Fear and loathing about WordPress from a ‘competitor’

taking-aim-at-adobe-catalystI have received an incredible email written by a web developer using the Adobe Catalyst system in which they trot out half truths and untruths to undermine WordPress.

Ironically, the email has turned into quite a potent selling tool FOR using WordPress, better than I could have written myself.

To be honest though, at first I was quite annoyed by the claims being made and that is what has prompted me to ‘take aim’ at them.

I will not name the developer nor the city in which he operates as I want to focus on the issues and arguments, not the person. What I will say is that the email arose after a participant at one of my marketing workshops quizzed their web developer on the Content Management System they were using and whether it was WordPress.

As a side note, if ever you have a down day and ponder straying into the W W Wilderness, read this post and remain cozy within your WordPress haven.

NOTE: I am deliberately paraphrasing the quotes to further protect the identity of the web developer. Neither am I belittling Adobe Catalyst – I’m too busy helping clients make their mark with WordPress to bother with such pursuits.

Defiantly NO

The web developer’s response begins with this opening:

He says no he would ‘definitely not’ use WordPress because it is just one of ‘thousands’ of content management systems to choose from and that presenters might just as easily be pushing other systems like Joomla – ‘it’s a personal choice’.

Firstly, I think it would be rare and scary for anybody running a seminar and promoting Joomla in 2013 (cheeky).

Secondly, while there may be hundreds or thousands of Content Management Systems, 18.9 per cent of the World Wide Web consists of websites built in WordPress. This means it works and it means there is a strong ecosystem of workers, coders and knowledge out there, should you ever get stuck. Try getting help if the little proprietary system you have been locked into by a web company starts playing up and the web company has dissolved or is too busy with other people!

My strongest selling point about recommending WordPress is that you are never alone. Whether you use the Baker Marketing Web Starter Package or some other developer, I am much happier when I know someone is using WordPress for a host of reasons I have been writing about here for years.

WordPress is great for blogging

The developer then delivers a gem:

WordPress is ‘great for blogging’ and being open source means developers can configure it as they wish with lots of free plugins. But the client still needs to ‘pay the developer to configure it all’.

This is a very convincing reason to actually CHOOSE WordPress in my opinion. It is free for your developer to make it do what you want and you only pay your developer for their time. The alternative is to pay an ongoing licence fee for using Adobe Catalyst on dedicated servers which guarantee the developer a very nice, ongoing commission stream.

Bloggers only

With latest changes to Google, marketers who use blogs as part of the mechanism for sharing online content are the ones being rewarded with greater prominence in search results.

That is why it is concerning the web developer said:

Unless you are blogging heavily, ‘I wouldn’t consider [WordPress]’.

And here we diverge strongly.

I have preached fervently since 2004 that blogging is not only an important mechanism for publishing blog content to the web BUT is a crucial professional development discipline.

Therefore, I would argue that if a client decides not to blog, yes, any old web system will do because the web is NOT a key part of their marketing plan.

But this developer is agreeing with me that if  you do decide to start crafting the content your target market wants and needs via blogging, then WordPress IS your choice.

The security furfy

This next comment got my hackles up:

The developer says WordPress is ‘insecure’ and gets hacked. This is cited as his reason for choosing Adobe Business Catalyst. He says, ‘it is not free and their code is not open to the public, I’m a paid premium partner and I get excellent support and the system is securely hosted dedicated to running that system only on their Amazon servers in Sydney data centre.’

A proverb springs to mind: People in glasshouses should never throw stones.

I believe it is foolish and insincere for ANY person touting web products to claim their systems as unhackable.

Unfortunately for the web developer, his beloved Adobe was in the news just a few weeks ago after being hacked and having client details exposed to the world. He might like to read: Adobe has been hacked, source code and millions of customer records stolen.

The other awkward piece of news for the developer is that the latest update of WordPress, 3.7, focussed solely on bring in cutting edge web security.

Plus I should add that the Baker Marketing team puts even further security measures in place for its clients’ websites.

All the same, I never claim sites are immune from hacking because even the CIA gets hacked occasionally and you’d expect not only top notch systems there, but 24-7 human monitoring too!

It’s out of date within a day, and other false claims

The next comment shows the web developer is either not keeping up with web development news, or has been selectively choosing not to update his well-honed sales rhetoric:

Adobe Catalyst has engineers who automatically update it whereas you could update WordPress manually one day and a bug release the next day means it’s out of date.

In some more sad news for my Catalyst friend, WordPress, as of version 3.7, now has automated updates for all security releases AND is about to roll out full automation including plugins.

Yes, it is the democratic Content Management System

The last beef our web developer has, is with how open WordPress is:

He says that because WordPress is part of a community movement, it is not only free but you can host it anywhere you like.

I cannot believe that such a selling point is being used as a negative.

What I think is behind this is that Adobe Catalyst sellers make a commission on the web hosting they sell you.

What I love about it is the fact that you can host WordPress almost anywhere, meaning clients have a huge say in choosing a provider they feel comfortable with, or can afford.

I suppose the last point is that I do know another Catalyst seller who has actually repositioned his business to move into the world of WordPress because of the momentum towards this open system and away from closed and more expensive systems.




  1. Jacquie

    Well done on turning that one around Steve! I increasingly suggest WordPress sites to customers for exactly the reasons you have described.
    Re hacking, if you don’t update WordPress it would probably be more vulnerable to hackers – same with any old software sitting around on your server. My site was hacked once via an old unused copy of Joomla I once uploaded to try out. The lesson there was simply to upload updates as they are available and to delete unused stuff on your server.

  2. Andrew

    Thanks Steve for crafting an excellent response.
    I warn my clients of the ‘4 pillars of the evil empire’ lurking out there in the W W Wilderness.
    1. The purveyors of SEO (“I’ll get you to no. 1 on Google”)
    2. The Adwords campaign merchants ( pay me per click)
    3. The “I’ve got an email marketing list just for you” suppliers
    4. The “I’ll never use WordPress” web developers


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