second, we were asked to “fix” the issues the potential customer was having in the E-commerce section of their site.

In both scenarios, we hashed through the pros and cons of responding that of course we could work in their desired platform, WordPress, as we have done so before. But, ultimately our decision, and our response within our proposals was, while we can, in each of these unique situations, we won’t.

That sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Let me explain. We are well aware of Wordpress’s significant popularity. We have extensive experience in building, hosting, and supporting Wordpress sites. A good number of our existing clients are running Wordpress. This is not a matter of preferred toolset. It is a matter of integrity, insuring that we can serve the customer well in the short, and the long term.

These are tough decisions. We want the business! But the decisions become less difficult if the potential sale or revenue is removed from the equation, and one looks strictly at the best solution for the customer. Everything becomes much clearer through that lens.

Which leads us to the “Do the right thing, or the right thing for the customer” guiding principle. Our software of choice for developing these sites, and the majorityof the sites we build is Joomla. As professional developers we believed in each situation Joomla was objectively better for the needed applications and we would be doing the customers and ourselves a disservice by building and working in Wordpress.

At the risk of losing the business, we said, “No, we won’t fix or build in WordPress, and here is why.” We knew that sites built in WordPress would not stand the test of time, and ultimately, we would have a dissatisfied customer, which for us, is a lose/ lose situation. We laid out extensively the reasons for our decision including the issue of service once the sites were built. Building the website is only the first step, and only half of the equation. Once it is complete, it must be maintained and serviced so it is running like a well-oiled machine. Because it is a machine; or it should be. A website is not a static stay-in-one place vehicle. Software changes. Nefarious folks try to hack sites just for fun. Clients work in websites, and because they aren’t necessarily experts, things break, or get messed up. So, websites must be maintained and kept running optimally. They must be updated with new software, and secured.

It is certainly tempting to say, “Why yes, of course we’ll build in WordPress!” and then take the money and run! But in the end, that is no way to build a well functioning website, or a relationship with a client, and in our view no way to build our business.

We will stick with our “Do the Right Thing” approach.