By Jeff Kline

Blog

Wordpress vs. Accrisoft Freedom: What's the best CMS for you?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Everyone loves a good rivalry: Steelers vs. Ravens, Coke vs. Pepsi, Apple vs. Microsoft. And for the last decade, I’ve been engaged in a rivalry of my own: WordPress vs. Accrisoft Freedom.

Both of these content management systems (CMSs) enable organizations to develop and design websites. But which is the best CMS for your nonprofit website? Find out in today’s face-off between WordPress and Accrisoft Freedom!

FULL DISCLOSURE

In case you’re wondering why I’m so involved in this rivalry, you should know that Accrisoft Freedom is the CMS my company uses to deliver websites to our clients. In addition, it’s developed by our sister company, Accrisoft

MEET THE OPPONENTS

WordPress and Accrisoft Freedom are both content management systems that enable organizations to develop beautiful websites—but that’s where their similarities end.

wordpress comparisonWordPress is a free, open source CMS that, at its core, is very simplistic. It’s a blank slate that allows developers to make it their own unique product, which they then turn around and deliver to their customers. The core (base foundation) of WordPress has limited functionality, but a public directory of thousands of WordPress plugins (submitted by thousands of different developers) enables users to extend the capabilities of their websites.

accrisoft freedom comparison

Accrisoft Freedom is a commercial CMS developed by a single company, and customers pay a fee to use it. Accrisoft Freedom has a robust core with comprehensive, built-in functionality. Instead of accepting plugins from a public community of different developers, Accrisoft Freedom’s capabilities are packaged as “modules,” all of which are developed by Accrisoft Corporation.

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Now that you’ve been introduced to the opponents, see them face off on five of the biggest issues affecting CMS systems.

COST: Free vs. Fee

Who wants to pay when you can get something for free? 

That’s the mindset many of us are in when we’re considering making a purchase. But before you make any rash decisions, consider this:

It’s true that WordPress is free to download, but don’t forget about the additional costs associated with creating a website. What about hosting, premium plugins, support, training, and costly upgrades?  After you add these factors to your total cost of ownership, it turns out a “free” WordPress website is in fact very expensive. 

Even though users must pay a licensing fee for Accrisoft Freedom, that price includes automatic software upgrades, training, live support, website maintenance and hosting. Once you factor all the above into your total cost of your website, it turns out Accrisoft Freedom costs less money over the life of your website.

EASE OF USE: Complexity vs. Simplicity

WordPress, at its core, is rather simple. But it’s also very limited in its functionality. That’s where plugins come in.

WordPress plugins are created by a large number of unknown and not necessarily trusted developers. Because different developers have different ideas about how something should work, all of these plugins work differently and have different user interfaces. As you begin to accumulate more and more plugins on your site, it becomes difficult to manage. You have to learn how to use each plugin, one by one, because they are all separate pieces of software.

All of Accrisoft Freedom’s modules are built into the core of the software, and the common user interface makes them easy to operate. Once you’ve learned how to use one module, you’ve mastered them all!

UPGRADES: Incompatible vs. Compatible

It’s no secret that the Web is rapidly evolving, triggering new capabilities every day. It’s important to use a CMS that helps you keep your website up-to-date with the latest capabilities.

New WordPress plugins are being created every day, and they aren't always compatible with existing ones. At the same time, older plugins don't always receive regular updates. As you add new plugins to your site, they may not be compatible with the ones you already have. Just keeping your site up-to-date may require starting almost from scratch with new sets of plugins as you try to build an integrated, compatible system.

Accrisoft Freedom is a single fully compatible system, so when one module is upgraded, the entire system receives an upgrade. That way, your website never encounters issues of incompatibility. Accrisoft Freedom has been developed for the past 15 years with total backwards compatibility and no customer has ever been left behind. That’s why many Accrisoft customers have been on the CMS platform for more than 10 years. 

Think about it this way—when you want to update your kitchen, you don’t want to be forced to knock down your entire house! You shouldn’t have to demolish your website, either. 

ON-GOING SUPPORT: Messy vs. Efficient

As I’ve said, a WordPress website is composed of a cobbled-together group of plugins. So when a web support team is in charge of tens, hundreds or thousands of different sites (all using different permutations of plugins), it becomes extremely difficult to keep track of how each site was put together and meant to function. This puts a strain on the web support team’s ability to provide high quality support to each of their many customers.

Furthermore, if the individual who developed your website leaves the company, it could take a while for someone else to figure out how the plugins on your site work. When a website development company has a huge number of websites to manage, with many different plugins, things get extremely messy. 

Every website built on the Accrisoft Freedom platform has the same infrastructure and is running on the same version. Modules are consistent across all websites, making the support process highly efficient. So when you call your Accrisoft Freedom support team, the support specialists will have a deep understanding of your website and will be able to quickly resolve your problem.  

SECURITY:  Unknown vs. Known 

Wordpress plugins can pose a security threat. There’s always the possibility that the plugin you’re adding to your site was developed by an amateur who didn’t apply the proper security measures to the code. Even worse, the plugin might be a “Trojan horse,” created by a developer with malicious intent, silently waiting to be triggered before wreaking total havoc on your site.

Accrisoft Freedom’s modules, on the other hand, are coded and tested by an entrusted team of professional, full-time software developers. 

OVERALL: Fragmented vs. Integrated

So here’s the big picture—choosing a content management system has much less to do with free vs. fee, and much more to do with fragmented vs. integrated. 

comparison of wordpress plugins and accrisoft freedom modules 

With Wordpress, or any open source CMS, there is the core (chassis) and the plugins that are cobbled together to provide your website with the needed functionality. Because these plugins are developed by an army of unknown developers using countless different databases, it creates a fragmented mess. 

On the other hand, Accrisoft Freedom is a unified CMS that has been continuously developed over the past 15 years to create a fully integrated system. In the long run, costs are lower, success is higher, and customer experience is better.

In my eyes, Accrisoft Freedom is the clear winner. 

YOUR TURN

Which is your CMS of choice: Wordpress, Accrisoft Freedom, or something else? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

UP NEXT: TOP 10 ACCRISOFT FREEDOM MODULES (AND HOW TO USE THEM)

Come back next week for a list of the ten most useful modules in Accrisoft Freedom. You’ll also learn best practices for using the modules to promote and enhance your website. I’ll cover Email Marketing, Blog, Commerce, and more!

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