Website Design

Bendigo Developers Ditch Open Source Web Design: We're Breaking up with Wordpress and Drupal

July 2019
Che Stevenson

We’re going to start a revolution - right here in Bendigo. It’s time to overthrow the tyranny of open source content management systems that have held website design hostage. 

(I mean, we literally have the word “revolution” in our name. The shoe fits.)

We’ve grown tired of the tyrannies of Wordpress and other open source CMSs, so we’ve decided to stop developing our websites on these platforms. Instead, we’ve partnered with a leading vendor to overhaul our design and development workflow - and to launch the very aptly named Revolution CMS.

Wordpress woes: Why we’ve turned away from open source

So, what’s wrong with open source content management systems? They are free, yes. And open, yes. They evolve quickly and have a plethora of plugins and features.

But it’s that very openness that is also their downfall - think plugin conflicts, security updates, server management and those dreaded hacker attacks. The real cost of running Wordpress or Drupal can far outstrip that of many closed-source applications.

We’ve identified some key problems that are solved by Revolution CMS.

PROBLEM

Template-driven design is the only way to efficiently design and develop websites on open source platforms

The depth and complexity of open source CMS and rich plugin-based architecture means that the back-end codebase and configuration of a Wordpress or Drupal site is incredibly convoluted - this can take hundreds of hours to create from scratch.

This is obviously unfeasible in most cases, and means almost every Wordpress developer is working from a theme starting point. This might be a base theme with minimal design customisation, or a highly functional and fully themed template.

With this as your starting point, the logo, colours, fonts and content are added. The end result? Cookie-cutter websites with the same rinse-and-repeat elements that you see on every other website. We believe our clients deserve better than that.

SOLUTION

A platform that offers true blank-canvas design, with a simple CMS and one-click deployment server architecture

We’ve chosen a platform that offers true blank-canvas design and has a simple lightweight CMS, with one-click deployment server architecture. We call it Revolution CMS, and it’s a complete end-to-end package that simplifies the build process.

Elegant and unique designs – 100% custom

It also provides total creative freedom, and we have the tools to design unique websites for our clients that feature advanced animations, full responsive design control and CMS-driven content - all without the hassle and risk of open source solutions.

As designers, the design, branding and communication of the website is of utmost importance. Revolution CMS allows us to create advanced layouts and custom animations that would take hundreds of lines of code and countless hours to achieve.

PROBLEM

Ongoing maintenance and security is a constant challenge with open source platforms

Security is a constant concern for platforms like Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. This is no more prevalent than in Wordpress, with literally millions of websites that can be targeted by hackers because all of the security vulnerabilities are well known.

As a result, these platforms must be constantly updated to keep ahead of attackers. If you don’t keep on top of updates your website can go down, exposing your customer’s sensitive information to those who have nefarious intentions.

Every plugin must be updated regularly, as they too pose security risks - a typical Wordpress website will have as many as 10 - 20 plugins. This creates a significant ongoing burden of maintenance and security when manually deploying any changes.

All of this is further compounded when you use an open source CMS for eCommerce, because the complexity of the platform, the number of plugins and the sensitivity of stored data increases exponentially. This poses a significant level of risk.

SOLUTION

Closed architecture with platform-managed servers and security

By selecting a system that fully integrates the platform and servers, we never have to worry about updates ever again. Security updates are handled behind the scenes and new features are added automatically, without any impact on existing structures.

Easily edit site settings and SEO inside Revolution Editor

There are no plugins - every feature is fully-integrated and platform-native. For example, we recently added multi-image fields and additional functionality for grid-based designs. These features are automatically available, fully-operational and bug-free from the moment they are released.

What about Squarespace, Shopify, Wix and Weebly?

The popularity of “software as service” platforms

Many others have been on this same path, and the move away from open source applications is starting to increase in momentum. Other “software as a service” (SaaS) platforms have paved the way, solving many of the same problems.

Squarespace, Shopify, Wix and Weebly all offer design flexibility, closed architecture and low ongoing maintenance overheads. Squarespace and Shopify in particular are immensely popular, largely due to their ease of use and well-designed templates.

New platforms suffer some of the same old problems

Unfortunately, this same template-based architecture limits the usefulness of these platforms for brands that want to stand out online. If you’re happy to “colour within the lines” of Squarespace or Shopify templates you’ll probably have a great experience.

However, if you want to do something out of the box you will run into the same problems as Wordpress or Drupal - complex architecture with a high degree of difficulty and the high costs associated with any bespoke design or functionality.

Revolution Editor allows for simple content updates with custom fields

Interesting also, is that these platforms also feature a third-party plugin marketplace that extends on core functionality. The end result is that you will still end up with a Frankenstein-style platform built from templates, plugins and customisations.

We believe Revolution CMS is the future of web design

The development of Revolution CMS

The platform that powers Revolution CMS came out of a YCombinator startup incubator in 2013, beginning life as a visual coding engine to develop responsive design static websites. The CMS was launched in 2015 and has grown steadily.

Now, it is a trusted platform used by over 30,000 designers, developers and organisations, powering over 50,000 websites. We used it to upgrade our own Creative Revolution website, and were blown away by the speed and flexibility it offers.

Speed, design flexibility and security

The major difference with Revolution CMS is that the visual code and theme designer allows for complete design flexibility and automatically generates clean code. There’s no need to cobble together theme elements and plugins to achieve the design. 

Live editing and instant publishing of site content

Another important difference is that there are no third-party plugins - every feature in our platform is native and fully integrated with everything else. This makes the Revolution CMS incredibly stable and maintenance-free, with fewer security issues.

The result? Better design, faster turnaround and lower ongoing costs

Dynamic and flexible design 

We’ve always designed our websites as pixel-perfect mockups in Sketch, but freed from the constraints of a base theme we’re now designing more intricate websites with unique elements - confident that we won’t get snagged up in development.

Advanced visual coding engine in Revolution Designer

Our new platform also allows us to add the sort of custom animations like scroll effects and custom button animations that would have been extremely hard to implement before, allowing us to create dynamic designs that really stand out.

Faster turnaround of client websites

With our visual code and theme builder, easy to use content management system and one-click deployment we consistently deliver websites faster than ever before. We can work on fewer sites at once, delivering bespoke websites in record time.

All of this has meant that we have been able to roll out an entirely overhauled development process that allows for a two week turnaround on small websites, and a four week turnaround on mid-sized ones - raising the bar for website design in Bendigo.

Lower ongoing costs for clients

Post launch, our ongoing maintenance and support package fees have come down since moving away from open source CMS. The reduced costs for clients is a direct result of the reduced burden of regular security patches and CMS updates.

You’re less than four weeks away from your new website

We’re really excited about this platform, and the opportunities it creates for us to offer dynamic website design to clients in Bendigo and beyond. Not only can we deliver your new site within two to four weeks, it will also reduce your ongoing costs.

This is why we believe that Revolution CMS is the future of web design; the speed, design flexibility and reduced maintenance burden that is achieved by moving away from open source CMS is truly revolutionary - time to get on board.

We’d love to help you out - get in touch

Let’s build something together. We'd love to talk to you about your new website.

(03) 5444 0030

digital@creativerevolution.com.au 

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